The Madhouse Effect: What is Stopping Action on Climate Change?
Despite evidence of climate change becoming more and more obvious, substantive action on climate change in Australia has been stalled for some time. In the US, the Trump government is rolling back climate change initiatives and environmental protections as fast as it can.
Why is this happening? What are the factors that push governments to inaction or worse? What role can business and the community play? And what needs to shift if we want effective climate change action?
This panel brings together noted US climatologist Michael E. Mann, psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and activist Anna Rose to look at these complex questions from a range of perspectives and to share their suggestions for how to break the stalemate.
Stephen Lewandowsky is a cognitive scientist interested in unraveling how memory and decision making work. His recent work looks at how misinformation persists and spreads in societies and, in particular, whether or not people accept scientific evidence about issues like climate change and vaccinations. He is a Professor in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.
Michael E. Mann is one of the authors of a key paper that reconstructed the historical climate record and showed, in the ‘hockey-stick graph’, dramatic temperature increases in the 20th Century. His ongoing work and his willingness to speak out about it has made him the target of campaigns by the fossil-fuel lobby in the US to intimidate and discredit him. He is the Director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University and co-founder of the blog RealClimate.
Anna Rose is the co- founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and was, until recently, the chair of its board. In 2012 she co-starred in an ABC documentary, I Can Change Your Mind on Climate Change and released her first full-length book, Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic. Rose is the convenor of the Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership & Influence course at Australian National University.
Emma Alberici (Chair) is the presenter of ABC’s flagship current affairs program Lateline. Before that she spent four years as the Europe Correspondent for the ABC based in the UK and was previously the Finance Editor of 7.30. She has a Bachelor of Arts (journalism) and Economics and is the author of three editions of The Small Business Book published by Penguin.