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Festival of Ideas: Climate Change- The Truth

When Oct 19, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 06:45 PM
Where David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, CB2 3QZ
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Climate change is near the top of the global political agenda. At the 2015 Paris climate conference, agreement was struck to limit warming to two degrees, and almost all countries now have action plans in place to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. Yet behind this veneer of political consensus lurk fierce struggles for "truth" across many dimensions. Denial of climate science itself remains a potent narrative.

At the policy level, the mainstream response to climate change rests on the assumption that modern life can continue unchecked in a greener form.

Is this really true, or have we been sold a comforting but dangerous lie? Is the feasibility of the two degree target based on false assumptions, dependent on murky models? And what about the dire warnings of climate-induced violent conflict and massive migration flows - are they based on sound analysis, or just fear-mongering false news?

Professor Mike Hulme, from the Department of Geography, will be addressing these issues, exploring the many struggles for truth that permeate the climate debate, and considers why it is so difficult to establish the "truth" on this most profound of challenges.

Professor Hulme joined the Department at Cambridge in September 2017, following a period of four years as professor of climate and culture in the Department of Geography at King's College London where he was Head of Department. His book ‘Why we disagree about climate change’ has become one of the standard university texts worldwide for social science and humanities students studying climate change. It was selected by CUP in November 2015 as one of their top 20 most influential books of all time, 'influencing policy-making, contributing to social change and altering intellectual landscapes'.

Dr Joanna Depledge, International climate change politics, University of Cambridge will be chairing this event.


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UCCRI is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre, with a network of over 150 researchers from all 6 Schools of the University of Cambridge. The Institute supports multidisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. It works from a base in the David Attenborough Building, which is designed to enhance collaboration and the sharing of perspectives across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Find out more...

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