19 April 2011

Requiem for a Species

Sourced from Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2 November 2010

'At the Byron Bay Writers' Festival 2010, Clive Hamilton and Ian Lowe speak with passion, and without doubt, about Australia's bleak future in the face of global warming, about their time rallying against the sceptics in the hope of bringing about societal change.

Both professors go straight to the heart of the matter, addressing the fact that society in general is to blame, for its inner consumer-capitalist denial of our environmental destruction, with Hamilton warning that we need to reach a 'tipping point' of realisation within the next five years to avoid disastrous consequences.

According to Clive Hamilton, coming to terms with the fact that the climate change horse has bolted was the main driver behind his new book "Requiem For A Species" and, in the process of writing it, he went through his own complex process of mourning for our lost future.

Lowe is more optimistic about "the defining moral issue of our time", as he calls for a 'mutiny' of sorts from the public to rally against political and corporate players showing no concern for the undeniable science involved.

The discussion is moderated by ABC tv journalist, Chris Masters.

Unfortunatley there were technical problems on the day, so the audio is poor quality.

Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne. For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the executive director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded.
He has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. They include "Growth Fetish", "Affluenza", "What's Left: The death of social democracy", "Silencing Dissent and Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change" and "The Freedom Paradox: Towards a post-secular ethics" along with his most recent book, "Requiem for a Species". In June 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to public debate and policy development, and in December 2009 he was the Greens candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Higgins.

Professor Ian Lowe AO is president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University in Brisbane, as well as being an adjunct professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University. "A Voice of Reason: Reflections on Australia's Future" is Lowe's latest book. It profiles Lowe's essays and opinion pieces on the environment, culture, science, politics, education, technology and Australia's economy, along with new pieces on Copenhagen 2009 and Australia's chance for survival in this new century. His previous books include "A Big Fix and Living in the Hothouse". Lowe has been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, attended the Geneva and Kyoto conferences of the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and was a member of the Australian delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science. He attended the UN convention in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Christopher Masters is a multi-Walkley Award winning and Logie Award winning Australian journalist and author. He commenced working on ABC television's flagship public affairs program Four Corners in 1983 and has since become the program's longest serving reporter. His first program was the landmark "Big League", a 1983 investigation of judicial corruption, which helped bring about the Street Royal Commission. Masters is a Gold Walkley Award winner, for his 1985 Four Corners report "French Connections" about the infamous sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. Another famous Four Corners report by Masters, "The Moonlight State" from 1987, led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption in Queensland. Masters has written three books to date. His first "Inside Story", published in 1992, told of the stories behind some of his Four Corners programs. His second, "Not for Publication", published in 2002, again dealt with his television work.'

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