Vic Chapter AGM and Climate talk

Fri, 2013-10-04 13:13 -- adminssee
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 17:30
Dr Graeme Pearman
John Connell Auditorium, 21 Bedford Street North Melbourne
Event Details: 

Chairman's Report

Climate Change: A matter of Sustainability (Download presentation)

  • What does the latest climate report from the IPCC tell us?
  • How are we as a society responding?
  • What factors underlie our responses?

In late September 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its most recent assessment of the published, underpinning, science of climate change. Despite a huge amount of international research since the last report, the message remained the same as it was 6 years earlier, albeit stronger: the climate of the earth is changing and the most likely cause is human emissions of greenhouse gases.


Yet, there remains a reluctance to respond to this evidence, a reluctance that reflects the ways we individually assess risk, view what constitutes a rational argument, construct views of the way the physical world is and rationalise in the face of conflict with those constructed views and vested interests. We use coping mechanisms to avert unwanted emotions instigated by the climate-change storyline and struggle under the weight of conservative societal structures. Not surprising therefore that the formulation of a nationally shared and strategic view of what we need to do in terms of emissions abatement seems to be insurmountable. This is a human behavioural issue as much as a physical science and engineering one


The result, from a physical science perspective is that there are planetary boundaries to what we are doing or can do in a sustainable way, and climate change is but one illustration of how we are approaching or have exceeded those boundaries.


Dr Graeme I Pearman AM, FAA, ATSE, FRoySocVic, BSc(Hon), PhD


Dr Graeme Pearman was trained as a biologist at the University of Western Australia. He joined CSIRO, in 1971 where he was Chief of Atmospheric Research, 1992–2002. He contributed over 150 scientific journal papers primarily on aspects of the global carbon budget. He now runs a consultancy company contracting to both private and public sector organizations and is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University. In the last decade he gave 500 briefings on climate-change science and sustainability to governments, peak industry bodies, public groups, and companies as part of their climate-change risk assessments.

He was elected to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science (1988), the Royal Society of Victoria (1997) and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2005). He was awarded the CSIRO Medal (1988), a United Nation’s Environment Program Global 500 Award (1989), Australian Medal of the Order of Australia (1999) and a Federation Medal (2003).

Graeme is a member of the Board of the Climate Institute (Sydney) and past board member of START International (Washington) and Greenfleet Australia (Melbourne). Science Advisory Panel membership includes: the Singapore National Research Foundation (Singapore); German Council of Science and Humanities (Berlin); the Goyder Institute climate change program (Adelaide) and the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (Canberra). Recent membership includes the Cities Research Institute, RMIT (Melbourne), the South East Australian Climate Initiative (Canberra); the Climate Change Adaptation Research Fund (Brisbane), and the Marine Biodiversity, Resources and Fisheries Program (Canberra).

Current interests include describing holistic strategies that build resilient energy futures and emissions reductions appropriate for specific nations or communities; transport technologies and risks associated with bio-fuels; dimensions of human behaviour in the climate-change issue; and the role of science in modern societies.

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