The Big Conversation - 2 August at UTS

Fri, 2016-07-22 14:34 -- David

Tina Perinotto, Managing Editor of The Fifth Estate, and I met with Ian Dunlop last Tuesday in Sydney. Tina has featured her thoughts from that meeting in her "From the Front Desk" editorial in today's Fifth Estate Newsletter:

"Ian is a cool strategic corporate leader, previous head of the Australian Coal Association, Cambridge educated engineer, now climate campaigner. We were preparing for a talk he will give for Engineers Australia at UTS on 2 August (with The Fifth Estate on a panel after).

Dunlop outlined in chilling precision why the Paris Agreement is now a major impediment to action now we’ve reached the climate emergency we feared. Even with just one degree Celsius warming the feedback loops scientists warned on are well underway. Think one kilometre plumes of methane spilling out of the ocean and melting tundra, think arctic meltdown, two metres of sea level rise locked in and 3-4 degrees on the way. Yet from Paris comes the tippy-toe “let’s keep playing this game, just nicer and maybe a wee bit faster”.

What Dunlop will tell the audience is that we need to move to an emergency political scenario. Think war footing. Say it a few times and it will stop shocking. You’ll get used to it.

Dunlop, not a man you would think is prone to histrionics – he is an engineer after all – is another voice saying the close tie of the last election is a good thing. We need to seize this opportunity and take it further, encourage, push and prod our pollies to reach across all the political divides and work as one, as you would if a common enemy was on the rise. Which it is.

In a recent paper he worked on with David Spratt, Climate Reality Check, after Paris, counting the cost, Dunlop says, “We have left it too late to solve the climate dilemma with a graduated response; emergency action, akin to placing economies on a war footing, is now essential.

“This is not irrational alarmism, but an objective view of the latest science and evidence, as set out in this paper, which should be read and absorbed by every decision maker. New leadership, prepared to grasp and act on this reality, is essential.” says Ian.

The way forward, he says – because he’s an engineer and what engineer would leave you without a solution? – is we need a rapid ramp up of community, corporate and investor pressure to “force the pace of political change”.

There has never been a better time to put pressure on our political leaders."

For details on the event go to: <>

To register for they FREE event go straight to: <> (link is external)

And, this is not something to put off. Nothing could be more serious if you value a safe future for your grandchildren. Please pass on these details to your family, friends, business associates, neighbours, and anyone and everyone you can think of.


Submitted by 1225295 on

Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend, but I'd love to know - what are the key messages that came out of The Big Conversation on 2 August?