Professor Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research will today deliver a talk entitled “The Emperor’s New Clothes“. It’s 4.30pm in room c1 at the George Begg Building, University of Manchester [click on the map below to enlarge it- it’s number 17, See further maps here.]
Earlier this week he was interviewed face-to-face by Manchester Climate Monthly (full transcript here). In response to a question about “who the emperor was and who the conmen are” he replied
Well, the conmen and women are pretty much all of us. I think there are no exceptions really – maybe the odd exception here and there, but basically we…are all relatively happy with the status quo. Or even if we’re not happy with the status quo, we’re reluctant to rock it. So I think we’re all party to a rose-tinted spectacle view of the future. We all hope – but without any reason behind it – that things will be fine, that things will turn out okay on the day. So I think we’re all party to clapping as the naked emperor walks by.
The role of myself, and others who work on a day-to-day basis in this field, is to try to open people’s eyes to the fact that the emperor is naked, that we haven’t actually made the changes we need. There’s lots of rhetoric, we hear lots and lots of good words from politicians, from companies, from individuals, from ngos. But actually when you say ‘right, let’s have a look at the action that goes alongside that’ there is a complete gap – void – between what we say we’re going to do and what we are doing. It’s relatively easy to see the gap because we can measure what is happening on the ground. And what is actually happening is our emission keep going up, day in day out, we keep investing in more fossil fuels futures, we keep building more fossil-fuel infrastructures, whether it’s airports, whether it’s new roads, whether it’s new power stations or shale gas, or whatever it might be – everything we are doing is about building and locking ourselves into a high-carbon infrastructure which will take years to replace with a more low carbon renewable infrastructure.
Why you should come
a) Kevin is a very engaging public speaker. His answers are not buried in piles of graphs and formulae (though he can supply those on request!)
b) you will learn about what is going on and also meet lots of people who are trying to DO something
Please do not worry that this is an event where you will be made to feel helpless or personally responsible for all the worries of the world. If you can’t make it, there will be a blog about what was discussed on this site very soon. Join the conversation!