How Conservatives Can Lead On Climate Action Under Donald Trump (Bob Inglis Tour)

Tuesday 14 February 2017
6.00 - 7.30PM

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Business School Lecture Theatre 1040, Abercrombie Business School | Cnr Codrington & Abercrombie Streets | University of Sydney


How can conservatives lead on environmental issues in today’s political climate?

In association with The Australia Institute and the United States Studies Centre.

In February 2017, just weeks after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, former US Republican Party Congressman Bob Inglis will speak at the University of Sydney about climate action from a conservative perspective.

Mr Inglis began his career in Congress as a critic of climate action and came to accept the science after visiting Antarctica and snorkelling on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with a scientist, Dr Scott Heron (who featured on ABC Catalyst).

Mr Inglis became a great advocate for climate action and this ‘heresy’ cost him his seat in Congress. In 2015 Mr Inglis was awarded a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his political bravery. He is Executive Director of republicEN.org. Bob and his wife Mary Anne Inglis are coming to Australia as guests of The Australia Institute on a two week tour to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Townsville.

Chair: Robert Hill AC, who was Environment Minister under Liberal Prime Minister John Howard.

Respondent: Rob Stokes, MP, NSW Minister for Planning and Dr Scott Heron.

Keynote: Bob Inglis

Bob Inglis launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University in July 2012 and serves as executive director, where he promotes free enterprise action on climate change. The Initiative does grassroots work under the republicEN.org brand. This network of 2096 Americans educates “conservatives, libertarians, and pragmatists” about free-enterprise solutions to climate change.

For his work on climate change Inglis was given the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He appears in the film Merchants of Doubt and in the Showtime series YEARS of Living Dangerously (episodes 3 and 4), and he spoke at TEDxJacksonville.

Inglis was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in 2011, a Visiting Energy Fellow at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012, and a Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics in 2014.

Inglis was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010.

Inglis grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, went to Duke University for college, met and married his college sweetheart, graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and practiced commercial real estate law in Greenville, S.C., before and between his years in Congress.

Bob and Mary Anne Inglis have five adult children and live on a small farm in northern Greenville County, South Carolina.

The Hon Rob Stokes, MP

Rob Stokes is the Liberal Member for Pittwater in the NSW Parliament and the NSW Minister for Planning.

Before entering Parliament in 2007, Rob was a practising solicitor and Senior Lecturer with the Division of Law at Macquarie University. He holds a PhD in Law, Master of Laws, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Diploma in Biblical Studies from Moore Theological College. He is an honorary fellow in the School of Law at Macquarie University.

Rob has been actively involved in volunteer work in the legal profession and has written numerous articles on environmental planning and NSW tax law in a variety of books and academic journals.

Outside work, Rob is an assessor and trainer with Surf Life Saving Northern Beaches and is a patrol captain at Mona Vale Beach, where he has patrolled over the past 20 years. Rob and Sophie Stokes live in Newport with their three young children.

Dr Scott Heron

Scott F. Heron, Ph. D., is a physical scientist who works closely with Australian and American oceanic research organisations, based in Townsville, Queensland. He is an expert on coral reefs, specialising in resilience, disease and conservation in the context of climate climate change. He has published over 50 refereed journal articles.

Scott played a key role in the evolution of Bob Inglis’s thinking about climate change. He explained coral reef ecology and the bleaching caused by climate change to Bob Inglis and also showed him the Great Barrier Reef during snorkeling dives.

Scott is Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University and a Physical Oceanographer with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch programme.

Scott Heron featured in the recent ABC TV Catalyst story on coral bleaching.

(Chair) The Hon. Professor Robert Hill, AC

From 2009 to 2016 Robert Hill AC was an Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the US Studies Centre. He held a number of positions including director of the Dow Sustainability Program and co-director of the Alliance 21 Program.

Hill was a member of the Australian Senate from 1981 to 2006, representing South Australia. He was educated at the University of Adelaide and the London School of Economics, where he gained a masters degree in law.

Hill was Leader of the Government in the Senate from March 1996 until his resignation in January 2006. He was Minister for the Environment 1996-98, Minister for the Environment and Heritage 1998-2001 and Minister for Defence from November 2001 to January 2006.

In July 2005 the Coalition parties took control of the Senate and Hill became the first Government Leader in the Senate since 1981 to command a majority in the chamber. In January 2006 he announced his resignation from the Parliament.

Hill was Australian Ambassador to the United Nations for Australia from 2006 – 2009.

In July 2009, Hill was appointed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as Chairman of the Australian Carbon Trust.

In June 2012, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia.