Our House is on Fire: How Universities Can Become Advocates for Climate Action

In the wake of the catastrophic bushfires that have devastated Australia this summer, a growing groundswell of the population is demanding greater action on climate change and the rapid decarbonisation of our economy. And yet, business as usual goes on, leading many to feel powerless in the face of this existential juggernaut.

So, what can we do? What are the ways in which we – as academics, researchers, educators, administrators and managers – can engage our respective communities to bring about change? How can we, as non-climate scientists, employ personal and professional skills at our disposal to become agents of change?


00:00   Introductions and Welcome to Country
06:13   Michael Mann’s Experience of Australia’s Extreme Summer
13:16   Business School’s Relationship with Climate Change
17:00   What Space is Most Powerful for Advocacy?
25:00   Mainstreaming of Climate Change
27:45   Media’s Influence in the Climate Debate
35:00   How Can We Influence that Debate?
37:23   Investment in Renewable Energy
44:40   Framing Conversations Around Climate Change
48:50   How to Attitudes in the Construction Industry?
52:44   The Power of Litigation in Moving the Climate Conversation
57:46   Offshoring of Emissions and Accountability of Big Businesses
1:02:50 Were the bushfires the tipping point we needed?
1:06:28 Role of Universities as Advocates for Change
1:08:07 Do Deadlines Restrict Climate Action?
1:13:26 How Can We Support Difficult but Necessary Transitions?
1:20:15 Carbon Off-sets and Do They Work?


Dr Tanya Fiedler (Chair), University of Sydney
Dr Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
Prof Christopher Wright, University of Sydney

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Tuesday 3 March 2020.

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