Should we switch to renewables?

That’s what our September 9th debate will be about.

This won’t be a debate about climate science. The focus will be on whether a case can be made for beginning a rapid switch to renewable energy in Australia right now. None of the speakers (as far as I know) will be arguing against the switch on the basis that we have insufficient evidence of AGW.

The argument will be around economic and ideological matters related to how best to deal with a warming planet. There’s a widespread assumption that if you’re opposed to the idea that we should be taking various measures to reduce carbon levels as quickly as we can, then you must be a “climate sceptic”. In fact, so far there’s been a largely “false debate” over whether climate change really is occurring which has got in the way of serious discussion about whether the only possible response to the predicted rise in temperature is to switch as quickly as possible to a low carbon economy.

(I say “false debate” because most lay people who have participated in it have not been qualified to do so. This is true of people on both sides of the issue – and it’s also true of many people who are scientists in other fields. )

We have an excellent line up of speakers for this debate (full details on our home page). It seems very likely that the argument will revolve around the Zero Carbon Stationary Energy Plan launched by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE)     We have Matthew Wright from BZE on the panel and one of our two lead speakers is John Daley, from the Grattan Institute,  who spoke at the launch of the plan.

Our other lead speaker is Alan Moran (IPA).  He’ll be explaining why he thinks the plan is a fantasy and just  doesn’t make economic sense.

On the panel (in addition to Matthew Wright) we have Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth) who will be sympathetic to the idea of switching to renewables,  Arthur Dent (aka Albert Langer), who won’t be , and Austin Williams (author of “Enemies of Progress“), who also won’t be.

So come along and hear the issues argued out.

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