Scientists connect with community about climate change
Academics, professional staff and local communities around the world will come together in the upcoming week to save the planet in a global movement that began at UOW.
Five years ago a group of academics and students at the University of Wollongong (UOW) got together to talk about climate change action and solutions.
The concept of Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) was born.
GCCW is still encouraging academic communities – including academics, students, and professional staff at universities – to commit to climate change action and solutions.
This year participants will host a range of activities including open lectures, discussion panels, environmental lifestyle workshops and other events at UOW’s Wollongong campuses and venues around the city of Wollongong.
The events are aimed at capturing the attention of students, policy-makers, and the wider community, demonstrating the need to take action against climate change.
There will be 20 events taking place in Wollongong for GCCW from 14 to 20 October.
GCCW co-founder and president Dr Keith Horton said the Collaborative Environmental Youth Summit, run by local high school students, would be a highlight of the week.
“It’s encouraging to see how Global Climate Change Week has evolved, under the influence of Greta Thunberg we now have school children addressing the climate emergency,” Dr Horton said.
Held on 17 October from 10am to 2pm at the UniHall, the event will address the question of whether school strikes are an effective approach to climate action. It involves a presentation from Dr Reetu Verma on spirituality and climate change, and the importance of making personal lifestyle changes. A Greenpeace group will present on activism and policy change and there will be a political panel involving Cath Blakey and Anna Watson. Organisers expect 200-300 people to attend.
Dr Horton said since academic scientists discovered the problem of global warming, they’ve been trying to communicate it to the public. Global Climate Change Week gives scientists the opportunity to present their research on climate change to a wide audience.
“There’s definitely a growing awareness about climate change, there’s much less denialism,” Dr Horton said.
“People are starting to wake up to the effects climate change will have in a coastal area like Wollongong, with sea level rise and storm surges.”
Masthead photo: Keith Horton.