|October 13, 2011 7:30 pm||to||October 14, 2011 10:30 pm|
“Fronting up to Our Deteriorating World”
Dunedin Public Meeting
Thursday October 13. Castle One Lecture Theatre, University of Otago. 7.00 – 10.30pm
The Clutha River Forum, Sustainable Dunedin City and Forest & Bird Protection Society are co-sponsoring a public meeting to discuss the major issues threatening our world, including fossil fuel dependence, resource depletion, global financial uncertainty, and the irrational pursuit of unending economic growth in a finite world.
“We can’t deny that all natural systems upon which human life depends are deteriorating,” says Clutha forum member, Brian Turner. “More and more, human beings are going to have to dig in, in every sense of the phrase. Considerable resilience is called for, everywhere, if we are to make the transition to different ways of living and providing for ourselves.”
“There are enough solutions to make positive changes today,” says forum coordinator, Lewis Verduyn. “The real problem is that our government leaders haven’t got the moral courage to act on behalf of society. Instead, vested interests are driving us down the road to ruin, focused on their business-as-usual profits.”
Members of the Clutha River Forum include the Upper Clutha River Guardians, the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, the Central Otago Environmental Society, Save Central, the Beaumont Residents’ Group, the Lower Clutha River Guardians, and Forest and Bird, Dunedin Branch, who are also co-sponsoring the meeting, along with Sustainable Dunedin City.
The seminar will have three topics.
ENERGY: SPEAKERS: Prof. Bob Lloyd, University of Otago Physics Dept., Louis Chambers, “Generation Zero”, Dunedin and Mr David Beach, Neptune Power Ltd., Christchurch.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported peak oil was in 2006. All fossil fuels are declining in availability and increasing in price, while their emissions are destabilising our climate. We have no choice but to move urgently toward a clean energy economy. Meantime, our government is pursuing fossil fuel exploration, and our power companies want to hike electricity prices yet again, to pay for more generation. But we already waste vast amounts of electricity that could be captured, and globally, clean energy technologies are booming, with investment in the cleantech sector forecast to reach US$30 trillion by 2025. Should New Zealand be a follower or a leader, and what viable options do we have?
CONOMICS: SPEAKER: Prof. Rob Lawson, University of Otago Dept of Marketing.
The limitations of GDP as a measure of national welfare have been long recognized but this has not prevented the continued pursuit of economic growth as it is assessed by GDP. Consumers are encouraged to take more debt, spend more money and use more resources in ways that are blatantly inefficient and unsustainable. It seems that politicians are unable to respond effectively to this issue, just as they are unable to allocate costs effectively to cover externalities so that markets might actually work in more sustainable ways. Perhaps the answer to increasing our long term welfare lies in a ‘bottom up’ approach starting with us as consumers taking responsibility for the consequences of our own actions and framing our choices with higher ethical standards.
COMMUNITIES: SPEAKER: Dugald MacTavish, Hampden Community Energy Inc.
Human history is a story of expansion to access and exploit natural capital. Globalization and free trade have lengthened supply chains and reduced the ability of communities to supply their own products. Our increasing need for energy and food security, particularly, will require us to be become more locally independent. How can communities be encouraged to pursue sustainable solutions?
The meeting aims to identify urgent and necessary actions.
Political representatives for the Dunedin North electorate will be invited to attend and give a brief (5 min.) response at the end of the presentations, before discussion and question time.
All concerned members of the public are welcome and urged to attend to share their views in the discussion.
Introduction/Purpose: Prof. Alan Mark 7.00-7.05.
The End of Growth” DVD by R. Heinberg. 7.05-7.11.
Economics and long-term welfare. Prof. Rob Lawson 7.11-7.30.
Tidal power potential for New Zealand. Mr David Beach 7.30-8.00.
Energy update: responding rationally. Prof. Bob Lloyd 8.00-8.15.
GenerationZero: youth perspective Mr Louie Chambers 8.15-8.30.
Sustainable communities: obstacles & opportunities Mr Dugald MacTavish 8.30-8.45.
Invited politicians (3-4) To be named 5 mins each
QUESTIONS / GENERAL DISCUSSION / IDENTIFY ACTIONS 9.05-10-00.
SUPPER will be provided 10.00-10.30
For further information, contact::
University Botany Department
03 4797573 / 4763229
Coordinator, Clutha River Forum
03 443 1246
03 444 5051 / 022 6137766
03 4545 455 / 021 667747
Co-Chair Sustainable Dunedin City
Chair, Forest & Bird, Dunedin Branch