‘Time for Action’ is the theme of this year’s Cambridge Climate Lecture Series, which runs 13 February-12 March. Founder & Chair of CCLS, Trinity Fellow, Dr Hugh Hunt, explains the virtues of discussing the issue and action we can take to mitigate climate change.
What’s exciting about CCLS2020?
We’ve entered a new phase in the climate debate energized by Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough and Extinction Rebellion. The matter is now more urgent than ever before and it’s not going away. We’ve got a great set of speakers and I am sure they will inform and inspire us.
What do you hope guests will take away from the events?
Everyone is worried, but there is cause for optimism. We have the opportunity through CCLS to energize our audience and to raise their hopes. If you can’t join us in Cambridge, you can participate via the live-stream and tweet your thoughts #CCLS2020.
Why did you establish the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series?
It was instigated in 2017 in memory of Sir David MacKay 1967-2016. He was an enlightened physicist and engineer, and author of a remarkable book, Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air which is still the perfect reference text for understanding our options to meet our zero-carbon energy needs in the coming years.
What are the most important things we can do in our daily lives to mitigate climate change?
- Be an active citizen, vote, support those in politics who have a strong climate agenda.
- Fly less, and don’t be fooled into thinking that offsetting works. You don’t have to stop flying altogether if that is difficult, but think about every flight and ask if it is really necessary.
- Eat less beef and lamb. No need to become vegan if that’s a challenge, but take the vegetarian option from time to time and when you do eat meat try a smaller portion.
- Talk about climate change, make it an everyday topic of conversation and one that we can be positive about. Don’t let it get you down.
Every Thursday at 7pm, from 13 February until 5 March, there is a free, live-streamed lecture (booking advised) in Trinity’s Winstanley Lecture Theatre.
13 February: There is No Planet B, Mike Berners-Lee, Fellow at the Institute for Social Futures, Lancaster University.
20 February: COP26, Climate Justice & Law, Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, international jurist and Councillor of the World Future Council, and Executive Secretary of the Climate Law and Governance Initiative.
27 February: Climate Change and Public Health: from Threat to Opportunity, Dr Nick Watts, Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change.
5 March: Lessons and Hope from the Front Line, Jeremy Leggett, social entrepreneur, founder of Solarcentury, and founder chair of SolarAid.
CCLS2020 culminates with a Cambridge Science Festival panel discussion on 12 March: Climate Change and Biodiversity: time for action! with Lord Martin Rees, Baroness Bryony Worthington, Dr Emily Shuckburgh and Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. This free event (registration required) at the Babbage Lecture will be chaired by Oliver Morton.