Speakers Dr Steve Harris, Philippa Winkler, Daniel Robicheau.
8 pm, Friday April 6th 2012, The Green Room, 41 John Street Porthcawl.
The message from climate scientists is absolutely clear: if we continue to burn fossil fuels at our current rate we will experience catastrophic climate change and sea-level rise by the end of this century.
To continue with fossil-fuelled ‘business-as-usual’ means passing on huge human, environmental and economic costs to our children and grandchildren, risking terrible damage to our global civilisation and the biosphere that supports it.
Scientists and environmentalists agree: the most urgent task facing humanity in the 21st Century is to decarbonise the global economy, ensuring that we can generate enough energy to supply the reasonable needs of 7-9 billion people without destroying the environment.
However, while an overwhelming majority of the scientific community now support using nuclear technology as part of the clean energy generation mix, arguing that only nuclear fuels are sufficiently rich in energy to replace coal, gas and oil for baseload electricity generation, many environmentalists passionately disagree, citing problems with safety, waste disposal and economic costs as reasons to abandon, rather than improve, the nuclear programme.
Who is right? Is it really possible to make the transition to a clean energy economy without nuclear? Are the scientists who advocate a nuclear techno-fix arrogant and irresponsible? Has a well-meaning but misguided anti-nuclear movement simply played into the wily hands of the powerful fossil-fuel lobby? What about Peak Oil? After a year in which greenhouse gas emissions reached a new all-time high and Germany decided to go non-nuclear, what can we learn from history and current affairs?
Have your say! On Friday April 6th 2012 Sustainable Wales invites you to come along and join in a friendly, informed and non-technical debate led by Dr. Steve Harris of the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems. Other guest contributors include Philippa Winkler PhD an online university professor and Daniel Robicheau who has a Master’s degree in Political Science.
Dr Steve Harris
Dr Steven Harris BSc, PhD is a Research Fellow at the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, Bristol, where he investigates the social, technical and economic challenges of climate change and the transition to post-carbon living, with a particular focus on developments in post-devolution Wales. He has been a Trustee of Sustainable Wales since 2008.
Steve’s undergraduate training was in computer science; his Doctoral research applied systems thinking to the participatory design of collaborative computer-mediated learning environments. Steve joined the University of Glamorgan full-time in 2003 as a member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Astronomy and Science Education. As an activist involved with social and environmental issues, Steve’s interests increasingly focused on community engagement with sustainability and climate change. In 2006 he helped set up Science Shops Wales, a prototype national network of community-based research centres. As project manager over the next four years, Steve initiated and coordinated a programme of demand-driven, community-based action research mainly focused on supporting Welsh civil society responses to climate change. In 2010-11 he was the coordinator of the Communiversity of Wales pilot project, which involved the design and delivery of a Wales-wide learning exchange network for community-based sustainability practitioners.
Dr Philippa Winkler and Daniel Robicheau
Philippa Winkler and Daniel Robicheau are researchers and writers in the area of environmental politics and international relations. In the 1980s, Philippa Winkler broke the story for Pacifica Radio on the dumping of nuclear materials in the ocean off the coast of California.
In the 1990s, they researched and directed a documentary film about the destructive aspects of uranium, from the impacts of uranium mining on the health and environment of Navajo communities in the American Southwest, to the use of Uranium 238 in weapons systems used in warfare in the Middle East. This work was assisted by Sustainable Wales.
In the 2000s, Daniel Robicheau has contributed articles on nuclear issues for Peace Magazine in Toronto and Monthly Review in New York. Philippa Winkler, PhD, is an online university professor, while Daniel Robicheau has a Master’s degree in Political Science. He is currently doing research on accidents involving nuclear materials and infrastructure. Both have an interest in the development of renewable resources for energy production.