Climate Change in the Age of Trump

Free Public Lecture

Climate Change in the Age of Trump

Just as it seemed the world was starting to make serious efforts towards halting climate change, the United States – a country always considered essential to an effective international response – has elected a leader openly hostile towards climate science and climate action and who is already acting on that hostility.

What does the election of President Trump mean for worldwide attempts to limit warming to well below two degrees Celsius? Where can we find hope? What can Australians, particularly the intelligentsia, learn from his election and the local and international responses to his efforts to unravel US action on climate change? How can and should we respond?

This lecture is part of a series: The Wednesday Lectures 2017: The Intelligentsia in The Age of Trump, hosted by Raimond Gaita.

It began with Brexit and entered another dimension with Donald Trump's election campaign. Many of the intelligentsia – those who choose or are required by their profession to comment on political affairs – were shocked. Hardly any anticipated that resentment, anger and even hatred could go so deep in parts of the British and American electorates almost unnoticed. When it was noticed few foresaw its transformative power.

In the case of Trump, many were incredulous that someone who had a good chance of becoming president of the US could be so radically disdainful of the practices, conventions and institutions that express and underpin democratic political civility, and pile lie upon lie so fast and shamelessly as to make the idea that reality mattered quixotic. He hasn't changed as president.

But commentators were not only shocked that they didn’t see Brexit or Trump coming. They were unsettled by a suspicion that some of the many reasons they didn’t played a significant role in ensuring that they did. Do we, even now, understand what has happened and why it did?

Presenters Katerina Gaita

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