The Super Wicked Problem Of Climate Change
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Climate change is everywhere – and nowhere. It is simultaneously the most urgent problem facing humanity, and a hopelessly abstract concept that’s impossible for us to wrap our heads around. While 97% of the world’s climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is already underway, it’s much harder for us – as nations, as communities, as individuals – to work out what this actually means, or what we should do about it. Academics have taken to describing climate change as a ‘super wicked problem’.
Since 2013, former Portarlington resident Tom Doig has been interviewing activists, scientists, climate change deniers and everyday citizens across Australia about their lived experiences of climate change. This project led to two books focusing on the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire disaster. In this Open Mind talk, Tom will talk about his own experiences adjusting to life under climate change, including two years of not flying on planes and a memorable trans-Tasman container ship adventure. He will also share other people’s stories of species extinction in the Northern Territory, bushfires in Victoria, existential angst in Melbourne and storm surges on the Bellarine.
Tom Doig has written two books about the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire disaster, Hazelwood and The Coal Face (winner of Oral History Victoria Education Innovation Award). He has also published a humorous travel memoir, Mörön to Mörön: Two men, two bikes, one Mongolian misadventure.
Tom has a PhD in Literary Journalism and Disaster Studies from Monash University. He teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne. He is currently working on a new book about people’s lived experiences of climate change in Australia and New Zealand.