The Australian National University
Australian Institute of Physics 16th Biennial Congress 2005
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National Press Club Luncheon

The information below is available for download as a PDF file:  National Press Club Luncheon (PDF - 86k)



Events Programme

National Press Club, Barton Cost $55

Plenary speaker Professor Graeme Pearman will be presenting an address at the National Press Club on Tuesday 1st February as part of the Congress Outreach Programme. This is a prestigious occasion and will generate considerable media coverage. Delegates are invited to attend the luncheon to hear a prominent speaker on this important topical issue.

Tickets for the lunch will be available from the Congress registration desk for $55 and must be booked and paid for in advance. Buses from the Congress will depart from outside Llewellyn Hall at 1200 hrs sharp to reach the Press Club at 1215 hrs in time for guests to be seated for lunch by 1230 hrs. The address will commence at 1300 hrs and buses will return delegates to the Congress at 1400 hrs to arrive by 1430 hrs.

From Physics to Policy: The Science of Climate Change Underpinning Private and Public Policy Decisions

Analyses of countries around the world demonstrate a growing need through this century for energy in response to increasing life-style expectations and population. At least for some time, these needs can be met only by a continued utilisation of fossil-fuel energy that in turn results, with current technologies, in the emission of carbon dioxide.

The accumulation of this gas in the earth’s atmosphere has already changed the climate of the earth and more change is likely. In 2001, the international science community reported it is now clear that the earth warmed through the last century; most of this warming was likely due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases; the demand for energy will ensure that carbon dioxide continues to accumulate in the atmosphere and thus the climate warm through this century; and there are many observed and anticipated impacts of this warming on natural ecosystems and human activities around the world.

Since that time, the science has progressed further and here in Australia, evidence for warming, other climatic changes and impacts is growing.

So what is the solution to this apparent conflict for the future? Is it in new technologies? Is there a single response that will save the day? Or is there a demand for a new portfolio of energy production and utilisation technologies that meet the demands for the amenity that energy delivers, but does not compromise the future?

Are there economic gains to be made through early engagement in a new vision of energy futures? Can we usefully extrapolate our existing energy systems into the future? Or is the solution in behavioural change, and new expectations for economic growth and social security?

Graeme Pearman will outline some of the more recent evidence for climate change; address the issue of how much change might turn out to be "dangerous" discuss the dynamic between a still incomplete and developing science and the perceived need for intervention and legislative action to deal with climate change; and the risks that this imposes on the operating environment of the commercial and industrial world, both through the impact of climate change itself and through the need for adaptive and mitigative responses to the issue.

He will discuss also the nature of a new paradigm for the development of policy, both private and public, that maximise delivery of these needs.