SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Book Launch “Facing Up to Climate Reality: Honesty, Disaster and Hope”

Book Launch “Facing Up to Climate Reality: Honesty, Disaster and Hope” - IMG
Jonathan Essex, John Foster, Rupert Read, Maya de Souza, Prashant Vaze and Ulrich Volz

Date: 3 June 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 3 June 2019Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Wolfson Lecture Theatre (WLT)

Type of Event: Book Launch

We are used to hearing that the climate crisis is serious, but still tractable if we start acting on it soon. The reality is different. Things are going to get much worse, for a long time, whatever we now do – which hardly anyone wants to admit. This book from the Green House collective offers climate honesty. The time for focusing primarily on mitigation is over. We now need to adapt to the dark reality of climate breakdown. But this means a deep reframing of our entire way of life. The book explores how transformative adaptation might enable us to confront escalating climate chaos while not giving up hope. Facing up to Climate Reality is a book for those brave enough to abandon the illusion of continuing normality, and embark on a harder, truer journey.

“This important new collection brings the trademark radicalism of Green House to the climate crisis. The authors set out an array of bold and hopeful ideas, consider how facing up to climate disasters can kindle new green shoots of community, and explore the psychology of climate communication. The book both pursues climate honesty rigorously and offers hope for the future.” — Caroline Lucas MP

Please register for the event on eventbrite.

Speaker Biographies

Jonathan Essex is a chartered engineer and environmentalist. He has worked for engineering consultants and contractors in the UK, Bangladesh and Vietnam. This work has included developing strategies for a social enterprise ecopark, Pushing Reuse, and for decarbonising the UK construction and housing industries. His current work focuses on improving the sustainability and resilience of livelihoods and infrastructure investments worldwide.

John Foster is a freelance writer and philosophy teacher, and an associate lecturer in the department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, UK. He has worked as a schoolteacher and an NHS administrator, and has been an environmentalist for nearly forty years. His relevant publications include Valuing Nature? (ed.) (Routledge, 1997), The Sustainability Mirage (Earthscan, 2008), After Sustainability: Denial, Hope, Retrieval (Earthscan/Routledge, 2015), and Post-Sustainability: Tragedy and Transformation (ed.) (Routledge 2017). John is co-chair of Green House Think Tank Ltd.

Rupert Read is a Reader in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at University of East Anglia, where he works closely with environmental scientists, in eco-philosophy. His publications include his popular book, Philosophy for Life: Applying Philosophy in Politics and Culture. He was a Green Party Councillor from 2004-2011, and helped write the first draft of the Green 2009 Euro-election manifesto.

Maya de Souza works in environmental policy in government, currently on circular economy policy. She has also worked with the business community in Hong Kong on setting under 2 degree C carbon reduction targets and transitioning to commercial electric vehicles. Maya was a councillor in Camden for 8 years where she pursued innovative ideas such as a community bond to fund local energy schemes.

Prashant Vaze is Head of Policy and Government at Climate Bonds Initiative. He studied biology at the University of Oxford and agricultural economics at the University of Reading, and then worked as a government economist and policy maker chiefly on environmental, statistical and regulatory matters. He also writes young adult science-fiction with an environmental theme and popular science / economics books which explore climate change, technological change and the nature of economic progress.

Ulrich Volz is Head of the Department of Economics at SOAS University of London and Founding Director of the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the German Development Institute and Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Leipzig. Ulrich is a member of the Advisory Council of the Asian Development Bank Institute and a lead author of a recent UN report on Climate Change and the Cost of Capital in Developing Countries.

Organiser: Dr Ulrich Volz

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