By Dane Gibson
Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research is a Vancouver Island University-based public outreach initiative to promote a greater understanding of the science and social implications of climate change.
This inter-disciplinary group believes that in order to make informed decisions on the issue of climate change there needs to be more public engagement to create a deeper understanding of this complex topic.
Across the globe, climate scientists are warning that the window to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions is closing. The consensus is that climate change is occurring and if left unchecked it will significantly reduce the habitability of the planet and result in unprecedented economic hardship.
To help improve understanding of the science, politics and policy of climate change a free symposium is being offered on Saturday (Oct. 1) by students and faculty at VIU.
“Our primary goal is to provide members of the public opportunities to mobilize knowledge, improve scientific literacy and encourage them to promote social change,” said ACER member, Melissa Tomlinson.
The symposium, called Climate Change: Policy for a Sustainable Future, will start with an update about the science of climate change and lead into presentations by Tom Pederson, former executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and Rob Lawrance, City of Nanaimo environmental planner. Lawrance will discuss the provincial and municipal initiatives being considered including the B.C. carbon tax.
“This year we are discussing actions and policies that could help us to avoid more extreme climate change” said Tomlinson. “Starting a discussion within our community about how different levels of government handle climate change and the implications of implementing policies is what we hope to achieve.”
The day-long event is free and lunch is included. The afternoon includes a panel discussion as well as interactive demonstrations.
Dane Gibson is a writer with VIU’s communications department.