Solving climate change hypothetically

Could Ballina MP Don Page keep the local economy ticking over if Australia ran out of oil? How would Greens Senator Kerry Nettle deal with a massive influx of refugees if a major hurricane hit the North Coast? Could a surfing legend solve Queenslands water crisis?

These are just some of the things you could discover in Bangalow this Tuesday, February 20, when a handful of local and visiting identities join in a Hypothetical on climate change and how communities can take action to combat its possible impacts.

Presented by the Bangalow Community Alliance, the Hypothetical will see each of the panel members playing themselves in a plausible climate change scenario set in the North Coast in the year 2012. With Radio Nationals Mick ORegan in a Geoffrey Robertson-style MC role, the panel will be asked to come up with practical solutions whether thats increasing local food production, radically reducing the use of fossil fuels or establishing emergency accommodation for an influx of Hurricane Katrina-type refugees.

The environment is giving us a very clear message. What we do now determines how we will live in coming decades, said Bangalow Community Alliance spokesperson, Christopher Sanderson. Change needs to come at every level. Starting with political willpower at the very top, the time has come to start working out how to make fundamental changes to our everyday lives to address global warming now.

Joining Don Page, Kerry Nettle and Rusty Miller on the panel are Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Byron mayor Jan Barham, Lismore councillor Ros Irwin, ecology professor Roger Kitching, Tony Parkes from Big Scrub Landcare, Richard Swinton from the Department of Primary Industry, Bangalow real estate consultant Gai Hart-Hughes, environmental activist Ruth Rosenhek and social policy consultant Maggie Brown.

Following the Hypothetical and keeping with the 2012 scenario, a Regional Climate Change Summit is called by the government, and the panel will be asked to handle a real life situation that has erupted locally. Will they manage to find a way to balance the economic, social and environmental factors in dealing with it?

Facilitated by Ken McLeod, this part of the evening will offer a chance to hear how panel members might deal with unexpected challenges in the future.

The audience will also be given a chance to have their say and suggest what action should be taken now to prepare for the kinds of eventualities explored in the Hypothetical.

According to Mr Sanderson, big shifts often begin with small changes, and he warmly invites people to come and explore provocative ideas, look at practical proposals and (probably) enjoy a few laughs.

The Hypothetical runs from 6.30-9pm at the Bangalow A&I Hall. Tickets are $5 from the Bangalow Post Office and Santos stores in Mullumbimby and Byron Bay. Tea, coffee and finger food will be available.

For more information phone 6687 2244.

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