1 November 2009

Find conference news on our blog

A group of international journalists enrolled on the 2009 Erasmus Mundus Masters program on Media and Globalisation at Aarhus University and the Danish School of Journalism have volunteered to blog from the conference.

The students will be reporting from conference events, conduct interviews, and take photographs that will all be published here for the benefit of the wider world as well as those fortunate enough to be present at the conference itself.

The aim is to make ideas presented at the conference available to others but also to reflect the conference on itself.

We invite you to comment on blog posts and also to contribute your own posts by sending them to the blog editor at

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22 September 2009

Mike Hulme:
Climate change is an opportunity for positive change

"We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us."

Rephrasing former US President John F. Kennedy, Mike Hulme - Professor of Climate Change at University of East Anglia in the UK -  is trying to shift the tenor in the public debate about climate change.

"Solving climate change should not be the focus of our efforts any more than we should be 'solving' the idea of human rights or liberal democracy," he writes in his new book Why We Disagre about Climate Change.

Speaking at the opening session of the conference "Responsibility Across Borders? Climate Change as Challeng for Intercultural Inquiry on Values", Mike Hulme will argue that a creative view of climate change is to see it as an opportunity to speak across these divides, using it as a lens through which we together can design sustainability on a small planet.

"It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come."

Valid reasons to disagree
Hulme believes that science shows that action on climate change is needed but warns against thinking that consensus science should lead to consensus politics.

"As we enter another round of negotiations in Copenhagen it is vital that we understand the many valid reasons for disagreeing about climate change. We must recognise that they are rooted in different political, national, organisational, religious and intellectual cultures in different ways of 'seeing the world'.

For example, different religious traditions have varying approaches to preserving, conserving or manipulating 'nature' including climate. And different political cultures view the relationship between state, community and citizen in quite different ways," argues Hulme in an article written for the Science and Development Network.


Visit Mike Hulme's website
Hear Mike Hulme speak in a Science Weekly podcast from The Guardian

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