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Posts Tagged ‘Provocations’

Writing in the Eye of the Storm: Engaged Knowledge

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 12th, 2011

19 May , 2011
5:30 pmto7:30 pm

In this lecture Diane Bell explores three case studies than span three decades: Aboriginal women and land rights (1970s); violence against women (1980s); the Hindmarsh Island Bridge controversy (1990s). Each case, she argues, entailed a form of ‘engaged knowledge’, each had her writing in the ‘eye of the storm’. The fourth in which she is now engaged, the fight for the River Murray, has echoes of the previous three. Why continue to be embroiled in matters that are tagged ‘controversial’? What constitutes ‘objectivity’ in such situation? What lessons might be learned from a career of speaking truth to power?

Professor Diane Bell: writer, anthropologist, activist. Look for her on line – Diane is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the George Washington University, DC, USA, Writer and Editor in Residence at Flinders University, Visiting Professor at Adelaide University and campaigns with the River, Lakes and Coorong Action Group.

RSVP 15 May:

Thursday 19 May, The Queen’s Hall, State Library of Victoria
5.30 pm drinks for 6 pm start

Presented by the Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies (CAIS) at Monash University.

Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Public Lecture

Posted in Events, Opinion, Research by land-environment on April 27th, 2011

3 May , 2011
5:30 pmto7:00 pm

Image: lizkdc via flickr CC

Climate change is not “a problem” waiting for “a solution”.  It is an environmental, political and cultural phenomenon that is reshaping the way we think about ourselves, about our societies and about humanity’s place on Earth.

Based on some of the ideas contained in Prof. Mike Hulme’s recent book, Why We Disagree About Climate Change, this lecture dissects this idea of climate change – where it came from, what it means to different people in different places and why we disagree about it.  It also develops a different way of approaching the idea of climate change and of working with it.  Rather than seeing “stopping climate change” as the universal project around which the world must be mobilised at all costs, the idea of climate change gives us new resources – new insights, new vocabularies, new myths – which can be used creatively in our bewildering diversity of human projects.  We must use the idea of climate change to open up new spaces for innovation, change and diversity, rather than try to align the world in search of one unattainable utopia.  And we must accommodate disagreement by adopting a plural approach in our responses to climate change.

Mike Hulme is professor of climate change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA).  He was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research from 2000 to 2007.  His work explores the idea of climate change using historical, cultural and scientific analyses, seeking to illuminate the numerous ways in which climate change is deployed in public and political discourse.  His two most recent books are Why We Disagree About Climate Change: understanding controversy, inaction and opportunity (2009) and, with Henry Neufeldt, the edited volume Making Climate Change Work For Us (2010) which is a synthesis of the research findings of the EU FP6 Integrated Project ‘ADAM: Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies’.  He is editor-in-chief of the new review journal: Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs): Climate Change.

Tuesday 3rd May
Time: 5.30pm

Speaker: Professor Mike Hulme
Professor of Climate Change
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Location: Lower Theatre, Melbourne School of Land and Environment Building, University of Melbourne

To register, visit:

“The Economics of Happiness”: Film Screening

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on April 15th, 2011

Both hard-hitting and inspirational, the film ‘The Economics of Happiness’ reveals some uncomfortable truths about today’s global economy, which is creating divisiveness, financial instability and environmental breakdown worldwide. But it also shows how people around the world are already engaged in exploring alternative visions of prosperity: uniting around a common cause to build more ecological, more human-scale, more local economies. The film features a chorus of voices from six continents, including Vandana Shiva, Zac Goldsmith, Bill McKibben, Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, and Clive Hamilton.

Join us for a special, free screening of ‘The Economics of Happiness’ followed by an opportunity for discussion with producer and director, Helena Norberg-Hodge.

Please RSVP:

Tuesday 3 May 2011, 6.30pm-8.00pm
Basement Theatre, ‘The Spot’, Business & Economics 198 Berkeley Street (cnr Pelham St) [Building 110] The University of Melbourne, Carlton

This event is proudly cosponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI), and the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL).

Sustainable Building: Does it measure up?

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 24th, 2011

19 May , 2011
20 May , 2011

In the name of energy efficiency, Australians are pro-actively rebuilding and retrofitting their homes in an effort to go green and dodge rising energy and water rates. But how can we measure the extent of our efforts? How does your sustainable building really measure up?

Find out at the Sustainable Building: Does it measure up? conference, which will reveal how and why accurate energy measurement should underpin energy efficiency with seminars by Sam Mostyn (Director of Sydney University’s Institute of Sustainable Solutions), Dr Ralph Horne and Professor Alan Pears (RMIT), Ivan Donaldson (Australian Building Codes Board), Mike Hill (Westwyck Director and Developer for Sustainable Projects), Tone Wheeler (Environmental Architect) and many more.

Sponsored by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and held in the first and only ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmentally rated convention centre in the world, the 2-day conference will examine the tools, processes and products enhancing sustainability.

Register before March 15 for an early-bird discount.

Visit the website for more information on the program, workshops and pricing.

Beyond Hope, to Action

Posted in Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on December 3rd, 2009

An unusual post for us, here at Sustainable Melbourne, but potentially relevant as Copenhagen takes centre stage.

Image: greenpeace via flickr CC

From the article “Beyond Hope” by Derrick Jensen, Orion Magazine.

THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, “We’re *%$#@*”. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.

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