Byron Theatre was packed with the concerned and the curious to hear Professor Will Steffen present the current facts from the point of view of an Earth Science expert on 27 June 2018. His radical presentation was disturbing. In the words of panellist Simon Clough: “It was profoundly challenging! But these are truths we need to know, to start from.”

Following Professor Steffen’s presentation on ‘The Nature of the Challenge’, which clearly showed we – residents of planet earth – each have a mere 24 months to start to reduce our carbon emissions or risk progressive catastrophic un-ending climate change, a panel of local experts engaged in a riveting discussion on what we can do now, going forward. (A show of hands from the audience indicated that 60-70% of those present had already installed solar panels.)

Environmental lawyer Sue Higginson, from Lismore; grass roots activist Amelia Hicks, from Lennox Head; ‘democracy in action’ leader Simon Clough, from Lismore, and Tony Pfeiffer, from Enova Energy, Byron Bay, all responded to MC Mick O’Regan’s questions regarding what impact Professor Steffen’s talk had made on them. The event was filmed.

(Interestingly, politicians and candidates representing the Greens and Labor attended the event, and unsurprisingly expressed great concern. The Nationals MP was out of town.)

Other follow-up comments from the audience included:

“I saw (the presentation) affect people in really different ways. Shock, grief and motivation to do something about it – even I (who at times I feel like I am immune to bad news on climate) got a shock. Will was powerful, professional and succinct.”

“Just wanted to say a big congratulations on the event last night. It was such a beautifully presented event, with thoughtful insight from so many wonderful panel members. Will presented some hard truths and hearing the facts, put to us so succinctly, brings about a very deep emotional response. It’s so important to have that feeling ignited and then to move forward into action. And it is truly so important that we highlight the facts on such an important issue.”

“Thank you getting Will Steffen to the area. I found he gave a most erudite and balanced summary of where we stand or fall with climate change.”

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to organise and/or be a part of the event last night. I’m always humbled to be a part of this community and inspired to stand side by side with you all. Now to get to work! :)”

So what are our chances of averting the collapse of modern civilisation – and what can we do now? Here’s some TAKE AWAY messages from the night, headed by the obvious primary objective: STOP BURNING FOSSIL FUELS ASAP!

‘TAKE HOME’ ACTIONS

Primary objective: STOP BURNING FOSSIL FUELS