GCCW Q&A 2

September 4, 2015

Today we’re publishing our second batch of interviews with GCCW participants.

Q&A with Dr Alexandra Cook, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong

Q1: Why will you be taking part in GCCW?

Dr Alexandra Cook: Because I consider global climate change to be the foremost environmental problem facing humanity–a game-changer that we ignore at our peril!

Q2: How are your preparations for GCCW going (if you’ve started those preparations)? Are there many other people in your area who are eager to get involved with GCCW? Have you started planning any activities yet?

Dr Alexandra Cook: I have formed a working group at University of Hong Kong and we are in the planning stages for GCCW.

Q3: How do you see your discipline contributing to understanding and/or combating climate change?

Dr Alexandra Cook: My discipline (philosophy, history of science) contributes already a great deal to considering the ethical aspects and historical antecedents of climate change. Some approaches are more abstract while others are more hands-on and pragmatic. I am a fan of the latter; we can live our philosophical ideals by each making changes that make a difference as well as raising awareness in others, especially young people.

Q&A with Mr Shayan Barmand, University of Cape Town

Q1: Why will you be taking part in GCCW?

Mr Shayan Barmand: Climate change is arguably the most pressing issue facing humanity at this time. With COP21 & SDGs to be decided in the coming months, it is imperative that we raise awareness for all and across all disciplines.

Q2: How are your preparations for GCCW going (if you’ve started those preparations)? Are there many other people in your area who are eager to get involved with GCCW? Have you started planning any activities yet?

Mr Shayan Barmand: Preparations have yet to begin but there is a lot of interest in the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) Masters class and other Masters classes to go around to various professors and ask for a few minutes at the start of their lectures to present climate change and talk about the key issues involved. There is also discussion of holding a divestment debate as the University of Cape Town is currently considering becoming the first university in Africa and BRICS to divest from fossil fuels.

Q3: How do you see your discipline contributing to understanding and/or combating climate change?

Mr Shayan Barmand: The ACDI is a university-wide initiative at the University of Cape Town which supports collaborative, interdisciplinary & multidisciplinary research and training in climate change and development. It is unique as (one of a few I believe) a leading hub in Africa solely dedicated to these issues.

Q&A with Dr Rosemary Faire, formerly University of Technology Sydney

Q1: Why will you be taking part in GCCW?

Dr Rosemary Faire: Climate change is the biggest challenge facing humans and life on earth as we know it. The failure of our Australian government to respond adequately is all the more reason to take every opportunity to educate and mobilize the public on this issue.

Q2: How are your preparations for GCCW going (if you’ve started those preparations)? Are there many other people in your area who are eager to get involved with GCCW? Have you started planning any activities yet?

Dr Rosemary Faire: I am currently an academic sans university since my course was phased out, but I hope I can join other academics in the Sydney area to add to their GCCW programs.

Q3: How do you see your discipline contributing to understanding and/or combating climate change?

Dr Rosemary Faire:  A major barrier to effective action on climate change seems to be psychological/political rather than technological. My teaching areas relevant to this aspect of climate change are:

  1. Deep ecology despair and empowerment work based on Macy and Johnstone’s book “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy” and my background fields of expressive arts therapy and somatic education: http://www.resilienceintransition.net.au
  2. Psychological support for engaging with climate change, and activist burnout prevention, through the Climate Wellbeing Network: http://www.climatewellbeingnetwork.com.au
  3. Building citizen empowerment and political will through the growth of Australian branches of Citizens’ Climate Lobby: http://au.citizensclimatelobby.org