The crisis of climate leadership at our universities

A piece recently published in the Fifth Estate.

2 July 2014 — Is climate change the biggest challenge facing humanity?

ANU vice chancellor Ian Young thinks so. Or at least that’s what he told me recently, when we met to discuss ANU’s fossil fuel investments.

But as Kevin Rudd learned, it’s one thing to talk about the “greatest moral challenge” of our time, and quite another to show real leadership.

How far they have to go was on display last week, when ANU hosted an exclusive Crawford Australian Leadership Forum.

Sponsored by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Financial Review, 150 specially selected politicians, business people, public servants and academics discussed “geopolitical and economic issues of most immediate contemporary significance” that set “the agenda needing to be addressed by the Australian Government”.

You would think “the biggest challenge facing humanity” might get a mention. But in the wide-ranging three-day conference program, the words “climate”, “carbon” or “environment” did not appear even once.

This is the 21st century. For serious people, climate change is now part of any serious discussion on the big issues. When they’re honest, they face up to what this means: stranding fossil fuel assets.

This entry was posted in Climate, Divestment, Opinion, Published. Bookmark the permalink.

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