Is there hope for the climate at last?

It is commonly agreed that the recent climate change conference at Paris was the last chance humanity had to overcome the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

At Paris an historic international agreement on combatting climate change was reached.

The question of whether real and effective action is likely to be realised as a result of the decisions taken at the conference will be discussed when one of Australia's most authoritative and realistic climate change analysts, Clive Hamilton, comes together in conversation with La Trobe University Emeritus Professor and Ideas and Society Program Convener Robert Manne next month.

Called 'Hope, At Last? Prospects for the Planet After Paris', the La Trobe Ideas and Society event will take place at the State Library of Victoria on Thursday 17 March 2016.

Professor Manne, who has written about humanity's failure to rise to the challenge of climate change, said this conversation would help broaden and deepen local discussions on global warming.

"The Paris conference represented our last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change," Professor Manne said.

"After a quarter century of failure to take decisive action, finally there might be solid ground for optimism about the future of the planet."

Professor Manne said as one of Australia's most respected climate change commentators, Clive Hamilton's analysis of the agreement will be of greatest interest.

"Clive Hamilton has earned an international reputation in particular because of his two outstanding books, Requiem for a Species and Earth Masters. Once regarded as a pessimist, I am extremely keen to discover why, after attending the Paris climate conference, Clive now believes there is finally some reasonable ground for hope," Professor Manne said.

"As a member of the Climate Change Authority, he is also in an excellent position to evaluate whether the Turnbull government is playing a positive role in the international struggle against the threat of global warming."

The Ideas and Society Program is La Trobe's leading intellectual forum for debate, bringing together great minds to discuss today's biggest issues.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #ideasandsociety

Event details

What:           Ideas and Society event: Hope at last? Prospects for the planet after Paris

When:          6.15-7.45pm, Thursday 17 March 2016

Where:         Theaterette, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

Additional information: This is a free event, however registrations are essential via

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Leah Humphrys

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