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Can one climate change scientist change the minds of a roomful of climate change sceptics?

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With a carbon tax looming and the recent release of the Climate Commission’s report, climate change is squarely back on the national agenda. This week on Insight we re-screen of one our most talked about episodes, featuring internationally renowned climate change scientist the late Stephen Schneider.

A few weeks after we recorded this program in June last year, Stephen Schneider died on a flight from Stockholm to London. He was 65 and had been battling a serious illness.
Stephen Schneider was a passionate believer that science should engage directly with the public on the issue of climate change. It was in this spirit that he appeared on Insight.
He faced a crowd of 52 climate sceptics and they were asking the questions.

The recorded discussion is just as relevant today. While Britain has recently announced an emissions reduction target of 50 percent by 2025, Australia in contrast is aiming for a minimum five percent reduction by 2020.

Meet the Guests

  • Stephen Schneider

    The late Stephen Schneider was the Professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University. An internationally recognised leader in research on climate change, he served as a consultant on the issue to every U.S. President from Nixon to Obama.
    He was actively involved with the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change since its inception, and was among the group of scientists to receive the Nobel Prize for their work with the organisation. His commitment to improving public understanding of science through extensive public appearances continued right up until his death in July this year, even once having a regular spot on the Tonight Showwith Johnny Carson. As he notes humourously in his book Science as a Contact Sport, he made 'the ultimate mistake' of going off-script during an interview with Johnny and was subsequently not invited back on to that program.

  • Penny Whetton

    Doctor Penny Whetton will answer your climate science questions on the live chat after the program. She is a climate scientist with 20 years experience and is based at the CSIRO. She was a lead author on the third and fourth Assessment Reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is now working on the fifth.


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