Climate Change: From as Many Angles as You Can Imagine (March 11/12, Liu Centre for Global Issues)

Rebekah says:

Hey Terry Readers!

Take a moment and think about the title of this latest climate action conference: No Other World (NOW!). By now we’ve all heard the climate spiel; that we’re headed for disaster if we don’t drastically change our lifestyles within a few years. We have scientists, (some) politicians, heck even guys like this, appealing to the public to reduce carbon emissions. Most of the population has answered with a resounding “so what?” Well UBC, we’re now opening a space for you to come and discuss your opinions, qualms, concerns, and maybe learn a few things about what can be done at a student level.

The NOW! Climate Action Conference, happening Thursday March 11th – Friday March 12th, counters this doomsday approach by looking at climate issues from as many perspectives as possible. There are some big-name speakers coming for the panel sessions and lectures – Andrew Weaver and Peter Victor to name a few – but students are also a huge part of this conference.

What the organisers realise is that in order to make an impact, this conference needs to engage students, and not just have experts lecture at them. To help with this, we’re taking a lesson from Terry Talks and hosting Student Sustainability Talks (think a sustainability-focused TED session), and letting students physically see the different opinions in the group in a sociometry exercise. The last session of the conference, “Cultivating a Community for Change”, challenges participants to take what they’ve learned and make it applicable, using “open space technology” which may or may not look something like this.

There’s only one rule for this part – move your feet! Curious? You’ll have to come and join us next week!

One of the unique sessions is going to be the Hypothetical Situation. We’re bringing together Arts, Sciences, Forestry, Land and Food Systems, Sauder, and more, and asking them one question: in an election, what is the best way to vote for the climate? The panelists’ challenge? Come up with solutions together, through discussions and input from the audience.

Also check out the “Voices for Change” and “Sustainable Education” panels where we’ll look at how climate change is presented to the public, and how sustainability is taught at universities.

So what makes this conference different than every other climate change conference? Put simply, it’s all about you – the students. There will be a huge range of participants, presentation styles, backgrounds, information, and potential ways to help solve this global challenge we are, and will continue to be, facing. All of this is brought back to the student level, where we’ll provide tools and resources to assure you that no matter what your discipline is, your efforts can and will make a difference.

For more information on registration, conference schedule, speakers, and more check out our blog at

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at