#023 Renewable Energy & Beyond

How do we transition to a renewable society? Featuring Richard Heinberg


The Economist reports that despite increasing public concern, and renewable power now costing less than coal in some places, rising energy demand means our use of fossil fuels is heading in the wrong direction. While climate calamities, once considered freakish, are now commonplace. All this emphasises the value and importance of this panel conversation. 

Richard Heinberg. Pic: supplied.

Richard Heinberg. Pic: supplied.

Fossil fuels have been central to the evolution of industrial society. We now know we need to replace them with renewable energy as quickly as possible to avoid catastrophic climate change and myriad other consequences. Like an egg seeking to replace its yolk. this is no simple task for industrial societies. We are not just looking at switching energy sources, but switching to a new kind of society. What is this society? And, how can we get there as smoothly as possible?
— Anthony James

Globally renowned energy expert, Richard Heinberg, joined us online from the USA, with one of Australia’s most incisive minds in energy systems and societal futures, Josh Floyd, energy and psychology researcher Dr Andrea Bunting, host Anthony James, and another full house of 200 people, to explore why the transition to renewable energy is essential, though not enough in itself to create a sustainable, fair & flourishing society. And what we need to do, individually and collectively, to create such a society.

Energy is a rapidly changing space, technologically, financially and in some ways politically, but the equally vital broader terrain of recalibrating society, our cultural norms, and how we think about and understand energy remains as important as ever. How much energy do we need? What happens to sectors like transport, agriculture and manufacturing? And what’s the best and most plausible proposal we’ve got for actually making the transition?

This event was the 3rd and final forum of the Regenerating Society Series, created by Anthony James to launch The Rescope Project in 2017. Recorded at the National Sustainable Living Festival in the heart of Melbourne. And introduced by Professor Brendan Gleeson, Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne, valued partner in the Regenerating Society Series. 

Anthony introduces the session, Richard speaks for 10 minutes, and Josh and Andrea for 5 minutes each. Then it’s an all-in conversation with the audience.

Get more:

Details on this event, including guest bio’s & other links.

Podcast #006 – Redefining Progress, the 2nd forum of the Regenerating Society Series, mentioned in this podcast.

Our Renewable Future, by Richard Heinberg & David Fridley (freely available online).

Post-Carbon Institute.

Richard’s award winning video, ‘300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds’ on YouTube.

Title slide pic: The Economist.



Let Them Know, by the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra.

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