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Viscount Bennett Memorial Lecture - Elizabeth May

  • Ludlow Hall 41 Dineen Drive Fredericton, NB, E3B 9V7 Canada (map)

Hosts: UNB Law

The 2018 Viscount Bennett Memorial Lecture, "One point Five to stay alive – How we find hope and honesty in dangerous times" will be given by Elizabeth May.

With the October 2018 release of the Special Report of the IPCC, we know that world governments must ensure that, collectively, we hold global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees C. In 2009, at the failed climate negotiations in Copenhagen, it was only the low-lying island states and nations of the African continent who insisted that the highest level of temperature increase we could risk was 1.5 degrees. The rest of the world, leaders from Obama to Harper, thought 2 degrees was a safe landing place for a new climate regime. The island states and Africa staged a walk out, chanting "One Point Five to stay alive!"

Thanks to the IPCC, we now know that 2 degrees is deeply dangerous. If we reach a global average temperature increase of 2 degrees, we run far too high a risk of triggering irreversible, self-accelerating, run-away global warming. The worst case scenario is no longer bad weather and sea level rise. It is the loss of human civilization - and potentially of mass extinctions, including our own.

In these dangerous times, where do we find hope? How can we both face facts and find the positive energy we need to save ourselves?

Thanks to the IPCC, we also know that we still have time. We have time to save ourselves. We no longer have time to fool ourselves.

Elizabeth May is Leader of the Green Party of Canada and its first elected Member of Parliament, representing Saanich-Gulf Islands in southern Vancouver Island.

In 2005, Elizabeth May was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her decades of leadership in the Canadian environmental movement. She graduated from Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Bar in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. For seventeen years, Elizabeth served as Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada and is the author of eight books, including her most recent book 'Who we are: Reflections on my life and on Canada.'

Reception will follow the lecture in the Student Lounge.