At the festival’s Speaker’s Forum, Richard Betts will discuss the science of climate change and take part in panel discussions and interviews with other prominent figures in the climate change debate.
“Climate change is a complex topic with some important and fascinating science behind it,” says Professor Betts. “As we continue the debate on what to do about it, it’s important to have the discussions informed by the latest scientific understanding.”
Following a talk on climate science and human health impacts on Friday morning, he will join a panel discussion that evening with the CEOs of Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth UK, the co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley and the Labour MP for Norwich South, Clive Lewis.
On the Sunday, he will be “In Conversation” with the BBC’s Environment Analyst, Roger Harrabin.
Professor Betts intends to cut through the clamour of alarm and scepticism to explain the current situation. “I will give a balanced scientific view which is clear that the extremes of climate change denial and alarmism are both wrong,” he says. On a recently published article in The Conversation, Richard Betts explores how Glastonbury might have to cope with 40C of global warming.
“We can’t deny that we humans are having an effect on our climate, but we also need to be level-headed and not assume that catastrophe is imminent and unavoidable, as is sometimes suggested – there is still hope.
“I try to push back against polarisation. With big, complex issues requiring individual and political action, most people have something to bring to the discussion if you conduct it in the right way.”