Who should speak at the Assembly

Scottish government policy, regarding the climate and ecological crisis, to date has been based upon a narrow window of academic opinions and research that aligns with the current political and economic system. Thus the main drivers of the climate crisis (our political and economic system for example) are never critically assessed and alternative systems are not even considered. This is a fundamental failing of the climate policies to date. As a result, for Scotland to tackle the climate crisis in an effective way it is of vital importance that the range of speakers and evidence given to the assembly is not restricted in this usual way. It is also of vital importance to include people's lived experiences of the climate and ecological crisis, with the range of speakers not just limited to academics.

The range of academics speaking at the assembly needs to be wide providing a genuine spectrum of perspectives and the value of lived experience of people needs to be included and of equal validity.

Speakers should include the following as a minimum:

Prof Kevin Anderson (University of Manchester)
Prof Julia Steinberger (University of Leeds)
Dr Jason Hickel (University of London)
Dr Katherine Trebeck (Strathclyde University)

Why the contribution is important

Restricting or limiting the information available to the citizens assembly to the current political and economic thinking makes it impossible for the assembly to function properly. The assembly won't be able to truly assess how Scotland should change to effectively tackle the climate crisis in a fair way. This is of fundamental importance to the success of the citizens assembly.

by Paul on October 24, 2020 at 09:06PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 17 votes

Comments

  • Posted by Jbredski October 24, 2020 at 22:34

    Robin McAlpine Common Weal
    Donald McPhillimy Rewilding Scotland
  • Posted by lesliesoulfire October 25, 2020 at 08:03

     Trust the people who are invited to the assembly and give them as wide a range of perspectives as possible. It would be dishonest to try to control what they hear by narrowing the input to the assembly
  • Posted by anna_e_fisk October 25, 2020 at 10:31

    Contributions from people living in/forced to leave the most-affected areas are vital.
  • Posted by DerekP October 25, 2020 at 13:23

    You can only hope to generate the highest quality outcomes from the Assembly, having allowed consideration of all the potential options, if all potentially viable opportunities have been presented to the delegates. This needs a more diverse range of knowledgeable speakers than currently proposed.
  • Posted by Catherine October 25, 2020 at 17:22

    This should include people who have suffered from the effects of climate breakdown, in Scotland and globally. This is important because it isn't just Scotland that will be affected by the decisions made here.
  • Posted by SallyK October 25, 2020 at 21:53

    I agree with Paul's contribution above, and the other comments. The climate crisis requires us to think in new ways precisely because it has been precipitated by our existing patterns of thought. It is indeed essential for the Climate Citizens' Assembly to be given the opportunity to consider fundamentally different solutions which involve structural change.
  • Posted by me October 26, 2020 at 07:43

    Yes, structural changes should be on the table
  • Posted by AndrewR October 26, 2020 at 13:28

    The consultation process also needs to be wider - there didn't seem to be much publicity.
  • Posted by GilAnderson October 26, 2020 at 14:18

    I would like to reiterate Catherine's statement that speakers / experts in assemblies should include those with experiences of the effects of climate change (be it people from Ayreshire whos homes have been flooded or migrants facing insecurity as a result of desertification / extreme weather). It is essential that the scope of the project considers the global implications of any decisions Scotland makes, even if our choices seem small in comparison to those of larger states.

    I also think it would be good to have speakers from enterprises / businesses ahead of the curve in transitioning, for example those who help run the community owned wind farm in Shetland, so that we can look directly at what potential complications will arise from transitioning away from carbon-intensive and/or environmentally damaging industry.
  • Posted by SimonClark October 26, 2020 at 14:26

    I agree in principal with Paul.
    The speakers:

    Sir David King
     was the permanent Special Representative for Climate Change from September 2013 until March 2017. Sir David was previously the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 to 2007, during which time he raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the Energy Technologies Institute.

    Rowan Williams
    former Archbishop of Canterbur
    to give a social, spiritual and relational view of the climate crisis.

    George Monbiot
    Journalist, to give an outline of the political and historical context of the climate crisis.
  • Posted by Rankin October 26, 2020 at 14:42

    A worthwhile speaker would be James Rebanks, farmer and author. Rebanks works at the coal face of matters relating to land use, food production, biodiversity, climate change and human well-being. His ideas are pragmatic and far-sighted, and he is honest enough to realise that in the short term, compromises will have to be made, eg in how the farmers feed the world.
    Ref: ‘English Pastoral’ by James Rebanks, published by Allen Lane, 2020.
  • Posted by mameko October 26, 2020 at 14:55

    Same as Simon Clark:

    The speakers should also include:

    Sir David King
     was the permanent Special Representative for Climate Change from September 2013 until March 2017. Sir David was previously the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 to 2007, during which time he raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the Energy Technologies Institute.

    Rowan Williams
    former Archbishop of Canterbury
    to give a social, spiritual and relational view of the climate crisis.

    George Monbiot
    Journalist, to give an outline of the political and historical context of the climate crisis.
  • Posted by SimonClark October 26, 2020 at 14:56

    Core to the assembly are the gas and oil companies in the north sea. How can they as a business change and use all their engineering expertise for the common good. A worthwhile speaker to advise would be:

    William Hutton, British academic and journalist. He was Principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford from 2011 to 2020, and Chair of the Big Innovation Centre having been chief executive of the Work Foundation from 2000 to 2008. He was formerly editor-in-chief for The Observer.
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