by David Saddington and Christopher Vos
Back-to-back events on Friday 13th June brought the issue of climate change into the heart of Durham City, UK. The Market Place was transformed into an outdoor cinema for the afternoon as students and members of the public packed into the square for two free screenings of the award winning climate change documentary Chasing Ice on the big screen. The film displayed astounding time-lapse photography of melting glaciers to highlight the importance of tackling climate change.
The reason why we decided to organise this event was to raise awareness of climate change and to engage the public on this vitally important issue. Screening Chasing Ice is a very accessible way to communicate the importance of this issue to the public as they can see these ice giants disappearing before their eyes. We think the next best thing to witnessing the impacts of climate change firsthand in changing landscapes is through documentaries such as Chasing Ice’.
The outdoor cinema screening was followed by a public discussion in Durham Town Hall called ‘Climate Change Question Time’, an event where the audience could interrogate a diverse panel of experts related to the science of climate change, insurance, media and green policies.
Climate change and energy security have dominated UK and global politics in the last few years. Despite this spike in publicity not a lot of people understand the issue. Climate change is a very complex subject and often so deeply entrenched within academia that it is hard for the public to grasp what is actually happening. The debate was designed not only to clarify the science of climate change by drawing upon expertise from Durham University, but also to discuss a pragmatic way of tackling the problem.
The events were sponsored by Durham University, Durham County Council, NERC, Liberty Specialty Markets, Josephine Butler College and the Altogether Greener Initiative.
David Saddington and Christopher Vos are undergraduates in Durham University’s Department of Geography.