Talk by John Handmer
The fires seemingly sweeping the planet are resistant to control and in some cases at least, a result of weather conditions beyond our imagination. Much commentary emphasises the new circumstances, and calls for new approaches. However, most also calls for more of the same approaches that have long been used and which are no longer adequate - approaches well within our imaginations. It appears that we are at the limits of adaptation. To shift these, the search for solutions needs to move from tweaking long established approaches towards completely novel thinking.
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John Handmer is affiliated with IIASA, an Honorary Professor with ICED at the Australian National University, an Emeritus Professor with the RMIT School of Science, and a Fellow of the Australian Social Science Academy. He has worked on reducing disaster risk and improving community safety for many types of hazards. Current research includes re-imagining warning systems, wildfire safety policy, and transformative adaptation in practice. A recent major report is a “Framework for Global Science in support of risk informed sustainable development and planetary health”, UNDRR/ISC 2021. A recent relevant paper is: Handmer J, Hochrainer-Stigler S, Schinko T, Mechler R, Gaupp F (2020) The Australian Wildfires from a Systems Dependency Perspective. Env Research Letters. 15(12).