How is the UK going to keep the lights on? Will environmentalism survive the austerity drive? And is climate change really melting the Himalayan glaciers? These are just some of the environmental topics that feature at the Guardian’s Open Weekend – a two-day festival of ideas at the media organisation’s King’s Place offices near King’s Cross St Pancras station in London.
The event, on the 24th and 25th March, is about throwing open the Guardian’s doors to our readers. Here’s how editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, puts it:
Guest speakers from around the world will join our own writers, editors, digital developers and photographers, to participate in more than 200 programmed sessions on everything from the American presidential elections to the Arab spring.
The environmental programme involves a star line-up of influential green thinkers. We open on Saturday morning with conservative MP Zac Goldsmith in conversation with deputy editor, Ian Katz. This is followed by a panel event on the global food crisis involving Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, and Prof Tim Lang.
Later that day we discuss the state of climate science – and the political hurdles to meaningful action nationally and internationally. On the panel are Vicky Pope of the Met Office, glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber and the former special adviser to Gordon Brown on climate change, Michael Jacobs.
On Sunday, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Davey, will go head-to-head with green MP Caroline Lucas on the thorny question of how to maintain the UK’s energy supply without blowing our carbon budget. And you can meet many of the Guardian’s environment team at an event to discuss whether we can really afford to be green when cash is tight.
I hope you can make it.