CLIMATE Commissioner Tim Flannery was drowned out by an interjector at a public forum last night after predicting Sydney’s west faced a future of severe heatwaves, violence and death by rising temperatures.
The protester, dressed in a penguin suit, went into the Parramatta RSL auditorium and called Professor Flannery a “hoax”.
The protester drew clapping and booing before he was escorted out by security staff, as another interjector called out: “I can’t believe that you people are listening to this waffle.”
Flanked by four fellow commissioners, Prof Flannery confronted an audience of largely older “westies”, some highly sceptical of claims in his latest report about carbon-induced drought, floods and catastrophic bushfires.
As commissioners tried to explain the science behind global warming, many refused to accept there were not equally valid opposing arguments.
“It’s not entirely right that it is all doom and gloom,” Prof Flannery said.
In a forum billed as a “conversation”, he said: “This really is your evening – we are here to engage with you and answer your questions.”
One member of the audience asked about the carbon tax but Prof Flannery said: “We don’t want to comment on government policy.”
One young woman broke down in tears as she asked whether people had a future, and if not, how long they had.
Commissioner Will Steffen said much would depend on the stability of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and stabilising greenhouse gases as soon as possible.
“It doesn’t look good when you look at the long-term trend,” he said.