Scholar in Residence: Gwynne Dyer

On Wednesday, SMUS welcomed Gwynne Dyer, a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs. Mr. Dyer presented an hour-long talk in the gym to the entire Senior School on the topic of climate change.

Born in Newfoundland, Mr. Dyer received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a PhD in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London.

He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published by over 175 papers in more than 45 countries. Mr. Dyer’s current projects include a radio series on the long-term political and demographic effects of extreme climate change.

Mr. Dyer spoke with sincerity and passion on very important issues regarding the Earth’s changing temperatures. He addressed the “drought” in Australia as a major area of concern. “A drought has an end, but the lack of rain for Australia is normal now. This is climate change, because it’s the new normal,” explains Mr. Dyer.

He pointed out that both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are lobbying in their presidential campaigns to cut greenhouse gas emission by 80 per cent over 40 years. Their Republican counterparts vow to cut emissions down by only 50 per cent. Mr. Dyer suggested that Canada, along with many other countries, should lean toward nuclear power, as it is the cleanest form of energy. However, the nuclear power debate is causing a major rift within the environmental groups, who understand nuclear power provides cleaner energy than fossil fuel plants, but are concerned with the long-term effects of storing radioactive waste.

The question and answer period was relatively short, due to Mr. Dyer’s tight schedule, but the event left many students, staff and faculty with a new and informed view of the Earth’s problems.

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