Preparing for Heat Waves In a World Primed to Cook
Are we there yet? Have people finally cottoned on to the idea that maybe, things aren’t going so well for the planet and our place in it? Storms, up; floods, up; fires, up; droughts, up; people being displaced by climate events, up. The signals are all around us.
And yet, as a species we struggle to respond fully, deliberately to emerging crisis UNLESS we are viscerally involved. Many of us simply do not know what it means to experience a heat wave event or a flood or poverty until, well, we’re in that state. The paradox – is that until we’re involved, we’re not engaged enough to fully think about what we might do, and that is a huge risk when you’re talking about the welfare of people.
Which is why scenarios are a brilliant way of bringing people to an understanding beyond the spreadsheet data. You aim to make your scenario as neurologically rich as you can, engaging as many senses as you can to help your participants get into the headspace that allows them to appreciate what might be possible. In that space of ‘experience’ they’re able to make better decisions in ADVANCE of when an event might occur.
Coming up in September I’m facilitating the Heat Health Scenario for the City of Greater Dandenong (CGD) as they explore how ready they are to deal with a long standing heat event, who they will have to assist, and what capabilities and other agency resources they may have to draw on to deal with what is a clear survival issue for their residents. It’ll be in a different format from others I’ve conducted for the Dairy Industry, Defence Industry, Manufacturing sector, Waste sector and more. We’ll use the minds of people on stage to advance the narrative in more ‘immediate time’ and help push our thinking as far as we can go to find what gaps might exist in their planning.
What’s significant about this for a Council is that they’re inviting a whole range of other experts from outside Council to help them understand what is and isn’t possible. And using the Drum Theatre as the staging grounds allows a few neurologically engaging elements to be brought into play. It’ll be a challenging day for all both on and off stage stage.
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