Tatler House Stories: A Panel Discussion on Climate Change in Asia
On May 18, Tatler held its first in-person House Stories event of the year at the Sky Lounge at The Upper House
Eric Wishart and Rebekah Wishart
When? May 18, 2022
Where? The Sky Lounge at The Upper House
Here’s what you missed: On May 18, Tatler held its first in-person House Stories event of the year at the Sky Lounge at The Upper House. The panel explored the specific challenges Asia faces when it comes to climate change, and the occasion marked the series’ return to in-person programming after months of strict social distancing measures.
Moderated by Tatler’s deputy editor, Lauren James, the panel included Hong Kong-based landscape photographer Kelvin Yuen; Sandy Song, assistant director of the development, research, and administration branch of the Hong Kong Observatory; and Natalie Chung, leading climate advocate, Gen.T honouree and co-founder of social enterprise V’Air.
Song, who has spent her career chronicling the change in weather patterns, dived right into the hard truths: “As a meteorologist, I’m very worried about climate change. Climate change is happening now. In Hong Kong, we are breaking temperature records every year and the trend is accelerating. We are also seeing heavy precipitation, rising sea levels and increased threats of storm surges. Worldwide, green houses gas concentrations are at their highest levels in 2 million years. The situation does not look good,” she told the assembled audience.
Chung agreed and recalled a quote by celebrated Hong Kong explorer Rebecca Lee that had inspired her on her journey: “‘Climate change is like the earth being trapped in a microwave with continually rising temperatures on the verge of exploding’. That image has stuck in my mind ever since. I knew I needed to commit to solving the climate crisis.”
Members of the audience were able to view Yuen’s awe-inspiring photos during a presentation—from stills taken at the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark to the northern lights in Norway and the peaks of El Chalten in Argentina. Though his stills are beautiful, climate change is having very real effect on his work: “I can’t come back [to a site] and take the same photo twice. For example, the glaciers in Iceland have shrunk,” he said, proving how fleeting these sights really are and how urgent the need is to protect them.
Other topics discussed included the challenges of communicating climate change to the public, cutting-edge research projects and how climate change will affect each of their three disciplines.
- PhotographyAnna Koustas