Why the UN Climate Agreement is a Big Deal

First published on Mamamia 

Sunday morning, to the casual observer, looked like a normal weekend at our place. I walked outside, picked up the paper from our front yard and watered the hedge before the Canberra sun got too hot. My husband held our ten-week old son in the shade of the front porch.

But there was a spring in my step and a grin on my face that wasn’t there the day before. Because on Sunday, we woke up to a different world – one that I, and tens of thousands of environmentalists, had been working towards for over a decade.

In 2005, I was a delegate at the UN climate change talks in Montreal. Ten years later, the world finally has a legally binding agreement aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C by the end of the century (quick recap: burning fossil fuels has already warmed the world an average of 1 degree C over what temperatures were before the Industrial Revolution, causing those once-in-a-hundred year type extreme weather events to become the new normal).

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Introducing Robert Jackson Rose

Robbie climate action

OK, so I haven’t blogged for a long time. The little man is why! 2015 was a very, VERY busy year. I found out I was pregnant in January, gave birth to Robbie on October 2nd and have been adjusting to my new life as a parent since then. Oh, and also worked with my amazing team at WWF-Australia to deliver the best Earth Hour ever. And edited a cookbook, Planet to Plate. And helped build a network of farmers passionate about tackling climate change. And bought a house. Yep, it’s been a big year. Not much time for blogging. But I’ll try to do more now… when Robbie is sleeping (which is rare!).

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Appetite for Change Documentary

So, after the success of our 2014 documentary, which Channel Ten very kindly aired for us just before lights out, we decided to make another one in 2015. This one is close to my heart, and I’m very proud of it. It features some very amazing farmers that I’m proud to call my friends, and is all about the reason I got involved in climate change campaigning in the first place – the impact of extreme weather on food and farming. It was made by the amazing team at Woody. Enjoy!

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Book Reviews: My Year Without Matches, and Steve Jobs

Image from Claire's site www.claire-dunn.com/

Image of Claire Dunn from her site: http://www.claire-dunn.com/

Hello world! After more than a year, I’m writing on this blog again. And what better way to celebrate than by sharing the joy of two books I’ve recently read.

I’ve been sick with the flu this week – too sick to go to the office, to get out of bed, too sick to even eat much. But I can’t sleep all day long, so in the meantime (between intense bouts of coughing fits) I’ve read one of the thick books I’ve had on my shelf a while, Walter Isaacson’s epic biography Steve Jobs. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about another book I finished a few weeks back: Claire Dunn’s My Year Without Matches. Both are must-reads, for very different reasons.

My Year Without Matches

Claire Dunn’s book charts her year in the bush, surviving by making her own fire, shelter & food – and confronting some demons along the way. Dunn’s descriptions of her physical and psychological challenges are stunningly evocative. Her experience was so unlike anything I can imagine, yet her words are powerful enough to give readers an intimate sense of her experience: the sights, sounds, smells and feelings.

It’s Dunn’s range of emotions, and her honesty about them, that makes this book so intriguing. I often feel that in our urban, relatively easy lives we don’t actually know how we feel at all. That we aren’t even in touch with ourselves enough to know whether we’re drowning, swimming or surfing on happiness, sadness or other more complex emotions.

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Lights Out for the Reef doco

So when I started running Earth Hour Australia I wanted to do something different. Let’s make a documentary, I decided. Can’t be that hard…. HAHAHAHAHA.

It was hard.

But Channel Ten agreed to air it, the talented team at Woody (formerly Motion Picture Company) made it, YouTube superstar Natalie Tran co-starred with comedy band the Axis of Awesome… and in the end it was all worth it. Enjoy!

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Love Turtles?

Then  you’re going to love this post I wrote over at Junkee.com


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Our Reef Needs More Than An Hour

First published on Mamamia

I just got back with a team filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef and there really is only one word for what we saw: stunning.

From above, it looks like a blue desert speckled with green jewels. Under water, reef fish dart through bright coral canyons.

But no matter which way you look at it, our Great Barrier Reef is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth to the impacts of climate change. The breathtaking beauty of one of our most-loved national icons is not enough to save it.

Australia relies on the reef to support over 63,000 livelihoods, to sustain a fishing industry and to attract tourists.

Even if we’ve never been there, the fact that our country has stewardship over a reef that can be seen from space is part of our national identity. As Edward Abbey writes: “We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there… we need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.”

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