This site is where I will document not just my own journey towards living more sustainably but also the experiences of others. The plan is to write short blog posts on interesting developments in the realm of renewable energy, productive food gardening and addressing climate change, etc. And to profile those working within this sphere. Early days yet but as this all develops I will continue to add useful links and resources, along with some relevant samples of my published work.
Photo-journalism has always been a special interest for me, having grown up on a diet of National Geographic and wildlife documentaries, and I continue to love its ‘story telling’ role. With a background in biological sciences, my early work centred mainly around journalism and reporting, primarily for magazines and broadcast media, generally with a special interest in science and nature.
I have enjoyed writing for science and gardening magazines and working on shows like ‘Talk to the Animals’ with Dr Harry Cooper, doing feature stories on wildlife and meeting lots of salt of the earth people along the way. Sometimes my work would also branch off into general reporting or areas more foreign to me, like producing stories on women’s sport for SBS television … although I must admit that somehow the stories tended to morph into segments on the science of sport!
It has all been a very interesting journey … and great food for thought, as you never stop learning.
Over the past 15 years or so my work has evolved into science writing and editing for international scientific research institutions. I’ve really enjoyed assisting scientists and researchers from around the world (including places like Africa, Asia and South America), often with English as a second language, to prepare their work for publication or presentation at major conferences. I love what I do because I am forever meeting interesting people and learning about the important research that they do.
WHY THE BLOG?
A couple of key reasons … Journalism and communications have moved into the digital age. So it is time to get with the programme and I am seeing increasing value in what the blogosphere has to offer in terms of connecting people and sharing information. Another inspiration has been the work of climate protection advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Al Gore, the former Vice-President of the United States. In 2014 I was selected to do some training with Mr Gore in Melbourne. I had been following his work with great interest, since the release in 2006, of the Academy Award-winning documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and I was quite keen to gain more of an insight into the work that his Foundation (The Climate Reality Project climaterealityproject.org) has been undertaking in the intervening years.
As a science journalist, I accept the consensus science and research behind human induced climate change. My interest is particularly on the ‘solutions’ – those approaches designed to move us forward and help us to adapt and mitigate (that is, reduce the impact of and factors leading to) a changing climate. Attending the training really reinforced for me, the importance of effective science communication in helping to create a better informed public and a civil society better equipped to make decisions about the challenges we face and identify the best pathways forward.
The training programme also highlighted the importance of seeing this not just as a scientific issue but as an issue that affects each and every one of us, globally – socially, economically and politically. As a result, I am choosing to refocus my work, in alignment with my background and interests, to produce more stories about sustainability, including profiles on those who are getting on with this important work. I am really looking forward to sharing ideas, information and inspiration from the people that I will be meeting with, interviewing and photographing, as a way of highlighting the great work that is unfolding in this area.
Despite the challenges, I believe there are positive signs of change everywhere we look, reflecting the transition that is currently underway towards the creation of a more socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Change will not simply come from the top down and this is far too important an issue to just leave to our politicians. Change will come from the ground up, from people like you and me, and from every direction in between. Working together, in a shared direction, is what will enable transformation. This is not just for our sake but for the sake of our children and for future generations – those who stand to inherit the earth that we will leave behind for them.
This decade has been termed the Decade of Transition. We have the skills, technology and knowhow, we just need the social capital and political will, and this is continuing to build towards a critical mass – a tipping point if you like, as the climate system also heads towards some crucial tipping points.
As one of Australia’s leading atmospheric scientists, Prof David Karoly, points out, with the help of a Goldilocks cartoon, we can no longer offer the future generations that follow us, the climate system that we grew up with. There is no longer a “just right” option – the options now on the table are for “hot”, “hotter” or “boiling”. The changes we make now will determine our future and theirs. The choice is ours and the time is now. Welcome to the Transition Decade! I do hope that you will be part of this exciting journey.