Podcast 98, COURAGE! HOW TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE FREAKOUT, WITH ACTIVIST ANNA ROSE
EPISODE 97 FEATURES CLIMATE ACTIVIST ANNA ROSE
How are you doing with all this climate news? Is it getting you down? This Episode to the rescue! It's all about climate hope and how we can feel more courageous and positive about our activism.
Meet climate activist, Anna Rose. She started forming environmental groups when she was a school kid. By the time she was at university, she, and her friend Amanda McKenzie, cofounded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which today has more than 150,000 members (Clare tells this story in Rise & Resist). Anna has been involved in leadership for Earth Hour, is on a bunch of important academic advisory boards and today works with an organisation called Farmers for Climate Action. But the reason you need to listen to her is that Anna has a long view on how to stay motivated with our activism . She talks about "hope as a strategic decision" and reminds us that we all have difference capacities that "it's only called impossible until it's done."
“Often I don’t feel brave, but I have to do things that I know are important,” she says. "I see courage as a muscle we can build up over time."
In this upbeat, inspiring conversation, we discuss where to begin, why courage is important, how to foster it and how we can use it to change the world.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT…
Clare’s Vogue story on How to Deal with Eco-Anxiety. “Sometimes I cry about the koalas. Mostly, though, I’m too busy doing to allow the existential crisis to take hold…We can all take steps to fight climate change, and cumulatively, these do make a difference. We can give our votes to politicians who prioritise climate action, lobby governments and local councils, or stand for office ourselves. We can switch to a green energy supplier, divest our funds from fossil fuel companies and pressure institutions to do the same.
If we’re in business, we can steer those businesses towards positive purpose. If we’re employed by others, we encourage them in that direction, too. ” Read it in full here.
Start where you are is Anna’s advice for acting in climate change. “Figuring out where you can make the best impact can feel like a daunting task,” she says. “Start where you are is the best way in.” That might mean starting with small changes in your school or office, changing the way you approach waste at home, even something as simple as Meat Free Monday or walking to work one day a week. Wherever you are on this journey, start there. No action is too small to carry meaning.
AMAZON ON FIRE. As of September, there had been more than 74,000 fires across Brazil this year, and nearly 40,000 fires across the Amazon. That represents the fastest rate of burning since record-keeping began in 2013.
AUSTRALIA’S RATE OF DEFORESTATION is among the worst in the world, according to WWF. And the state with the highest rate of land clearing is Queensland. In that state, in 2015-16, about 395,000 hectares of native vegetation were cleared. That can be hard to visualise, but it's an area roughly the size of Sydney or Melbourne.
PERMAFROST MELTING IN THE ARTIC By definition, permafrost is ground that remains frozen for two or more years. Since frozen soil, including permafrost, comprises a large percentage of substrate materials other than ice, it thaws rather than melts even as any ice content melts.
COURAGE is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into your challenge zone and figuring out how you can exercise your power to make progress on these issues,” says Anna. The French route of the word courage is la coeur, which means heart. “We have to be guided by our heart in being brave.” The other part of the word - rage. “We should be angry [about what’s going on with our climate] That doesn’t mean we have to act in a way that is angry and alienating people, but in terms of what drives us, heart and rage has a place.”
“Often I don’t feel brave, but I have to do things that I know are important,” says Anna. She sees courage as a muscle we can build up over time. “Certainly sometimes I’m lying there bed in the morning, I’m hit with everything i need to do. So it’s a choice, a choice we make ever day to not just get out of bed but to use our abilities and our networks, our influence unique skills and and talents to try to make this world a better place. We all have a diff capacity to do that. Making that choice to dedicate at least some of your time to tackling the climate crisis is so important.”
PAUL HAWKEN’S DRAWDOWN describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. Find the book here.
HOPE AS A STRATEGIC DECISION “I decided when I was a kid, yes there are awful things happening and probably will be for a long time, but I am going to choose that it’s not too late,” says Anna. Clare mentions REBECCA SOLNIT’s wonderful book Hope in the Dark.
VANDANA SHIVA is an Indian eco-feminist. The quote Anna mentions is…
“I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned …to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you.”
The BILL MCKIBBEN book we mention is The End of Nature. DIVESTMENT Read McKibben’s Rolling Stone article here.
CATALYSTS NOT LEADERS? Read the Rebecca Solnit article Anna mentions here.
Find Decolonising Solidarity here.
SEED is Australia’s is first Indigenous youth climate network - a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice in collaboration with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. More info here.
A NOTE ON OUR MUSIC: IT IS BY OUR FRIEND MONTAIGNE, WHO SANG A SPECIAL ACOUSTIC VERSION OF "BECAUSE I LOVE YOU" JUST FOR US. IT'S FROM HER ALBUM GLORIOUS HEIGHTS.
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