I went and listened to Anna Rose speak today. She is a young climate activist who co-founded and chairs the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). She was also featured in the documentary/reality show that was produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation titled I Can Change Your Mind About Climate. She and former Finance Minister Nick Minchin, on opposite sides of the ‘climate debate’, took each other to their pick of sources for their side of the argument, to see if they could convince each other of their perspective.
What an inspiring young woman (the AYCC actually strikingly shows considerable young female leadership). I also find her to be a lovely, committed, a great listener and speaker, a clear presenter and obviously (together with others in the AYCC) as pretty damn good at organising a political movement and campaigns. THIS is where hope lies. And pragmatism, as Anna said today, “I have to have hope, people won’t join a movement without hope”. Pragmatic hope, strategic optimism.
The tutorials that I taught today were coincidentally on coverage of global crises such as climate change in the media. We discussed the idea of ‘false balance’, where the journalistic norm of balance actually means that those who support a minority view from a scientific perspective are given a disproportionate amount of airtime.
The premise of I Can Change Your Mind About Climate has been criticised as itself providing a false balance, which I think stands. However, this is where the AYCC wants to step in and educate people about the science, and how to talk to others about the science. Anna’s talk today is a part of a three-month tour to promote her book and present on this topic. The book is called Madlands and is about her experience of doing the documentary. You can get it from the AYCC site.
In a broader sense this connects with thoughts and feelings about hope, depression, choices, and work. Those thoughts are a little more embryonic. And maybe there is no one right approach, maybe humans just do get hopeful, depressed, overwhelmed, alarmed at different moments, particularly in response to global crises. In the meantime, it’s about making chocies and doing work, and being occasionally peppered with a little hope.