Where in the world are you?
What do you do in the world?
Environmental scientist and behaviour changer
In one sentence, what is climate change?
The response to human hubris and the belief that we can subjugate nature and the laws of thermodynamics by blindly following the fantasy of unlimited economic growth in a resource-constrained world.
How does climate change affect your life?
I am a coral reef scientist by training and my favourite things, namely marine creatures, are under threat of going extinct. This makes me unbelievably depressed, angry and sad especially seeing us biologists have warned of this happening for 20 years and totally foresaw it to be particularly bad in this year's El Niño. There is a new disorder recognised called 'pre-traumatic stress disorder' and it affects environmental and climate scientists who have foreseen this catastrophe but have been ignored or even vilified for it.
What do you feel you can do about it?
Continue to fight with my expertise as an environmental scientist and behaviour changer. I lead a global research project on how to change Behaviour Changers' behaviours. I believe that is one important step we need to make to create the systemic change that is needed.
Do you feel there is more you could do? If so, what is stopping you from doing those things?
I am flying a lot for my work and to date there aren't effective enough tools to make up for the importance of face-to-face workshops with Behaviour Changers.
What's your favourite Sunday afternoon activity?
Rambling around the South Coast in Wellington, or hanging out in the garden with my cats and chickens. If it's bad weather, playing games with friends.
Extra for experts: Do you remember how you first became active in climate change?
Was there something specific that triggered you to act? How old were you then? How old are you now?
I always knew I wanted to be a marine biologist to save the ocean from human activity. I heard about global warming when I was about 13 in school and realised it was a massive threat to our environment. As soon as I started studying coral biology in 1996, I was confronted with issues around warming sea surface temperatures causing bleaching and the discovery of ocean acidification.
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