By Carbon Landscapes co-director Dr Steven Enticott
“There’s a sense of screaming into the ether when it comes to global action on climate change. People are even saying they won’t be having children because they’re worried about making future plans.”Dr Rhonda Garad
With Australians inheriting, in climate change, the greatest existential crisis faced by any generation, “eco-anxiety” is not just another buzzword.
My own sister, Dr Joanne Enticott - who along with Dr Rhonda Garad and Dr Rebecca Patrick - was part of a team of university researchers whose recent, well-publicised survey of almost 5,500 Australian adults pointed to an alarming widespread level of concern. Click here for our own one-on-one interview with the team.
Dr Garad’s comment, above, highlights the gravity of eco-anxiety, its effects on mental health and its pervasiveness within all sectors of society.
Described as a looming health crisis, a raft of new studies – locally and internationally – highlight how acute the issue has become.
The Australian Medical Association too has joined a long list of other medical organisations around the world recognising climate change as a health emergency.
When I and Carbon Landscapes co-founder Chris Pitfield saw an opportunity to be at the forefront of a new era of private conservation – as well as tackling the twin issue of climate change – we predicted that in as little as 10 years from now every Australian business will have a “climate” or “biodiversity” project.
Not only does it make sense ethically, but with consumers and workers increasingly seeking out environmentally responsible businesses, it’s also good for the bottom line.
I absolutely agree with Dr Garad’s assessment of the collective Australian psyche when she talks about a “sense of screaming into the ether when it comes to global action on climate change”.
The time to come together on the issue is now, and while governments throughout the world obviously have an important role to play, there’s also much we can – and should - do as businesses and individuals.
2022 is already shaping up as a year of milestones here at Carbon Landscapes:
Of course, none of this would be possible with our close ties and partnerships with a host of scientific and ecological experts, including the not-for-profit conservation organisation Odonata, Trust For Nature, Nature Glenelg Trust, Parks Victoria , and Zoos Victoria.
Call it obsession, but I’ve never done things by halves.
That includes an interest in the country’s wild spaces as well as their welfare. My family were pioneers of the private conservation movement 50 years ago, most notably bolstering the biodiversity of a large tract of wilderness at Stony Rises (pictured above) near the Otways.
From a very young age I really began to connect and understand the wonder of the Australian bush – laying the foundations for Carbon Landscapes as well as a way of life.
On a whim at aged 17, I “escaped” from Victoria and made my way to Katherine in the Northern Territory. Along the way, I became immersed in its sweeping horizons and cathedral of stars – often just sitting and “being” in those vast spaces.
These days, you’d probably call it “forest bathing” (or Shinrin-yoko in Japanese). Regardless, it’s an experience that has never left me and is part of who I am.
These days, I’m exceedingly fortunate to be able to “escape” to the bush three times or 4 days a week, travelling to a second workplace at Foster in the South Gippsland.
It’s where I find the antidote to the “compression” produced by daily life – with the region’s expansive spaces more than just a metaphor for “opening” back up again.
In fact, the whole extended family looks forward to getting out amongst creation whenever we can. As the photo below, taken on a trail through South Gippsland, it’s where we’re in our element.
To find out more about what we’re doing, or to help us tackle climate change and restore biodiversity, become a Carbon Landscapes member. You can contact us on 1300 242 829, via email or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carbonlandscapes/