Hear David Suzuki and some of Australia’s leading environmentalists reflect on the successes and failures of the environment movement.
The environmental movement in Australia was the first in the world to become a political movement and Australia was home to the world's first Green Party. Australian public opinion and policies have been swayed in the past on crucial issues such as land conservation and nuclear power, but what about climate change?
What is the environmental movement doing right and where is it failing? At a packed theatre at Melbourne’s “Sustainable Living Festival”, an extraordinary line up of panelists debate how the environmental movement can best negotiate the most critical global issue it has faced to date... climate change.
This event was moderated by the wickedly funny host of the SBS TV show “Rock Wiz”, Julia Zemiro.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne.
For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the executive director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University (majoring in history, psychology and pure mathematics) and an economics degree from the University of Sydney (majoring in economics and government, with first class honours in the former). He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex with a thesis titled "Capitalist Industrialisation in Korea."
He has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. They include Growth Fetish (2003), Affluenza (with Richard Denniss, 2005), What's Left: The Death of Social Democracy (2006), Silencing Dissent (edited with Sarah Maddison, 2007) and Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change (2007). His latest book, titled The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics, was published by Allen & Unwin on 1 August 2008.
In June 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to public debate and policy development, and in December 2009 he was the Greens candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Higgins.
Professor Ian Lowe AO is President of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He has degrees in engineering and physics. He is currently emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University in Brisbane, an adjunct professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University. The author of 20 books and more than 500 other publications, Professor Lowe's contributions to environmental science have won him a Centenary Medal, the Eureka Prize for promotion of science, the Prime Minister's Environment Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, the Queensland Premier's Millennium Award for Excellence in Science, and the University of NSW Alumni Award for achievement in science. Professor Lowe was named Humanist of the Year in 1988 and made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001. Professor Lowe was elected ACF President in 2004.
Christine Milne was elected to represent Tasmania at the 2004 federal election and joined the Greens Senate team on 1 July 2005. She was elected Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens in 2008.
Senator Milne is a leader in the environment in Australia and overseas. She has a long involvement in community activism and politics, beginning with the Franklin River campaign. Then she led the successful campaign to protect Tasmania's farm lands from the impacts of the proposed Wesley Vale Pulp Mill in the late 1980s.
Christine represented the electorate of Lyons in the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1989 to 1998, and was leader of the Tasmanian Greens Party from 1993 to 1998.
Senator Milne is also a United Nations Global 500 Laureate and was a Vice-President of the IUCN (World Conservation Union) from 2005-08.
Anna works with Make Believe clients to devise effective campaign
strategies. Anna co-founded and remains Chair of the Australian Youth
Climate Coalition and is the 2009 Environment Minister’s joint ‘Young
Environmentalist of the Year’. Anna was also climate campaigner for
Previously, Anna worked with the National Union of Students and
coordinated students at over 37 campuses to win campus-based clean
energy victories. She co-authored the book ‘Future by Us’ and is a
regular opinion writer on climate and energy issues. Anna has spent
significant time in the United States, including working on the Obama
She holds a 1st class honours degree in Arts (Asian Studies)/ Law
from the University of Sydney, is a Fellow of the International Youth
Foundation, sits on the board of the Foundation for Young Australians’
‘Young Social Pioneers’ Program, and holds an Australian Leadership
Award from Australian-Davos connection.
Anna was named one of Sydney’s 100 Most Influential People by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2009 and is a 2010 Churchill Scholar.
Philip Sutton is Convener of the Greenleap Strategic Institute (a non-profit environmental strategy think tank and advisory organisation promoting the very rapid achievement of global and local ecological sustainability), Convenor of the Climate Emergency Network, co-founder of Safe Climate Australia and past-President of the Sustainable Living Foundation and the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics.
Most recently Philip co-authored Climate Code Red, which puts forward a case for emergency action on climate change. Philip was also the architect of the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act passed in Victoria in 1988.
geneticist and broadcaster David Suzuki is the Foundation's co-founder
with Tara Cullis. He is familiar to audiences around the world as host
of CBC TV's long-running series, The Nature of Things.
From 1969 to 2001 he was a faculty member at the University of British
Columbia, and is currently professor emeritus. He has authored over 40
books, and is widely recognized as a world leader in sustainable
Dr. Suzuki has received numerous awards for his work, including
a UNESCO prize for science, a United Nations
Environment Program medal, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
has 22 honorary doctorates from universities in the USA,
Canada, and Australia. For his support of Canada's First Nations
people, Dr. Suzuki has been honored with six names and formal adoption
by two tribes.
Multi-talented performer and writer, Julia Zemiro, is well recognised as the host of the SBS TV show Rockwiz. She is an outstanding comedian, and fans of Totally Full Frontal will recall the 20+ characters she portrayed through two seasons of the acclaimed comedy series.
French-born Australian and graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Julia has been a regular on Australian television and film screens, receiving many accolades. Twice, she has picked up the Best Actress Award at Tropfest (The Extra and Muffled Love). She also received the coveted title of 'Australia's Brainiest TV Star'.
The bubbly actress, comedian and radio personality also has a love of music. Through her success in the show "It Takes Two," Julia brought back ABBA hits, as well as a touch of French pop! Combining her passions, Julia dressed up for "Eurobeat," delighting audiences in the musical satire based on the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2009, Julia became the new face of Eurovision in Australia, hosting SBS' coverage of the event.
David Suzuki expresses his hope that environmentalism will be absorbed into the public consciousness. “Environmentalism
s4houldn’t be a specialty, or an area of expertise,” says Suzuki. “It’s a way of
seeing ourselves in the world, and seeing that we are utterly dependent on the
natural world for our survival and well-being.”