Breaking The Ice

Meet the people behind the climate science.

Who are the climate scientists? How are they coping with the stress of researching the most controversial topic on earth? Are they cracking up or staying ice cool? Join Anthony Sharwood on May 22 for part one of Breaking the Ice, a series of intimate conversations with the people behind the climate science.

You don't want to know just how much native forest Australia is clearing every day since state laws were recently slackened. You really don't want to know what this deforestation is doing to koala populations, to the Great Barrier Reef catchment, and to the CO2 equation which is so crucial to curbing dangerous climate change. But in case you do want to know, Wilderness Society forest guru Gemma Plesman is here to fill you in.

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Here's a thing we bet you never knew. There are at least 25 glaciers in the world's tropical regions, right near the equator. There's even one way up high in the mountains of Indonesia. But these equatorial icefields are melting, and they're melting fast. Why does this matter? Adventurer, conservationist and coffee addict Tim Jarvis explains all.

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Two people walk into a bar. One is a dismisser of climate science, the other an advocate for taking the science seriously and finding positive solutions. So who gets a drink first? We didn't put that question to Amanda McKenzie, CEO of Australia's Climate Council. But we did ask her who's winning the climate culture wars, and her answer was amazingly upbeat.

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Charlie Prell runs 800 sheep on his property. He’s also hosting wind turbines on his land, and has come up with a fantastic way to share the revenue with nearby farmers. Charlie’s opinion of politicians who hold back on renewable energy development? Well, let’s just say there are people in power who are much, much less intelligent than sheep.

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How did climate science become such a polarised issue? In Part 2 of our chat with climate science communications guru John Cook, we chart the transformation from a Republican White House which sought to combat climate change (under George H. W. Bush) to a divisive world of entrenched climate tribalism. Fortunately, John's got a trick or two to help get us all on the same page.

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