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.

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.

climate change climate science wind power sheep farming


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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Climate science communications expert John Cook wrote the renowned 2013 study which showed that a whopping 97 percent of climate scientists are in consensus about the theory of human-caused climate change. But how can we spread the consensus to people who just won't accept the science? In part one of our two-part chat, John is here to show the way.

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When Australian National University climate scientist Sophie Lewis wrote a column saying why she could never in good conscience have children, it sparked heated debate. Now, one month before she goes on maternity leave, she explains why she's ecstatic to be bringing a child into a warming world.

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