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this week's podcast: climate, choices, and tim flannery on drawdown.

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hello dear ones.

first of all, microbiome before we go macro: thank you all for your incredibly helpful suggestions regarding my killer stomach bug. i finally ate some rice this morning and sabina - the earth angel who took me in yesterday - gave me a bottle of activated charcoal that she already had in store (she had the same stomach bug a few months ago). here's sabina showing ash how to light one of the real candles on her real christmas tree.

i should point out that i met sabina at the patron gathering on waiheke island.

this community holds me. thank you, sabina. i have no words.


speaking of no words....i have been thinking about the climate every day for the last nine months, since this strange new era of my life began, and mostly i've been wondering if progress has been as backburnered as i imagine is possible.

steps forward, steps back. less planes flying. but...trump. the paris agreement. the doomsday clock.

i know that september and october of 2019 seem like a lifetime away....i remember going to all those climate marches in europe and lying there in the belly of my gas-guzzling tour bus every night, slowly but surely considering all the choices i was making in my life. realizing, with a deep ache, that the way i was living was unsustainable on so many levels, small and large.

the math was just not adding up. and making a commitment to myself that come hell or high water, a lot of changes were overdue in a lot of departments.

then came the bushfires. and i knew for sure, as i saw the red clouds and wondered if ash was coughing because of the ash, that my approach to life was in for a massive change....when i got home.


when i got home.

i was supposed to get "home" in april.

last april. i was going to re-assess and clean everything, i was going to enjoy my cute little life in upstate new york with my nice marriage and my sweet child. ash was going to go to camp. i was going to learn how to garden and figure out how solar panels could work on our collection of houses in the middle of the woods, i was going to finally see about getting a rechargable car. i was going to start considering the hows and whys of travel, and i was scared at what it would all mean.

then the pandemic happened. 

"home" changed.

since april. my carbon footprint has never been lower in my life. in 2019, i probably boarded no less than 70 airplanes. i ate take-out food almost every day i was on tour, with the inevitable single-use plastics and plastic bags winding up in the garbage. it was bad.

over the past nine months - lockdown life, and then life-with-ash-as-a-solo-parent-in-a-farm-town - almost every meal i've eaten has been cooked in my home or someone else's home, and i've boarded about 6 small planes - to go to auckland for work, and to dunedin for my shows and patron parties down there (i still owe you photos. i'm behind).


i don't write about the climate crisis as much as i think about it. i think people are tired of the topic, bored of the blaring alarm: this is it. it's bad.

i watch and feel my readers' eyes glaze over when i start talking about it. 

and yet....

and yet.

there's no other planet to live on (shut up, elon musk. we know, we know.)


so.....i think this is perfect podcast to wind up 2020.....

on a note of hope.

people like tim flannery are out there, relentlessly working away at solutions to these impossible problems.

and even being in his presence for an hour, and remembering the work he's doing, is making me continue to rethink my own choices, and know they matter.

i still feel like i'm in for a massive lifestyle rehaul, and i don't even know what it means. but i feel it coming. it was, indeed, long overdue.

i'd love to hear from you all, in the comments here, how COVD/lockdown and the bizarre changing world around you has collided with your ability (or inability) to deal with the climate crisis. has anything become easier?


is it getting harder to care?

is it getting harder not to care?

talk to me. 

to each other.


here's what i wrote for the website:

When I met up with mammalogist, environmentalist, explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery in 2019, the world was a different place. Thanks to the work of activists like Greta Thunberg, humans were finally acknowledging climate change as a threat and policy makers taking note. There was more action, and more hope. Then 2020 happened and everything changed. The plight of the Great Barrier Reef and rising greenhouse gases pale almost to insignificance when you’re watching family, friends and neighbours suffer, but the negative effects of our presence on this planet continue relentlessly. 

Tim CARES so very much, and hearing him offer solutions to the greatest existential threat of our time may give you back some hope. As he says in the episode, ‘This isn’t a game. This isn’t about tribalism. It isn’t about identity. It isn’t about politics. You are threatening my children. So justify that, or get out of the way’.


first of all, if you wanna go deep, please watch tim's TED talk.

i was in the audience for this a few days before we did our podcast interview, at TED in edinburgh what, again, feels like a lifetime ago....

but it will give you some hope.


.....and here we are, me and tim, right after talking.


LISTEN TO THE PODCAST and SHARE it, please! for all of the podcast episodes are embedded on my website, including today's episode:


go here, select the podcast venue of your choice (i.e. apple podcasts), and click on the most recent episode.

it's all FREE to the public....BECAUSE PATRONAGE.



this handy linktree has a round-up of how to tune into the podcast on some of the most popular players. we will have the audio embedded on each episode post on my website:



The Art of Asking Everything, Season 1, Episode 14

Tim Flannery: The Need for Drawdown

(photo by Adam Bruzzoni)

Tim Flannery is an Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist, conservationist, explorer and public scientist. He has discovered more than 30 mammal species including a new type of tree kangaroos. Tim served as the Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission, a Federal Government body providing information on climate change to the Australian public. In 2013, Tim announced that he would join other fired commissioners to form the Independent Climate Council. Tim is a professorial fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. His books include The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers. His TED Talk is entitled, “Can Seaweed Help Curb Global Warming?”

In this episode we talk about the power of seaweed to draw down large greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, the vastness and unexplored nature of the Australian Outback, the death of The Great Barrier Reef, how different countries view the climate crisis, the convict roots of Australia and its effects on modern politics, the lack of climate change coverage in the mainstream media, how to be a leader on climate change in your own community, and the battle against tribalism and skepticism.






Tim has written a LOT of books, but we've started a thread on the shadowbox to discuss his latest book from this year, "The Climate Cure: Solving the Climate Emergency in the Era of COVID-19".....



Thanks to my guest, Tim Flannery, for all of the work he is doing in the world, and for taking the time to talk to me for this podcast.

For all the music that you heard in this podcast, you can go to

Many, many thanks, as always, to my incredible team. Hayley Rosenblum up first, who makes so many things possible, she’s the ghost in the machine in our Patreon, and she makes sure that so many things get done, words, pictures, my live chats, and so many things on the internet, I could not do this one without her, so thank you, Hayley.

My assistant Michael McComiskey makes sure that all of the trains run on time, and helps with correspondence, and scheduling, and makes all the things happen, so thank you, Michael.

My London Merch Queen Alex Knight is also helping transcribe these podcasts, so that the conversations are accessible to everyone, heartfelt thanks to Alex.

Kelly Welles, who is my new social media guru, and mastermind, she’s been doing a fantastic job, so thank you, Kelly.

And as always, my manager Jordan Verzar in Sydney, who brings everyone and everything together.

And last but not least, this whole shebang, this whole podcast, would not be possible without patronage. At current count, I’ve got between 14 and 15,000 people making it possible for this podcast to have no advertisement, no sponsors, no censorship, no corporate bullshit! We are just the media, doing our thing.

Many special thanks to my high-rolling patrons: Simon Oliver, Saint Alexander, Birdie Black, Ruth Ann Harnisch, Lella Cosgrove, and Robert W. Perkins. Thank you guys so much especially for putting so much money into this bank.

To all of my patrons: thank you for making it possible. For everyone who listened: thank you so much.



we've attached a pdf of the transcript of the podcast the patreon post. to view it, you can download it by visiting this patreon post on the web

(it's a hyperlink at the very bottom of the post with a little paper clip attachment symbol next to it)



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