Show #101: Climate change facts and what we can do with Professor Will Steffen


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And onto this week’s show!

Ever been to a climate change talk or watched a documentary and felt heavy, powerless, despair? Well, this conversation is going to leave you feeling different – can do, ra ra and empowered. Sounds better?

Let me tell you a bit about Professor Will…

Will Steffen has a long history in international global change research, serving from 1998 to 2004 as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), based in Stockholm, Sweden, and before that as Executive Officer of IGBP’s Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems project.

Will was the Inaugural Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, from 2008-2012.  Prior to that, he was Director of the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society. From 2004 to 2011 he served as science adviser to the Australian Government Department of Climate Change. He is currently a Climate Councillor with the Climate Institute, and from 2011 to 2013 was a Climate Commissioner on the Australian Government’s Climate Commission; Chair of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee, Co-Director of the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) initiative and Member of the ACT Climate Change Council.

Professor Steffen’s interests span a broad range within the fields of sustainability and Earth System science, with an emphasis on the science of climate change, approaches to climate change adaptation in land systems, incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and the history and future of the relationship between humans and the rest of nature.

So: We have a wonderful scientist with a long list of accomplishments in his career that has spanned decades and the best part is that he so passionately and simply states the issues, shares and helps us understand the science, looks at the future projections and what you and I can do to keep on the good side of mother nature. I’ve wanted to do a show on climate change for a long while and finding Will has meant the perfect show embedded with the low tox values of empowered joyful change, rather than paralysis and overwhelm in the face of the world’s biggest issue. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you.


What questions do I ask Professor Will Steffen?

  1. What is a working week in the life of a climate scientist?

  2. The effects of climate change are being felt everywhere around the world yet it seems some of the biggest global powers and those at home, are driving fossil fuel burning and showing no sign of slowing down: what are some of the most recent alarming stats that confound you as to why they’re not listening?

  3. How has the rise of ‘fake news’ these past few years affected how you’re able to disseminate climate research / bring these issues to govenment?

  4. Clean coal: Dirty words: how do we effectively communicate with “you’re just being a hippy greenie leftie” relatives about why clean coal is simply NOT A THING.

  5. How fast are renewables being adopted globally? Who are the star performing countries in the climate change conversation and action taking? Is there data yet on the impact these changes are having to then form a stronger case for public to get behind and change govt’s minds through organised protest / voting etc?

  6. How can we step up as individuals and make an impact? What is a manifesto that we could all live by in our day to day lives that make us see an alarming doco / “polar ice caps” article or new research about oceans warming and feel deeply like we’re part of the solution?

Other helpful links?

Find out more about Professor Steffen and his work at


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Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

Comments 5

  1. Thanks for this inspiring podcast!

    I have loved coffee as long as I can remember but also suffer lactose intolerance (hello cramps, bloating and eczema breakouts). Despite this, I was addicted to milk. I would literally crave it at every meal. I switched to nut milk years ago to enjoy my morning coffee and did a LOT of experimentation with the different varieties and brands out there, but I still felt unwell after consuming it. I also didn’t like the additives (added sugar, stabilisers, some added gluten) and I felt silly for paying big bucks for products that were more or less 90% water. So I started experimenting in the kitchen and making my own. This was a step in the right direction. I loved how my milk tasted, and although my yield for dollar wasn’t great in comparison with the store bought milk, it felt really rewarding to make. Unfortunately though, sometimes my nut milk would curdle when I added my beloved shot of coffee. (I’d still drink it, in spite of my poor bod!) So unable to break up with my coffee crush, I did some research online a few months ago and decided to try making nut butter instead. It turned out wonderful. So I took it one step further and tried this simple combo: I blended my freshly brewed coffee with a tablespoon each of nut butter, cacao powder and coconut oil in my little smoothie blender and low and behold, IT TASTED INCREDIBLE and I FELT GREAT! Finally! This is now my beloved morning routine, I’ve never enjoyed my coffee more and thanks to this switch I’ve broken my milk addiction (actually I haven’t had any in the fridge for the past two months). I recommend this to anybody with milk/nut milk sensitivity or who has had issues with their milk curdling in acidic coffee. (P.S. I use organic mixed nuts – which I activate myself beforehand and simply add a few grinds of Himalayan sea salt while blending).

    1. After all that I forgot to say why I’d like to win! 🙂 I am working on putting together some recipes in a little blog that I hope will inspire creative people to live well. It would be amazing to work with Republica’s beautiful coffee when experimenting with some flavours as I usually have to wait till it’s on special in the supermarket! So thank you for the 30% off special 😀

  2. I would love to win this great coffee prize! This prize would be great because my year 12 son has started drinking coffee. He has been on the Republica instant decaf but he likes the ‘real’ coffee. If I could give him an organic product that he can put in his keep cup and take with him, then he won’t be spending money (usually my money) at the coffee shop and will save the cup going into landfill and the pod will bio degrade as quick as that orange peel! Winning all round.

  3. I love republica organic since you introduced me to them a while back – I even go to Coles to stock up every few weeks and am unhappy if they are out. I’ve converted my mum as well
    I’m Not sure how I would store a years supply though, I go through at least 2 bottles each week!

  4. So glad these guys are the show sponsors again! Discovered them the last time round but wasn’t ready to commit to 6 packs before trying it. Turns out 6 packs will only last me 6 weeks now days :). The most beautiful, delicious coffee. Would love a years supply (cannot even IMAGINE how good that would be!) as friends and family (and, actually, the builders) don’t even bring their own coffee anymore because they like my coffee so much. Figure we’re helping the planet too by reducing all those disposable coffee cups. Regardless, many thanks for the 30% off deal!

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