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Podcast episodeCover image for of How on Earth: Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut on Climate Solutions Now

The Wheeler Centre

How on Earth: Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut on Climate Solutions Now  /  Climate change & weather

Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut at the Wheeler Centre

Christiana Figueres, the architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, sees the 2020s as a critical moment of opportunity – the ‘golden decade’ – in the future of our species and our planet. 

Earlier this year, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change said: ‘If we do the right thing this decade, we can continue to design the future but if we don’t, we are really condemned to a world of increasing destruction, conflict and pain ... It is a golden ten years in the history of humankind.’

In this episode, Figueres is joined by distinguished Australian climate economist Ross Garnaut. With his new book, Superpower, about energy economics in Australia, Garnaut brings a message of optimism, opportunity and urgency, too. ‘We have unparalleled renewable energy resources,’ he has written. ‘We also have the necessary scientific skills.’

After the chaos and failure of the Copenhagen talks in 2009, Figueres spearheaded a historic agreement of 196 nations at Paris – an achievement few believed was possible. Garnaut has been a household name in Australia since his prescient report on the economics of climate change to the Commonwealth Parliament in 2008.  

Hear these two peerless heavyweights in conversation as they discuss reasons for hope and roadmaps for change, with host Andrew Wear.

Looking for an Auslan-interpreted version? Check out the video.

 
Podcast episodeCover image for of Samantha Power on Influence and Idealism

The Fifth Estate

Samantha Power on Influence and Idealism  /  Defence, military & war

How does a person navigate the change from activist outsider to influential insider? How do you balance idealism and pragmatism under pressure?

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Samantha Power has had to navigate these questions first-hand. From a troubled childhood in Dublin to a career as a war correspondent then academic, she landed at the heart of American politics in 2005 – when her critiques of US foreign policy drew the attention of Barack Obama. She joined his team, eventually becoming a senior human rights adviser. 

After an early misstep (she branded Hillary Clinton ‘a monster’, and lost her job over the incident), Power served in the White House’s National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. In 2013, she was appointed to the coveted position of US Ambassador to the United Nations. 

As she reveals in her newest book, The Education of an Idealist, the intensity of her work was matched by personal struggle – trying to start a family, then raising young children; dealing with anxiety attacks and her own painful childhood. Power has been celebrated for her skill and influence, and has proudly worn the title of activist. She has also drawn sharp criticism from some quarters, particularly in her advocacy for ‘humanitarian intervention’, and her arguments for US action or inaction in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

In conversation with Sally Warhaft, Samantha Power discusses the complexity of decision-making, the tensions between activism and power, and the reconciliation of past and future.

Sally Warhaft and Samantha Power

Anything and everything in Activism from across our archives.

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