After 15 years living quietly on the beautiful far south coast of NSW, writer Jo Dodds found herself thrust into activism by a series of unpredicted events. Her first lightbulb moment came when she objected to the removal of a number of magnificent eucalyptus trees from a local park and as a result ended up running for local council. With few resources she achieved a seat on council at her first attempt. But despite having been a founding member of Tathra renewable energy community group Clean Energy For Eternity Jo then found herself avoiding talking about the critical issue of climate change.
Her reluctance to speak up was challenged in March 2018 after a devastating bushfire tore through her local area and destroyed 69 homes. Narrowly escaping without losing her own home Jo realised that there was no time to spare and that action to reduce the threats of catastrophic climate change was urgent. She started to speak out, name the industries that do the most damage to the climate, and urge others to do the same.
Today she combines her work in mental health, in local government and in climate activism to fight for climate justice and recognition of the effects on human and natural systems. She is currently working on a book about the 2018 fire and her own adventure into accidental activism and why she felt compelled into silence and then into speaking up. She hopes her work will support other people taking action on issues to which they feel deeply connected.
January 24th, 2019 | 52 mins 2 secs
350.org, bushfire, climate change, climate fire, local politics, new south wales, politics, sustainability, tathra, tathra fires, wildfire
Mark talks to Jo Dodds, city councilor in the Bega Valley Shire, on New South Wale's Sapphire Coast, an outspoken proponent for greater action on climate change, and critic of the current Australian government.