Our Australian-based Climate Leaders spend their precious spare time talking to their networks about how to tackle climate change. This is the story of Santos employee and Brisbane-based Climate Leader Scott Shomer, whose work for The Climate Reality Project has helped change the attitudes and behaviour of hundreds of people around him.
“I never expected to end up working directly for an oil and gas company! For the past 22 years I have been cleaning up mines and petrochemical sites around the world. My role allows me to help guide a large corporation to reduce a significant footprint.
I am a strong believer that we all have a role to play in tackling the climate crisis. The MOST important thing I have discovered is that kids are pretty switched on about climate change posing an immense problem for their future. They get it and want to be part of the solution.
I spoke to 120 science teachers and school administrators at the Science Teachers Association of Queensland (STAQ) conference, where the people discuss the year’s science curriculum in primary schools. My presentation was titled ‘Think becoming sustainable is too difficult? Harness the power of children.’ It spun a story of what our generation and those before us have done to the planet and the cumulative effects we are living with now.
I started by looking at how unsustainable our communities are, and finished with showing the opportunities for science students to be part of a new energy revolution. It led to three more presentations to grade 7 students who have a theme of sustainability in their curriculum.
If each of us could energize one child to spend their life working on potential solutions, just think one of them may come up with a central solution to our problem. When I am presenting, in the back of my mind is my 7 year old boy and how I hope he is able to teach his son to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef - as I did him.
My message is that there is tremendous opportunity to be had by facing the challenge. We can do the same combating climate change if we simply decide it must be done.
In my presentations I hold up a copy of the Financial Review and ask people if we can find the value of gold, coal, silver, timber, pork bellies etc on any given day. I then ask them to find the value of clean water, nutrient rich topsoil, clean air, a stable climate and rich biodiversity – all the very things that make living on this planet possible do not yet have a value assigned.
The message is that it is easy to take for granted the things necessary for life, especially when they seemingly come for free.
The thing I love most is watching little nippers becoming activists at home. Parents tell me their child made them change all their light bulbs, shut off all their standby power and insist they walk to school. I LOVE that! It completely restores my hope budget!”
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm