#51 PROTECTING OUR NATURAL
VALUES FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
WITH MICAH VISOIU
"It comes back to the whole theory about your sphere of influence, and I guess your sphere of non-influence. We all just need to do what we can and to tread as lightly as we can as individuals, in terms of climate change mitigation and cutting carbon emissions. But also in terms of impacting your sphere of influence... by letting the powers-that-be know that climate change is an issue for you. If you are doing your bit and then they are doing their bit, then that is when we will really make the difference that we need to make."
Micah Visoiu joins me on the podcast today to discuss the impact that climate change is having on our natural values, specifically in the World Heritage Area of Tasmania. As you will now be well aware, the threat of climate change absolutely terrifies me and it is into this fear that I have leant today, using it to motivate me to understand what the risk is of climate change on our lifestyles, our food sources, the futures of our children, and now, our pristine natural values. I wanted to tap into Micah’s extraordinary knowledge and respect for Tasmania’s living species, to understand what we have to gain but also to lose.
Micah currently works for the Natural & Cultural Heritage Division of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. In his words, he is a ‘non-specialised specialist’ contributing work to provide context, advice and scientific grounding for the management of the Tasmanian Reserve estate managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. His overarching area of interest is Tasmanian biogeography and ecology in the wholistic sense. The main focus of Micah’s work in recent years has been in the way that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and our island’s natural values in general, might respond and adapt to climate change. He has also maintained an interest in the Macquarie Island World Heritage Area and was involved in the biosecurity fruit fly scare and largescale wild fires that effected the State over the past 12-months.
Micah graduated from the University of Tasmania with majors in plant sciences, geography and environmental studies. However, he also maintained a strong interest in zoology and geology throughout his studies. His honours project explored the Tasmanian wetland communities. So, it is from this strong academic background that he has launched his career. However, Micah is also a child of wilder northern Tasmania and has been strongly influenced by his mother’s conservation values. Now a parent himself, he strives to understand the natural world around him so that he can help protect it for the children of today and tomorrow.
I loved this conversation with Micah. But as you will hear, I am not a guru in this field and perhaps my questions are clunky and naive. But you know what? I think this is the challenge. We know the climate is changing. We hear about it each day in the news. But often we don’t ‘get it’, like I mean, really ‘get it’. So, despite my fear of not having enough experience to keep up with Micah’s expertise, I have just jumped off the deep end and into this podcast. I hope that you find it insightful and helpful as we all try to understand how we can step up for the planet and to be the change that we wish to see in the world.
"We have just got to do what we have got to do. We have reached that point where if we don't make the changes right now then we might be looking at a world which will be very, very different. Maybe we have already reached that point? It is hard to say as climate change is actually very hard to measure and we have reached territory where we haven't been before."
Topics covered in this podcast:
- Micah’s childhood growing up in Northern Tasmania and how he uncovered his calling
- The complexity of defining climate change
- The uniqueness of Tasmania and what is at stake with the onset of climate change
- The timeframes that we have to make change
- The severity of where we are at now and what the climate change models are telling us
- What needs to be done, by individuals but also by policy & change makers
- The predicted changes we are likely to see in Tasmania’s climate and natural values
- What Micah is focussing on in the face of all this knowledge
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