Author: Anika Molesworth
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia,
First published: August 2021
No matter what one’s position might be on the many variations of the Climate Change discussion, it is apparent that this well written book is a call from the heart for immediate action, with the author’s focus being – ‘How do we simultaneously achieve good health for people and our planet?’
Coming from a rural background herself, the author would be well aware that the issue of Climate Change is quite often a divisive one in the bush. Yet, despite this, the author makes her argument strongly and fearlessly.
The author’s academic training comes to the fore in the detailed descriptions of the various scientific aspects of Climate Change, the environment, agriculture, soil science and many other disciplines.
The meetings with fellow farmers in other parts of the world are illuminating in terms of explaining the variety of impacts of Climate Change and also humanity’s capacity to blemish often the world around us – from garbage tips to mine slag – we just can’t help ourselves.
However, despite these warnings, the book overall sounds a positive note about the ability of humans to change and to improve.
At the centre of this hoped for change is the need to manage far more carefully our production of food, and at the centre of that better management are farmers. The author goes to some lengths to describe the connection between farmers and the land they till and love. Their critical role in the all important food supply chain which keeps humanity going. Their awareness of the fragility of existence – ‘Time on a farm makes it clear how impermanent life can be and how closely we stand alongside death’.
Overall, and recognising the very significant issues raised by the author, the parts of the book which I enjoyed the most were the author’s descriptions of her family farm and the mystical relationship which develops between people and the land upon which they live. That feeling of being engulfed by, and becoming intertwined with, the nature around one.
Recommended reading for farmers, environmentalists, and anyone interested in seeing how the often seemingly inevitable divide between farmers and climate change advocates can be crossed.
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Hear Anika talk about Our Sunburnt Country