Does thinking about climate change for more than 0.2 seconds make you break out in anxiety sweats and start chafing? Same! But Tessa de Josselin is hoping to assuage some of that with her climate poddy The Nature Between Us. Good for everyone who wants to learn more about the climate without sending themselves into a panic spiral.
The aim of The Nature Between Us is to demystify environmental issues, particularly for the young people who’ll be most affected by it.
It’s a cause de Josselin’s been interested in her whole life. She studied geosciences in uni and began her career as an environmental planner. Then, she moved into acting — you might recognise her from Home and Away and Dead Lucky or for her voice acting work.
De Josselin is studying a Masters of Environment and Climate Emergency, which she started in 2019.
“I was engaging in all these really interesting conversations in my tutorials and [I] was exposed to a lot of really interesting resources ,” she told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
During her course there’s been an emphasis on solutions and positive messaging, which she felt she wasn’t receiving in mainstream media.
“Everyone was like, ‘oh, isn’t that depressing, you’re doing a Masters of climate emergency’. And I was like, actually, it’s the opposite. I’m finding it so liberating and it’s filling me with so much hope.”
De Josselin began putting together documentary screenings and panel discussions. When the big C (COVID-19, not climate change) hit Australia in 2020, she was inspired to turn her knowledge into a podcast.
“Podcasts are great. They’re so accessible and they’re archived forever. I guess it was kind of a progression from having those conversations already and then just recording them,” she explained.
“[It turned] them into something that was more accessible and will stay alive for a longer time.
“It was really just something for me to be sharing the stuff that I was already learning and really enjoying. I guess [it was] also a way for me to reach out to really interesting people and to chat to them!”
Season two of the poddy launched at the end of April. And if you’re looking for a place to start, Tessa de Josselin reckons the first episode of the season is a great spot.
In the ep, she chatted to Anna Rose, co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and Groundswell Giving.
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Tessa de Josselin described the episode as “a really pivotal one” for the run-up to the election.
“It’s full of lots of really clear information about the election and the way Australia needs to respond in terms of climate change. For someone entering, if they’re having climate anxiety, that is a really good episode to lead with,” she explained.
One of her goals is tackling climate anxiety. It’s particularly prescient considering we’re in a critical decade for reducing global warming.
“I think having the urgency in that timeframe, it does kind of just add an extra layer of ‘we’ve got to get things going’. Every setback or every failing by our Government just feels extra heavy,” she said.
“[Climate change] is so massive and layered and complex that it’s a really difficult thing to be like ‘as an individual, we can do something about this’.
“Especially when it does really come down to at the moment the Government, and policies and big business and corporations reducing their pollution. So I get why it feels really stressful.”
She has three main goals for the podcast. One is that it gives people the tools and knowledge to engage in the conversation. The second is that it connects people with positive solutions and messaging about the environment. And the third is sparking a new appreciation for the world around us.
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Each of the episodes has a unique focus, whether it’s climate law, Indigenous land management, liveable cities or performance art during climate change.
While each of the episodes focuses on something different, de Josselin said she’s starting to see links between them.
“I feel like the coolest thing is seeing how they all actually linked. You might not have realised prior like, ‘oh, how would they really be affecting each other?” she explained.
“I think for me it’s kind of like a big jigsaw puzzle. I’m slowly being able to piece them all together and see how one would affect the other.”
The Nature Between Us is ultimately a hopeful project. I reckon that’s something we could all benefit from.
“We do have the answers, and we’re moving in the right direction,” Tessa de Josselin said.
“If people have climate anxiety then tune in — because we’re all going through it.”