The following partial transcript comes from interviews contained in this, unfortunately rather poorly put together youtube up-load.* For the sake of space, I’ve linked to the bios of each interviewee where possible. I’ll simply comment that the air of fatalism that comes across in the interviews chimes with every single conversation I’ve had with the smattering of marine biologists and biologists who I know and am in contact with.
Associate Professor Katrin Meissner (University of New South Wales)
I think for years I was really living in two different worlds. I was the scientist at work who was just objectively looking at numbers and then over years started to be more and more worried about my own life, but I separated it completely from my private life. I think that was a little bit of self protection. That doesn’t really work that well any more. In the past few years I carry this knowledge with me wherever I am.
Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (Research Fellow University of New South Wales)
I had conversation with my husband as these heatwaves were occurring in the summer going, are we doing the right thing? Is it right to bring kids into this world with me knowing how bad it’s going to be. There’s so much wrong with climate change, and there’s so many impacts that we’ve already looked into that I can’t change, that no-one can really change. It’s going to be bad. And it’s almost, why would you inflict that on someone?
I don’t like to scare people, but the future’s not looking very good.
Justin Ooger (Phd student University of Melbourne)
Whenever I talk to my wife about heatwaves, she gets scared of it. And unfortunately, I can’t really give her any good news. I’ve been married for about five years. Yes we want children. But we’re quite concerned about it, even scared of it. Our parents both want us to have children and there’s a lot of joy that comes with having children, but at the same time, knowing what’s coming with climate change, we’ve actually just been putting it off.
I think we’re heading to a future with a considerably greater warming than two degrees. And when the world doesn’t do something about it, that brings a whole range of emotions into play. I mean, depression is clearly one thing. You get days when you’re down because of what you know, and what you can see coming is not good. For people living in Australia, it means a lot of people will suffer and a lot of peope will die. The problem is, no-ones death certificate will say ‘this person died of climate change’, they’ll say they died of heat stress or cardiac arrest or they died (unclear) in a bush fire. (…) If I was living in Darwin or Brisbane, I’d be seriously thinking about moving.
We have thrown up the idea of, the potentially if the opportunities came up of moving to somewhere like Canberra. It’s a city. It’s got good infrastructure. Got good employment opportunities. Yes, it gets warm there and yes, it’s a dry climate, but the temperature doesn’t get as hot as Sydney. Their night time tempertures are a lot cooler and you can coe with extreme heat much better if you’ve got cooler night time temperatures to sleep. (Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick)
For me and my wife – anywhere. Maybe forced to move further south and I’m sure there’s a lot of other people that are probably thinking the same thing. (Justin Ooger PhD student)
I find it really hard to decide on one particular region, saying “this one is going to be safe” and we’re just going to lock this one in. I don’t think there will be any safe places. I’m…the impacts are going to be big. So my approach is to be as mobile, as flexible as possible to be able to adapt to whatever is going to happen. (Associate Professor Katrin Meissner)
I’ve certainly taken a look at this (SW England) and looked at the climate projections and said yup that’s going to be good for the next sort of 100 years or so. Y’know, when some new fact comes in that makes me fearful, I think, well at least, y’know, I’ve done what I can to protect my family. I can’t protect them from changes in the global economy. I can’t protect them from mass migration. I can’t protect them from some of the impacts they’ll do no matter where I move to and no matter where I buy my house. But I can do what I can. (Professor David Griggs.)
* And after all of that, I discovered the original ABC broadcast with the full transcript.