In Conversation with Dr Jonica Newby: Beyond Climate Grief


As we hit the critical decade, the reality of climate change is starting to sink in, and while we’ve heard much on the facts and what we should do, it’s high time we addressed the emotional toll of this onslaught of distressing news. For those in the unique position of providing care to animals both domestic and wild, burnout – our own or our colleagues – is a very real risk.

So how do we find courage when climate change overwhelms?

Veterinarians for Climate Action are excited to welcome master storyteller, veterinarian turned ABC TV science reporter Dr Jonica Newby, who joined VfCA’s Corinna Klupiec for an open conversation on her new book Beyond Climate Grief; a journey of love, snow, fire, and an enchanted beer can.

With laughs, a few tears, and plenty of food for the soul, Dr Newby shared stories from her own plunge into climate grief, and her exploration of how to navigate the emotional toll of climate change during the apocalypse-tinged summer of 2019/2020.

Informed by a host of psychological and evolutionary biology experts, as well as surprising conversations with the likes of Missy Higgins, Charlie Pickering and Mike Cannon Brookes, Dr Newby takes us on a personal journey that nonetheless canvasses the best strategies for fostering resilience and active hope.

For the last part of the webinar, Dr Newby answered questions and provide strategies; essential for caring for oneself, colleagues, and members of the public.

Jonica Newby is a TV producer, writer and director. She has twice won Australia's most prestigious science journalism prize, the Eureka Award, and is best known as a presenter/reporter on the long-running ABC TV science program Catalyst. She grew up in Perth, WA, where phase one of her professional career was a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery followed by a few years in a veterinary practice. Jonica is author of The Animal Attraction about how the domestication of animals created human civilisation.