Climate Change Despair & Empowerment Roadshow

Links News

Media Release #1 N America
Media Release #2 N America

Media Release #1 Australia
Media Release #2 Australia
Media Release from Organiser sample from Sutherland Event


Organising the Roadshow for your City/Town

Recent Articles by Ruth and John
Real Solutions or Smoke and Mirrors? (by Ruth Rosenhek) January 18 2007
Forests in a greenhouse world (by John Seed) Northern Star, January 10 2007
Australians More Worried About Climate Change Than Terrorism (by John Seed) Northern Star, Feb 1 2007
Climate Change Roadshow Hits Northcoast (by Ruth Rosenhek), Northern Star, 22 Feb 2007
Climate Change and the NSW Elections (by John Seed ) Northern Star March 10 2007
Climate Change Roadshow Pushes Tipping Point of Grassroots Movement (by Ruth Rosenhek) For Eco-Centre Newsletter April Edition (Griffith University, Brisbane) 25 March 2007

Media Coverage

18 May 2007 Interview with Ruth Rosenhek on by Kelpie Wilson
30-3-2007 Hot 91 Sunshine Coast Radio Interview with Ruth Rosenhek
ABC 25-1-07 Actor joins climate change awareness campaign
Melbourne Indymedia 7-2-07 - John Seed Capacity Crowd at Richmond town Hall
Sutherland 7-3-2007 Despair and Empowerment in Sutherland forms Climate Action Network

Climate Change Despair & Empowerment Roadshow- Brief Description

John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek of the Rainforest Information Centre are taking to the road with their Climate Change Despair and Empowerment Roadshow to help catalyse and support a dynamic climate change movement across Australia. The roadshow, which premiered at Woodford Folk Festival in December 2006, features a multi-media presentation including video footage of Al Gore speaking on the Australian situation. During the 90-minute presentations, Rosenhek and Seed address the hopeless despair that many feel and how this can be transformed into the fuel for empowerment and effective action. The presentations address the false and "business as usual" solutions being touted by the major political parties such as nuclear power and "clean" coal and suggest where the real solutions may be found  (eg. removing Australia's $6.5 billion a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industries - and supporting instead energy efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal, protecting our forests etc.). At the presentations, participants are encouraged to join or form Climate Study/Action groups as a vehicle for communities to build resilient networks in which we can support each other in the changes we need to collectively make as well as to encourage each other to lobby government for strong climate change platforms in the lead-up to the state and federal elections.

In the next 3 months, the roadshow will visit Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Coffs Harbour, Northern NSW, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

To book the roadshow, please email or

For more information and roadshow schedule, see

This roadshow will assume that most people attending have seen An Inconvenient Truth, are somewhat aware of current news and are among the 93% of Australians which CSIRO research has found are concerned about the issue. (The Australian , November 15, 2006).

The roadshow aims to:

* catalyse, invigorate and support grassroots climate study/action groups across Australia.

* Address the hopeless despair that many people feel and provide tools to transform despair into empowerment and effective action. This will be based on the Despair & Empowerment work of Joanna Macy and the "Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment" talk which John Seed gave in Massachusetts earlier this year with Pullitzer Prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan. The 60-minute film made from this event is available on DVD as is the DVD of the extraordinary 60-minute .presentation on Climate Change that Ross Gelbspan made to the World Affairs Council. Both of these are available free of charge to anyone who agrees to use them to educate family, friends and community. Please email

* unveil the false and "business as usual", solutions being touted by the major political parties such as nuclear power and "clean" coal.

* raise awareness and inspire political action towards the real solutions that we, the people, must insist upon. (eg. end Australia's $6.5 billion a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industries, support energy efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal etc.)

* provide resources for the many things that we can all do to turn the situation around.

* Support a network of Climate Study/Action Groups across Australia through 1) the development of a website which includes all resources that are made available at the roadshow plus more. 2) meeting facilitation support and consulting on group process as needed.

The roadshow will premiere at Woodford Folk Festival on December 27th, 2006. The format following Woodford will be to offer 3 or 4 roadshow forums in a district or city on consecutive weeknights followed by a 1-day Climate Change Despair & Empowerment workshop nearby on the following Saturday or Sunday.

The evening forums will include:

* a video presentation that includes footage of Al Gore speaking about the huge impact that Australia could make in the US if Australia signs Kyoto, Pullitzer Prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan, footage from climate change victims and other footage.

* Graphs and Information to expose the false solutions that are currently being touted. This will be followed by looking at what the real solutions are likely to be. Some examples of this are at "What You Can Do".

* a discussion on the role of the denial of feelings of anguish and despair in making us feel helpless, hopeless, paralysed, what can one person do anyway, its too late etc etc. This addresses Gore's insight that many people move straight from denial to hopeless despair about this issue without leaving any space in between for effective action. (see for a more general version of this argument).

* Where no climate study/action group currently exists, the group will be invited to form one there and then. If one already exists, representatives from the group will be invited to give an update on their group's direction, meetings etc. We will discuss the importance of direct democracy and grassroots and that each of us now needs to awaken those around us to the urgency of understanding and action. US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, 1930: "The most important office of government is citizen." The Bradley Method will be used to illustrate the potential spread of the movement.

* Host a short meeting of the group and discuss general meeting guidelines

* Invite people to host "house parties", invite their friends to watch DVDs of Inconvenient Truth, Ross Gelbspan and the Roadshow kit to build the network, spread word of the climate study/action groups.

* an invitation to the "Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment" 1-day workshop at a nearby venue on Saturday or Sunday. Graduates of Joanna Macy's 30-day training will be facilitating these as well as Ruth Rosenhek and John Seed. We'll train others up for both this piece and for the presentations themselves.

** Click here for Schedule **