Though I didn’t bother to see An inconvenient truth, because I’d already studied the matter fully, I respect Al Gore and his campaign on climate change. Now it seems Mr Gore may have a strong fellow campaigner here in Australia.
With his new Foxtel doco Fish out of water Ian Thorpe has found inspiration in environmental causes and a passion for communicating them. "I’ve always been passionate about the environment and how we treat it, how we can do better, and the more I read and talk to experts, the more I realise we can really make a difference."
Thorpe may be a ‘fish out of water’, but he’s far from out of his depth. The film shows tonight on pay TV. Sadly I won’t be able to see it as I don’t subscribe to Fox 8.
Thorpe says he will pursue climate change awareness "for a lifetime". "This will be an ongoing issue for decades and I want those decades to start sooner rather than later." The documentary ambitiously tackles sustainable energy options, solar power and domestic water solutions, uranium mining, logging and irrigation. "Over the past few years I have become concerned with the need to change to more environmentally friendly practices. I now realize we all need to get on the frontline if we want to leave the world in a fit state for future generations."
Rather than just lending his ‘celebrity’, Thorpe is fully involved in writing, editing and travel—to Kakadu, to coal mines, the Murray-Darling, coral reefs, old-growth forests in Tasmania and landscapes where the effects of climate change are visible. "With this documentary", Thorpe says, "I can travel to all of these beautiful and not so beautiful places, and hopefully help other people understand what is happening to the environment."
He quizzes leaders from all sides—the federal government,the Minerals Council and the Australian Coal Association, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Greens and the Healthy Rivers Campaigner. "I’d like to think I’m asking the same question everyone at home would ask." "Shooting Fish out of water has been an amazing experience. I have been privileged to travel to so many beautiful parts of Australia. It has, however, been incredibly alarming to witness the destruction of our natural environment and resources and learn of the forecasts for future devastation. That said, it is encouraging to see the dedication and determination of people at the forefront of the fight against our climate crisis. I hope that with Fish out of water I can be a part of the process to increase awareness and inspire more people to take positive action."
"Before I started this, like most people in the country, I presumed that we did a good job and was shocked to learn that we don’t. Which is fine, as long as we go, ‘This is where we are at now. Let’s do something about that’ but unfortunately from what I have seen we are doing very little. We are not doing enough. Not nearly enough of what needs to go on to make a big impact in this area. Also, in the lead up to this I had months and months of research and writing for the show and you see it in facts and figures and until you see a lot of these places it is rather difficult to grasp how important each of these areas are individually to our country."
"We all have a responsibility, not only to ourselves but to our future, and I had this amazing opportunity to do something that I’m passionate about. And to be able to do it in a way that will hopefully draw more attention to that area and do a very delicate area the justice it deserves. That’s how I was driven. This area is a very exciting area to work in. I have met some of the most amazing people. They are so driven and passionate about their work and you really want to give them a forum that they can be heard in because, after listening to these people, they are such geniuses that have the solutions for us all now that we can all embrace to be able to make a serious, lasting change."
Thorpe says that the Federal Government isn’t doing enough to reduce carbon emissions. "No, the government isn’t, and what Labor proposes isn’t enough either," he said. "There’s no plan for 2020."