Environmental Law Australia

Building personal resilience for research on climate change

This is a recording of a plenary speech at the School of Earth and Environmental Science (SEES) higher degree research (HDR) student conference 2018 at the University of Queensland, presented on 29 June 2018.

It discusses five strategies for SEES HDR researchers to cope in the face of  ongoing inaction on climate change & biodiversity loss:

1. Be kind to yourself: remember why you started your journey.

2. See your career as a marathon, not a sprint.

3. Recharge regularly:

  • exercise
  • spend time with your friends, your family & doing things you love
  • take weekends off (turn off the news) & holidays

4. Accept that it is rational to despair in the face of the crises facing the Earth. Move beyond acceptance of that to work for positive change despite the potential for failure.

5. Choose to use the skills and tools you have to save what you can. Choose to fight to protect the people and places you love.

The slides for this presentation are available here.

Article on “Survival Strategies for Climate Litigators”

An article based on this address for climate litigators was published in 2021 and is available at the following links:

Chris McGrath, “Survival strategies for climate litigators” (2021) 27 Pandora’s Box 39-51.

Further great resources