Name: Georgina Tomlinson
What first triggered your interest in environmental issues?
I've always been a nature enthusiast. I think my best ever birthday present was when I was about 5 and I got my first chickens. In 2003 I went to Madagascar with the organisation Frontier to volunteer on a biodiversity research project. I was blown away by the beauty of the place and the incredible wildlife, but shocked and saddened by the endless fight to protect the diverse habitats and their inhabitants. When I was there I also learnt a lesson in basic living - it's amazing how easily you adapt to your surroundings - you except what you have available to you and get on with it. I also learnt to appreciate how lucky I am to come from a country where I have fresh, clean water and a choice of food at my fingertips.
What are you working on, concerned by, or motivated by at the moment?
I'm currently studying for an MA in Multimedia Broadcast Journalism. I'd like to specialise in science reporting - to be the one asking the obvious, sometimes stupid, questions so that we get the facts in layman's terms. It's so important that environmental issues are presented in a way that the general public can relate to the stories and maybe even care about them. At the moment, with Copenhagen in full flow, I'm concerned that many people don't care, and I think this is largely to do with the way the issues are presented to them.
On a completely separate note, I would like to start a family in the near future. Until fairly recently our main considerations, as a couple, would have been money, housing and timing. Now, as dramatic as it may sound, the future of the planet is a major concern. I'd like to feel that I'd be bringing a child into a world on the mend not heading towards a breakdown.
What do you anticipate working on, or thinking about, in relation to environmental issues over the next 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?
Who knows?! In an ideal world I'd like to be working as a freelance journalist doing what I've said above - informing people about nature and the environment. And hopefully getting more people interested and excited about sustainable lifestyles.
How optimistic or pessimistic are you as you look at where we might be in 2020, and why?
I think the future is potentially quite exciting. It's easy to focus on the doom and gloom, but we actually have a lot to gain from living in a more sustainable way. In my pessimistic hat, however, I think our future really is in the hands of the world leaders. As individuals, we can do as much as we can, but the infrastructure of our world will really have to change if we are to succeed in turning the tables on climate change.
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