Science Direct: Julien Vincent
Julien Vincent works for Greenpeace as a Climate and Energy campaigner. He is one of our featured experts on Climate Change.
Julien came to Greenpeace in July 2006, having studied climatology at Monash University and then spending several years working for various environment and aid organisations. Julien's work involves developing and communicating plans, policies and other materials that illustrate how Australia can move from a fossil-fuel to a renewable energy-based society. Greenhouse gas emissions from energy make up about two-thirds of Australia's total carbon footprint, and so Julien helped develop the Energy [R]evolution report, which is a blueprint for how Australia can decarbonise its energy sector, saving billions of dollars and creating tens of thousands of new jobs in the process.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? I was always fascinated by the weather and climate, and went to University thinking I'd go and work for the Bureau of Meteorology, make forecasts and conduct atmospheric research. Then an awareness of climate change came along.
- The idea/s that changed my life was/were....realising the importance of speaking out when something is clearly wrong, and not just subscribing to someone else's view because they are more powerful or dominant.
- I'm always being asked about....What my job actually entails, and it's not an easy one to answer!
- My worst job has been....when I was eighteen I worked as a sandwich hand in a café that was quite clearly struggling to stay in business. The guilt of taking wages home became unbearable and when they let me go, I remember feeling more relief than anything else!
- I often wonder...When Liverpool FC will next win the Premier League.
- I hope that...the Climate Change exhibition at the Australian Museum gets a lot of attention!
- The best thing about my job is....being part of an independent organisation, I can speak the naked truth on climate change and be proud that the only interests my organisation has are a healthy, sustainable planet for all to enjoy.
- The hardest thing about my job is...It shadows me everywhere I go.
Climate change specific questions:
- What climate change means for me personally is...a massive and completely unnecessary injustice onto the world's poorest people. It is deeply upsetting that historically, three quarters of greenhouse pollution has come from developed countries, yet it is the least developed countries who will suffer most. It is plainly wrong and the fact that we have alternatives to our polluting ways makes this injustice totally unnecessary.
- Climate change affects my work by...well, climate change created my work! My job is to help prevent climate change from becoming a complete global catastrophe, which we're sitting on a knife-edge of right now. The purpose of organisations like Greenpeace is basically to do such a good job, that they go out of business because their issues have all been won!
- My work may affect how we respond to climate change by...Keeping attention on what really matters - a healthy, planet.
- What I would say to climate change skeptics is...it's fine to be sceptical, as that's always been part of science. But when the clear consensus on climate change is that its real, its caused by human activities and we need to act urgently to prevent it getting our of hand, deliberate obfuscation and denial is dangerous and irresponsible.
- What I would say to you about what you can do about climate change is...I encourage everyone who wants to take action to help with climate change to do something that takes them outside their comfort zone. If you're comfortable to write to your local politician, but nervous to go and meet them, go and meet them! If you enjoy attending rallies but are wary about undertaking civil disobedience, take part in civil disobedience. When somebody is clearly doing something that they're not normally comfortable, it highlights just how much they care about an issue.
- What I think Australia can do is...live up to its potential! If any country can replace polluting coal-fired electricity with 100% renewable power, Australia can. Countries like Germany, Spain the US and China, who are leading the way on renewable energy, would love to have the immense renewable energy resources Australia has. This country needs to stop fiddling around the edges and put a plan in place to transform Australia to a renewable energy-powered society.