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Our Sunburnt Country

Dr Anika Molesworth, Farmer, scientist and storyteller

I fell in love with my family's farm, a sheep station near Broken Hill in far western NSW, at an early age. I formed a bond with the land as though it were a member of my family. When the Millennium Drought hit, though, bringing with it heatwaves and duststorms, the future I’d always imagined for myself began to seem impossible.

As I learned more about the causes of - and the solutions to - the extreme weather that was killing my land and my livelihood, I became fired up and determined to speak out. Talking to farmers and food producers all around the world, I soon realised that there was a way forward that could be both practical and sustainable - if only we can build up the courage to take it.

Our Sunburnt Country is a book on climate change and the food system - and it explores both the challenges and the solutions. Bringing together stories and ideas from farmers, nutritionists, climate scientists, chefs, and social entrepreneurs, my book aims to deliver a compelling vision for improving the food system.

At this moment in the climate crisis, communication of the issues we face is so important. We need to become better storytellers.

This book shares the story of the humanity entangled in the climate crisis throughout the food system. In order to look after the food system and the environment, we need to recognise the connection people have to nature, understand why we are crossing Earth’s boundaries, and how we as individuals can influence positive change and secure a better future for our world and all the precious life it holds. Ultimately, it is my hope that the reader will find knowledge, skills, inspiration and courage from within these pages. 

To avoid climate disaster and save our food we must do things differently. Because what we are currently doing obviously isn’t working. Rainforests are being bulldozed, animal species are disappearing, rural people are being forced to migrate to cities, and pollution continues to be pumped into our skies as though consequences to do not exist. We are destroying our home and throwing the food system into harm’s way.

Our Sunburnt Country asks the most important question of our generation: how do we simultaneously achieve good health for people and our planet? It challenges the reader to shift from awareness to activity – to actually help solve this problem.

By reconnecting with nature and recognizing our unique responsibilities of this generation we can make positive change. This is achieved by having the courage to step out of our comfort zone, share better narratives and illuminate an inspiring vision.

I know that we can live and eat in a way that is good for both people and the planet. With everyone’s help, we can find the answers on how to feed the global population well and in a way that tackles climate change.



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