Jon O'Riordan January 2016

Focus Magazine in Victoria has a feature on our new book, “The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy, and Biodiversity in a Changing World.” Co-author Jon O’Riordan is also interviewed for the article.

“In their book The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity in a Changing World (Rocky Mountain Books, December 2015), Robert William Sandford and Victoria’s Dr Jon O’Riordan explain the Earth’s delicately interconnected systems—our life-support systems—and how our daily decisions affect them. The book’s goal is not to pretend we can stop the changes already set in motion but to encourage us to understand the nexus and to actively plan and adapt rather than just react when crisis hits. If we can’t stop the train, we can at least learn what power we have to steer or slow it.

“As the authors state simply, the nexus of where our demands for food, water and energy meet ‘lies at the very heart of human civilization.’ But through population growth and climate change, which have become mutually entangled, human civilization is bumping up against the planet’s ability to meet those ever-increasing demands. ‘Nature is gradually foreclosing,’ O’Riordan tells me matter of factly over morning tea. ‘It’s not overnight, but it is inexorable….’

“O’Riordan hopes that a better understanding of the nexus will motivate people to change their behaviour, not because it’s financially expedient but because it’s the right thing to do. His ideal would be for everyone, from primary to university, to take a course on the climate nexus. He’s currently helping develop a pilot course for use in high schools.

“Academic but applicable, the book is a call for us all to be creative engineers of our future. ‘In the end,’ O’Riordan and Sandford conclude, ‘the entire human population on Earth is one…If we are to solve the crisis in the nexus, we will have to act in concert as one overall system, and learn to co-operate and support each other in ways that we have never thought of before. For better or worse, we are all in this together.’ Full steam ahead.

Read more from the article here.