Take a deep breath of Tasmanian fresh air

Tanya Ha’s Warm TV is a sponsored analysis of Tasmanian climate change issues — and a practical guide for everyone on what to do — that should have our full support. [7 April 2009 | Peter Boyer]

The claims I make in this blog would be compromised by any hint of commercial connections, so I try to avoid endorsing such activities or products. But there’s one current Tasmanian commercial venture that I think calls for a bending of rules.

Tanya Ha, presenter of Win Television’s <em>Warm TV</em> looks into household and office waste

Tanya Ha, presenter of Win Television’s Warm TV, looks into household and office waste

Screening at 7 o’clock on Win Television every Friday night (repeated on Sunday), Warm TV is a half-hour television series sponsored by Aurora Energy Pty Ltd. Two episodes have already been shown and I’ve seen and enjoyed both of them.

If you’d avoided watching Warm TV because you thought it was about self-promotion, how Aurora is making our lives more comfortable, you’d be missing a chance to see something quite special: some informative, enjoyable, well-made Tasmanian television about a big, complex subject that we desperately need to engage with.

The host of the series is Tanya Ha, who a couple of years ago was the main presenter of the popular SBS sustainability series Eco House Challenge. Her articulate speech and attractive appearance would qualify her to host any television chat show.

But this is no mere television presenter. Tanya Ha is a long-standing campaigner for Planet Earth, working in print and broadcast media and in face-to-face meetings to help people meet and deal with the colossal challenge of climate change and a degraded environment.

Besides her television work and numerous articles in print media, she has written two successful books guiding people in living more sustainably – Greeniology (2003 – now in its fourth printing) and The Australian Green Consumer Guide (2008).

Tanya’s interest in Earth’s life systems stemmed from her own background as a science graduate and a writer about ecology and the biological sciences.

In Warm TV we have a presenter who doesn’t just speak the words, but who understands their full context and the often-difficult concepts behind them. She treats with equal seriousness the complex science of climate change and the lives of ordinary Tasmanians expected to deal with the consequences, and renders both in an engaging, down-to-earth manner that treats the viewer as an equal.

In her encounters with various Tasmanian luminaries, Tanya has drawn on real home-grown talent and experience in climate science, economics, environmental activism and plain old living. She shares the Warm TV platform with two other specialist presenters: Steve Cumper and Greg Kerin.

Chef Steve Cumper, who came to Tasmania for a more wholesome living environment, is a passionate advocate of home-made produce, and Greg Kerin is ABC local radio’s gardening expert. Together they provide some weighty knowledge of the practicalities and possibilities of producing and preparing our own food.

Those of us who’ve gone out to talk to people about climate change, address their concerns and engage them on what can be done, have been struck by the demographics of our audiences. They consist predominantly of school-age people, some workplace groups (usually government, and attending under direction) and large numbers of retirees.

The question we’re always asking is how does the message about the urgency of addressing climate change get through to all those other Tasmanians, like people in private employment, young unemployed people, parents at home? I hope that Warm TV can go a long way toward addressing this real challenge.

Warm TV was wholly produced in Tasmania, with concept and direction by Red Jelly, technical facilities provided by Win Television, with general oversight by Aurora Energy.

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1 Response to Take a deep breath of Tasmanian fresh air

  1. Chris Harries says:

    Ah Peter, on your advice had a look at this TV on Friday night and, yes, what an excellent production considering it is local and honed in on commercial TV audience.

    Shallow in some respects, but its value is enabling climate responses to come across as completely normal for normal citizens living in ‘normal’ society. Safe, not crazy.

    Thanks for the tip!

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