A Rational Fear
A Rational Fear
Mar 10, 2022
Regenerating Australia with Damon Gameau, Lewis Hobba and Dan Ilic
Play • 42 min

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We're joined this week by fearmonger and filmmaker Damon Gameau. 

And we cover:

  • Storytelling and climate change
  • Community lead climate recovery
  • Regenerating our democracy 

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Thank you FEARMONGERS!

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Bertha Announcement  0:00  
This podcast is supported in part by the Bertha Foundation. 

Dan Ilic  0:04  
Good evening, Lewis.

Lewis Hobba  0:06  
Hello Daniel. How are you?

Dan Ilic  0:07  
You know what I'm I'm thoroughly exhausted.

Lewis Hobba  0:11  
Yeah, I was about to say you sound sick.

Dan Ilic  0:14  
I'm not sick. I've had two COVID tests today though, but they're both negative. I think it gets to the point where I get so busy, my voice becomes incredibly sexy.

Lewis Hobba  0:24  
Getting into SBS up late territory, which is exciting for the show.

Voice Over  0:28  
The following programme may contain nudity and traces of nuts. SBS recommends viewing by immature audiences.

Lewis Hobba  0:38  
Yeah, it's a going around though the Mardi Gras really brought back the resurgence of Coronavirus. Certainly in my friendship group. 

Dan Ilic  0:47  
Yeah, I was wondering about that because you went to Mardi Gras. Did you get a second dose of Coronavirus by-

Lewis Hobba  0:55  
No, I didn't go to the actual SCG. But I was within you know, I was in the zone about a K away at a couple of parties. It was fun. It's nice to be out and about.

Dan Ilic  1:04  
Yeah. There's an interesting story. I don't know if he saw this is incredible story about one of the 78'ers as being arrested by the police because she held up a sign saying fuck Putin or something. And the police came up to her and said, You can't hold up a sign. It's offensive. So who am I offending is like- This is a licenced venue. You can't hold up a sign because it's political and therefore offensive. And she got arrested. This is old 78'er It's incredible because the Mardi Gras is entirely a political event. The whole thing is a political event. Oh my god, 

Lewis Hobba  1:40  
that is wild

Dan Ilic  1:41  
Just you know, but that's a cop shouldn't be in the money, right? Oh, I should just get rid of them. They I think that's probably right. Yeah, they should probably probably have the Defence Force run the Mardi Gras then. You know this. So yeah,

Lewis Hobba  1:52  
they're doing everything else. Why not pull them out of pull them out of the photo ops and Lismore pull them out of the, I guess old- aged care facilities where they are now. And yeah, get him in there.

Dan Ilic  2:03  
Get them out of the medina apartments stopping people from escaping quarantine, get them down to the Mardi Gras. Let's kick off the show. Damon Gummo on the line and we're going to be talking to him in just a second. Before we get to him, we'll talk about our comedy festival show as well. So here we go. I'm recording my end of irrational fear on Gadigal land in the Eora nation. Sovereignty was never ceded. We need a treaty. Let's start the show. 

Voice Over  2:23  
A Rational fear contains naughty words like Bre***, Canberra b***ble, fair d**nkum and section 4*. A rational fear recommendeds listening by immature audiences.

Dan Ilic  2:36  
Tonight with one in 100 year floods becoming more frequent Scott Morrison renames them miracle floods. And Scott Morrison prepares for another miracle election win by visiting Lismore and attempting to walk on water. And we're all waiting for Scott Morrison to launch a new National Flood Coordination Committee to drain the Beetaloo Basin. It's the 11th of March 2022. This is a rational fear. I'm so tired.

Lewis Hobba  3:12  
Honestly, I've never heard you sell those jokes with less verve in 10 years. That was it. That was rock bottom.

Dan Ilic  3:20  
Well, I just wanted to point out those jokes quickly. Like it's so interesting. Like I wrote that Scomo National floods Coordination Committee joke at the end of February when the floods really took off throughout Queensland. And not seven days later, to the date I put that tweet out. They actually gave $7.5 million for fracking in the Northern Territory. It's like we're not gonna give out flood support, but we will pay for someone to drain the middle of it. So yeah.

Lewis Hobba  3:48  
we're gonna get some of that moisture and just pump it into some seams. See what we can find.

Dan Ilic  3:53  
It's been a moisture Amy Remeikis had a great tweet today, which made my heart swell 

Lewis Hobba  3:57  
Great segue. 

Dan Ilic  3:58  
Well, yeah. Moisture, Amy Remeikis. Well known, well known wet person, Amy Remeikis, she tweeted guess with so much of the East Coast underwater, the prime minister could declare anything to do with the floods as an on water matter and refuse to talk about it.

Lewis Hobba  4:14  
That's great from Amy. Really good.

Dan Ilic  4:17  
Hey, we've got an absolutely huge Comedy Festival Show. Coming up in about four weeks time, Louis. I assume you-

Lewis Hobba  4:25  
Is it four weeks? 

Dan Ilic  4:26  
Yeah, it's it's the 10th of April. It's literally-

Lewis Hobba  4:31  
Far out

Dan Ilic  4:31  
It's literally a month away. And I assume you've seen in the lineup. Have you seen the lineup, Lewis?

Lewis Hobba  4:36  
I saw the lineup this week. I found out on Twitter like everybody else, which is how I do all of my a rational fear planning. Like, oh, Dan's tweeted out. Often sometimes, like, my girlfriend will be like, Hey, you're doing a show at the forum with Grace Tame. I'm like, No I'm not. Like no Dan just put it on Twitter. That's amazing.

Dan Ilic  4:56  
Yeah, we have a huge lineup. The problem is Lewis, I booked I accidentally booked the biggest room at the Comedy Festival. That means I now need to intentionally book The biggest lineup at the Comedy Festival. And that includes you and I. Alice Fraser 

Lewis Hobba  5:11  
Great 

Dan Ilic  5:12  
From the bugle. Who is you know, friend of the show, Gabby Bolt from the chaser. And 

Lewis Hobba  5:18  
Crushing it 

Dan Ilic  5:18  
And Gabby Bolt is absolutely, have you been following me bolts escapades at the Adelaide fringe?

Lewis Hobba  5:23  
I have. Yeah, she's absolutely nailing it to no one's surprise, but everyone saw it. 

Dan Ilic  5:27  
Yeah, just absolutely nailing it. She won Best Comedy at the Adelaide fringe this week, which is amazing. She sold out her run after doing one show to like 12 people and now she's completely sold out. And her first show at comedy festival will be on stage with us at the a rational fear, which is amazing. Dane Simpson from you know, every other TV show that's going around at the moment. He's absolutely sensational. 

Lewis Hobba  5:49  
He's the best. 

Dan Ilic  5:49  
And Australian of the Year. Lewis Hobba. No, Australian of the Year, Grace Tame.

Lewis Hobba  5:55  
Well, we could probably get Dylan Alcott if you want two Australians of the Year. 

Dan Ilic  5:59  
That's a great idea. Does Dylan, does Dylan, Dylan live in Melbourne?

Lewis Hobba  6:04  
He does. Yeah. Yeah. I could ask Dylan.

Dan Ilic  6:07  
Maybe we can have two. We can have an Australian the year face off. That would be amazing. 

Lewis Hobba  6:11  
Yeah

Dan Ilic  6:11  
Also, and DJ Andy McClelland is gonna be holding the show together. Now that it is 

Lewis Hobba  6:15  
Oh my goodness, Best Dressed Man in comedy. 

Yeah, pretty, pretty wild. So if you want to get your tickets, head to a rational fear, look at look at the lineup page and get your tickets there. Also, if you are a Patreon supporter, you get a 25% discount, then there's a limited available number of tickets for Patreon supporters so please, snap up those tickets as quickly as you can

Get in quick because the Hobba family are all buying theirs. So there's gonna be not much left by the time by all my Victorian family arrive

Dan Ilic  6:44  
Did they even bother to come to last year's Comedy Festival? Or are they just showing up to see Grace Tame?

Lewis Hobba  6:51  
They did actually come they came to our show last year as well, they'll very, they've always been very disappointed that as a Victorian we've never done a rational fear in Melbourne until last year. So- but I don't think they'll quite fill up the forum. But it does sell out quickly once my parents get on the, on board. 

Dan Ilic  7:08  
Yeah, great. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing the entire Hobba clan take up one of the booths at the back of the forum.

Lewis Hobba  7:15  
It's such a fancy venue. Have you been to the forum since it got redone? It's way too nice for us. 

Dan Ilic  7:20  
Well, here's the thing in the words of words of-

Lewis Hobba  7:22  
Are we gonne need to like wear suits?

Dan Ilic  7:24  
Well, that's a great idea. That's a really good idea it's a classy venue. In the words of the Blues Brothers. It's a fucking barn. And we'll never fill it. Like it's got that edge. It's got that feeling about it. Because it's so huge. Which means we- I need we need you and I should ever think about this. What big thing we can do in the forum. I know it's only four weeks away, and there's a lot going on in the world. But we should think about what-

Lewis Hobba  7:45  
This podcast is a workshop now. I don't have any ideas. Fucking let us know.

Dan Ilic  7:50  
It is a workshop. And if you do have an idea, drop us a line and we'll include those ideas in the podcast. It's narrative building, which is wonderful. We've got an excellent guest tonight. Damon Gameau, who is a director, actor, activist, legend. He joins us right now. G'day Damon. 

Damon Gameau  8:08  
Hi Dan! Hi Lewis! 

Dan Ilic  8:10  
It is great to have you. It's excellent to have you. Thank you so much for joining us on on a rational fear. This is not like the standard format for a rational fear. I've decided to create a new format called a rational conversations. 

Damon Gameau  8:23  
Okay

Dan Ilic  8:23  
And that's the format that we roll out when I'm too lazy to book the original format. Yeah.

Lewis Hobba  8:29  
Yeah, it's-  take that! We're coming for you Richard Fidler. It's conversations two: this time it's lazier.

Dan Ilic  8:36  
Conversations quarter hour. That's what we're calling this.

Lewis Hobba  8:41  
I just saw Richard Feiler in a lift this afternoon. He's gonna be very angry at me tomorrow that we're stealing his bit.

Dan Ilic  8:45  
I'm sure I'm sure he will be. It's really exciting to have you Damon. For a long time. I followed your work with 2040. And of course, that sugar movie which you made it- now you've got a brand new kind of 17 minute hope for kind of a treaties on what Australia could be like. You know, you've got Aboriginal voices to Parliament, renters using solar panels, communities owning owning their own power, utes being used to make money to power the grid, transparency and democracy. My question to you Damon is when did you move from making documentaries about sugar to making science fiction films?

Damon Gameau  9:21  
Basically, having two daughters really was the big wake up the first one, really, I'd always been sort of interested in ecological things and climate but didn't really understand it enough. And then once I had the daughter, the first daughter, it just suddenly raced to the top of the queue. And the more I sort of read about it and tried to engage with it, I just thought, oh, man, we need all storytellers or artists or musicians. Everyone needs to get hands on deck for this topic. And we need to change culture or try and shift it really, really quickly. So I looked at some of the psychology around that the neuroscience and just sort of spoke to enough people that said that, you know, if we keep banging people over the head with this stuff, it can be paralysing for a lot of people so we need to offer up different narratives at the same same time not to shy away from those urgent narratives, but to also offer up and give people a sense of what life might be like on the other side of this crisis and let them feel the benefits, see how it would impact their lives and their communities. And so I guess that's the path I've taken. And 2040, obviously, was that experiment. But we really saw how it did motivate people to get involved and bring to life some of the solutions that we showed in the film. So I guess this is a kind of another version of that, but closer to home, less global issues and more about our own country and what we could do in the next eight years by by 2030. And again, get people to feel all those benefits that would come from a transition.

Dan Ilic  10:36  
Certainly, I think one of the one of the reasons why, you know, we're doing this kind of come in conversation theme show today is because the news, quite frankly is so grim right now, like it's a little too hard to kind of talk about I don't know about you, Lewis, I certainly feel like what we're going through right now in the east coast of Australia feels like 2020 bushfires all over again. And and you have a pretty strange connection to this kind of period right now as well.

Damon Gameau  11:04  
Yeah, I live up there. I've live up I have lived up there for like, the last six years. And yeah, I mean, it's hard to describe, and everyone's sort of heard about it. But it was a bit of a warzone last week just to just to experience a region that runs out of petrol and there's no food on the supermarket shelves and you see roads collapsing and landslides and lose internet and phone connection at the time you actually need it more than ever. It was an extraordinary moment. But I'll tell you that even though we're focusing a lot on, on that dire scenario, just the you know, these stories are now merging about what the community did. I just think that's the silver lining here. That without any help. And without any telecommunications, the kind of coordination and networking efforts that kicked in, we're just really I think there's a lot of lot to learn from what happened in terms of a few people that had satellite connections then took and fed all the things that were needed, they set up hubs, people came to those hubs and said, right, what do you need, I'm here to help. They generated kind of helicopter rides, excess fuel, mattresses, food medicines, had people trekking into rescue people. I mean, it was just an extraordinary decentralised process, where egos were cast aside, if anyone tried to claim ownership that was shunned to the side. And anyone who just you know, it was just get on with it or go away. And just to see humans do that, and have strangers you know, scrubbing the mud off walls, or people I'd never met or cooking meals, or some of the kids just writing messages on the food containers saying, you know, stay well, I hope you well, you know, just remarkable stuff. So this is what we're capable of as human beings. And to be honest, we just deserve so much better because our leaders are the least amongst us. And we and we deserve to be treated as we are, which is good human beings. But unfortunately, our system rewards sociopaths. And they're the ones-

Dan Ilic  12:48  
that is so true, our system supports sociopaths

Damon Gameau  12:53  
And at the top and so then they get to set the rules of the game. So we are a group of largely altruists being governed by a small minority of sociopaths. And we've got to change that because if you look at ancient tribes and hunter gatherers, they ostracise that person from the tribe. They ridicule them, or banished them. In some cases, they killed them because then you destabilise the group, and we fucking reward them. And-

Dan Ilic  13:16  
And the sociopaths started the system, they built the system so they can thrive.

Damon Gameau  13:21  
Correct! And when are we going to wake up to that, you know, like, it's not just climate. You look across any, any organisation right now, this is just how we operate. If we could change that flawed architecture. We're not going to get anywhere

Dan Ilic  13:31  
The corporate world is filled with psychopaths, like stabbing each other to get to the top. It's just-

Damon Gameau  13:36  
It's one of the highest rates. Yeah, I think it's 30% in the corporate sector. So-

Dan Ilic  13:39  
that's how Lewis Hobba got to the top of his industry just by-

Lewis Hobba  13:43  
Well, yeah, I, I've looked at that I've, I look very worryingly at those Lists, Top 10 lists of sociopaths because it's always like politicians at the top, and then it's just like, comedians are in there. And then it's like, and then there's actually and then there's a special type for radio hosts. And then it goes into people who work in like, the sort of corporate world if I'm like, I feel like I'm ticking quite a few of those boxes.

Damon Gameau  14:07  
You're gonna get banished Lewis, you're gonna ostracise-

Lewis Hobba  14:09  
No way. I'm gonna become prime minister. I'll remember this conversation Damon.

Dan Ilic  14:12  
Damon Gameau, you're on Lewis Hobba's shit list.

Lewis Hobba  14:19  
From prison Damo. So where are you now, Damon?

Damon Gameau  14:24  
I'm in downtown Bendigo. So we started to we opened in Sydney on Friday night and then we had an opening in Melbourne on Sunday night. And then we're now on a tour of the country 72 screenings in the lead up to the election and all around so anyone that does want to see the film, come along, check it out, and the great discussion with panel afterwards and some live performers and First Nation speakers and we'd really trying to get people out and about again and communicating and talking face to face and then explaining what regeneration is and what it could be in this country and get them a bit more optimistic.

Dan Ilic  14:55  
I watched the film this evening it was a delightful kind of very hopeful exercise in really short circuiting your brain into thinking about what could be, and I think thinking about better futures is a whole part of bringing communities with with us on this journey. And I think it's such a really important tool to kind of to do that. I think it's a great little great little bit of content that hopefully folks will will really connect with them. 

Damon Gameau  15:26  
Yeah, that was the point is that how can we, if we can't see it first, and how can we strive for it. And then so much in this climate story, we've told stories of sacrifice and depravity, all the things we have to give up. So people retreat to fear and they shut down and they disengage. And then this is all too hard. But to coax them and bring them along, we've got to show them the opportunities and get them to feel what it would be like to live in that community. And this is based on a- we did a four month listening campaign with a really wide diverse range of Australian's. 

Dan Ilic  15:54  
Hang on, hang on. You go on a listening tour. You're going on a nationwide campaign. Are you gonna be running me running for Parliament Damon?

Damon Gameau  16:03  
No thanks. I don't have the sociopathic thing like Lewis does.

Lewis Hobba  16:07  
Yeah, just send me you notes, tell me what you want. Give me your wish list, I'll get it done.

Damon Gameau  16:11  
It was just I guess that I didn't want it to be my vision. So we went and consulted and asked a whole group of Australians from indigenous groups, to tradies to farmers to teenagers and said, you know, what kind of country do you want in 2030. And so they're the ones that really shaped that narrative. And, and overwhelmingly, they talked about, you know, more thriving communities, a fixed regenerated democracy, amplified indigenous voices, you know, action on climate change all the things we talked about, they were saying in slightly different ways. So farmers were talking about greener hills or clean rivers that existed in Australia 30 years ago, whereas teenagers are saying climate action. So there were just points that we could agree on and find that commonality. And then really, we talked about, you know, let's not make this a feature, because people don't have that capacity anymore to sit down. And, and in this space,

Dan Ilic  16:55  
It's got to be a TikTok video, it's gotta go on TikTok.

Damon Gameau  16:59  
Unfortunately that's where we're at, you know, it's like, you know, after everything that's going on, no one's gonna sit down and watch an hour and a half of the reef dying, or the forest burning. We see it so much, that I think we've got to be very strategic with our storytelling in this moment. And, and again, be careful who our messengers are. And that's why you've seen in the film, you know, Kerry O'Brien, Sandra Sully, these people that we've grown up, and we're used to them delivering these messages that we trust, or how about they read these different news stories that hopefully we see in the next 10 years?

Dan Ilic  17:26  
Yeah. And there's so many folks who you've kind of roped into this Tim Flannery Zali, Steggall, David Pokok. friend of the show, Patrick Abood, Georgie Tunny, yeah, loads, loads and loads and loads of folks, different voices from everywhere, 

Lewis Hobba  17:40  
David, what the- part of the research that you're doing that was talking about community that feels like the more amorphus one that I don't, I'm curious to know what people meant when they were talking about that. 

Damon Gameau  17:52  
So I guess a lot of the people we met in regional areas, were saying, you know, that we missed the Lions Club with a sports club where you could all go and get together and exchange face to face. And there was this huge, you know, community spirit, like I talked about in the Northern Rivers right now of people coming together and interacting and helping, and that happened after the fires. But as soon as COVID kicked in all that dissipated, and people went back into their homes, they went online, they started reading different narratives about what was going on. And it just destroyed and broke all that fabric of the community. So that's what they want back. It's like, we want to be able to walk down the street and know the person who the, butcher and know the guy who does the newspaper. And it's just that sense, they want back. And because of this system that's eroded that and stripped it and jobs have been taken out of those communities, we've got this chance if we are going to move to a low carbon economy, to bring and keep the profits in those communities. You know, this is where Helen Haynes and others are doing a great job where they're saying, Well, if you're going to build a solar farm in our community, how about we propose a bill that keeps 20% of the profits in our community. So all that money isn't just leaving this space, I think that's how we've got to think about this holistically. It's not about just getting to net zero as fast as we can, we've got to do it in a way that's equitable, that restores lands, and that keeps these communities thriving. So so we don't go down an American Road where these people were left behind, and they're voting for authoritarian nutjobs. Because they feel they feel neglected, you know, and we've got to do that in this country and make sure we listen to these people.

Dan Ilic  19:15  
Totally 100%. And there's so many great little examples of where that stuff is already happening where community owned power is happening, like, you know, Hepburn Springs and other folks, other folk places like that. Yeah, we're, we're folks have- own their own batteries, own our own windmills, own their own grid systems. And they are in charge of their own destiny, and they are making bank like making money by selling that electricity to other cities next door, like-

Damon Gameau  19:43  
There's a project and solar project down in Canada where they had, like 260,000 investors, so they did an equity crowd fund so that all the community could buy a bit of that energy like, that's the future. You know, that's because we don't want to get to net zero and have this enormous income inequality and a fractured society. That's just it's not theirs. point,

Dan Ilic  20:00  
if you want to buy a bit of a rational fear's energy, just go to arationalfear.com join up to the Patreon cheap in $3 a month. You can be a shareholder of a rational fear.

Lewis Hobba  20:11  
It's just like microbreweries for power.

Damon Gameau  20:15  
Exactly. Decentralise it.

Lewis Hobba  20:17  
Obviously, opinions and voices that you listen to that made the film were very positive. And you know, you had the vision that they had. Was there anyone out there going? You know what, at 2030? I just want to have some nutjob in charge. I don't want to have it. I don't have to make any decision. I just want the lizard people gotten rid of like, Was there anyone out there who were like, Whoa, we'll take that on board. 

Damon Gameau  20:39  
There were a couple of loose cannons. And they were just talking about it was more that they'd given up. They were like, you know, I appreciate what you're trying to do. But we're fucked, you know, like, there's nothing we can do that sort of, and that's really dangerous, right? That nihilism where you do just retreat, and Netflix and mobiles. And while it's all too hard, and to be honest, that is a narrative that's been perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry through the since the 90s. Because they know if people don't think it's possible, they'll just disengaged and shut off and won't even care. So there was a bit of that. And it really was down to the disillusionment around our democracy and how much money is in the system. Now, no one really represents their values, which, again, is why I think we're just seeing this incredible resurgence of independence, because these are people that genuinely represent their their values. And we've got people like Helen or Cathy McGowan that are taking their constituents into Parliament House to teach them about democracy, rotate people and what, that's democracy. And so when people see that they go, Alright, I want some of that instead of this stiff, you know, posturing, spin Hardy nonsense, we've got the so long in this country, people are just fed up, you know, so I think this is an incredible moment really quite potentially historic moment in our country where we had Simon Holmes a court on our panel the other night in Melbourne, and even he's saying how surprised he is at the momentum they've gained, and that, you know, seven to nine of them have a legitimate shot, they're far ahead of the expectations where he thought they'd be so far out if we had three or four independence win. We would potentially wake up to a different country the next day and head off in a very different direction around climate. So you know, it is important, this is a big moment for our country.

Dan Ilic  22:10  
Damon, can I just ask you something? You're just an actor? What do you know?

Damon Gameau  22:16  
You're right, mate, I'm just an actor. I'm actually a dad who just is scared shitless. And so I went and spoke to a shit tonne of scientists over the last six years, and just tried to help the communication process because as you know, we love these scientists are so amazing. Sometimes they speak in a language that's just like, Hmm, we don't know what 1.5 degree means. We don't want to anthropogenic means we don't know what Net Zero even means. Most of us. So I think, you know, artists, musicians, songwriters going to help those scientists and, and try and disseminate some of that complexity and put it into language that might help people or move them emotionally. Yeah, I just want more filmmakers to do that. So that's my role. I don't pretend to be the expert in this stuff. But I just happen to speak regularly to some incredible people around the world that really, you know, fuel me up and keep me going. And I just want to help amplify their messages

Lewis Hobba  23:04  
The vision that you have in the film, is there like, I guess I don't know is is that possible? Like, is it? Is it pure fantasy? Is it like, let's try it, let's aim for the stars and land on the cloud or whatever? Or a scientist going like, no, no, no, like, with the right will, this is actually achievable in this time.

Damon Gameau  23:24  
100%. So we made sure that everything there is already happening or scalable. And it is, as Dan mentioned, there are solar gardens there, there's a you know, a Bi- Bi Directional charge that goes into a battery to to power your home. But that's already here that you can do that in a Nissan LEAF right now. In fact, that battery is about three or four times bigger than a power wall Tesla Powerwall that you'll get some people already charging up their car that the local charging station and then running that outside. Already, it's just scaling up all these things. 

Dan Ilic  23:53  
I love those. I love that love going to Westfield a charge up my car to bring it home to run the house. Thank you Hoyts.

Lewis Hobba  24:02  
Yeah, it's really changing the perception of like living in your van you're like, Well, I'm living in my in my car, but it's kind of just my Nissan lease which is also my house. Very confusing.

Damon Gameau  24:12  
This is how transformation this could be we show in the film that for tradies, you know, you can go on plug in all your power tools run the generator off off the battery in your ute. I mean that's, that's on our doorstep, it's already happening in America and other countries. So absolutely. It had to feel plausible and real. Otherwise, it's what's the point but if it's too utopian and too far removed, then then it's impossible goal and people would switch off from it. So no, it's very tangible and practical,

Dan Ilic  24:36  
Damon, I don't know if you know, this podcast is all about kind of communicating similar messages. We have had lots of great brains on the show. And in the last few years talking about this. In fact, the name a rational fear stems from the idea back in 2012, when we started the show that no one in the media was talking about climate change. And all they were talking about were irrational fears. So we wanted to talk about the rational fears So no feels like we know for 10 years this podcast has been, you know, part of that conversation. It feels like right now there is a huge momentum and you can feel it. You can you can feel it in the streets. I was at the pub today. And I saw two old blokes who were on the table next to me. And they were just talking about the floods that we're talking about the lack of funding for the floods, and then they launched into a complex analysis of Mike cannon Brooks's deal with AGL. And these guys are like, 7080 a couple of beers in going out. Yeah, they, you know, buy the whole thing. Shut it down. Start something brand new. That's not just like, oh my god, that is that was a moment for me today. I was like, this could be something extraordinary right now.

Damon Gameau  25:45  
Yeah, it reminds me Paul Hawken, who I work with a lot he's he always says this is that the weather isn't going to the weather is going to be the thing that makes this the great the biggest moment in human history. Because each time we have a big event like this, you lose another chunk of deniers and more people come on side I think right? Okay. There was a big flood at least more than we had a fire now we've got another flood. All right. This is a bit unusual. That's another record flood. I've never seen that in Sydney running down the streets and manly. So you start to go okay, maybe this isn't we were we don't need to believe a paper or IPCC report, we can actually feel it in our shoes and see it running down the street. So yeah-

Dan Ilic  26:20  
It speaks to resilience right now. Right? Like it speaks- like people are saying this in the like, you know, I'm in the position now where I'm looking at buying houses, like, houses. A house to live in. And so it's one of those things where I'm like, right, okay, where do we live? Where's climate resilient? Where do we buy? How do we when we buy how do we how do we make our house climate resilient to be, you know, safe against bush fires and floods and? And COVID?

Damon Gameau  26:46  
Yeah, it's, it's Yeah. And again, I think that the people in Lismore than some of my friends is that they're not going to build their they rebuilt five years ago. And now they're thinking, Where the hell are we going to go? So we've got legitimate climate refugees in this country right. Now, you could argue that Mallacoota and those bushfires the same, but absolutely, Lismore. Like Norco, which is the big built company there, they're not going to stay there, they're going to go somewhere else. Why would you rebuild there because you know, what's coming. So, you know, that's the dilemma we have now here, because we've left it so late, we've got to also mitigate while we're implementing the solutions at the same time, so there's this huge infrastructure that has to happen to protect us from what's coming. But at the same time, we need to sort of flip all of our systems, but, you know, I think we can do it. I absolutely think we can do it because of that groundswell that's now there, and more and more people are on board.

Dan Ilic  27:33  
And so may is going to be a real crunch time. And if it feels like the last chance, like May, the May election, honestly, for Australia is short and important election for Australia. But I feel like honestly, it is a very important election for the world. Because it'll determine how much giga tonnes of carbon get released from Australia and get put into the atmosphere all from the being burnt all around the world. That is our carbon. And it feels like this election in Australia is, is probably the one of the most important in the world. We'll also

Lewis Hobba  28:08  
Because we're such we drag our feet so much in any sort of international conference that people end up like lowering the bar of expectation to meet our low bar. Yeah. So it's not just Australia, it does affect the world

Dan Ilic  28:19  
Totally right. And Damon, I loved in your video, you had a line in there that I'm pretty fond of, which is we need to lead our leaders. And I think that is a really lovely, really lovely sentiment. And it's something that I've been thinking a lot, particularly since cop, you know about that, you know,

Damon Gameau  28:36  
Well, this is how history has always worked. Historically, there's never been a government that sort of set off in a direction. It's always come from pressure. And that's, you know, whether that's the human rights movement, or the suffragettes or the abolitionist, whatever it is, they've always put the pressure and then finally, they've succumbed. I mean, my favourite story is this, the suffragettes, which, obviously, in the light of 19th century, were right on the cusp of something, and even the President Grover Cleveland, in 1905, who was the US president said, no sensible woman wants to vote. And then 10 years later, look, this has happened before and, and again, with the abolitionist, all those people that didn't want to change was saying, if we give up slaves, the other country will have an economic advantage, exactly what we're saying about fossil fuels. And then that shifted so quickly. So you know, we've just got to keep going. And we've just got to trust that the dam wall is going to break very soon. And you can feel it right now. The discussions in politics discussion, the corporate sector has never been higher in terms of what's going on. And, and I think a lot of these groups that I speak to, they want to change, they're just so enmeshed in the old system, and the structures and the policies that are protected that old system that they're really struggling to know how to get out of it and unravelled quickly. And so that's the dilemma for a lot of them, but they are having the conversations even, you know, top banks, all these kind of organisations, because they've got kids and they can see the floods, they know what's happening. Yeah, so I guess that gives me hope that it just we're not too far away from what could be a really dramatic change in the direction we head.

Dan Ilic  30:05  
I saw Matt Canavan put out a an article this week saying that ESG accounting is going to bring evil upon the world. ESG is environmental, sustainable and governance accounting. And it's the way all these big institutions are moving, moving away from gross profit accounting and profits. They're they they're trying to think about ways to account for the good of a business aside from profit. And it's just so funny that Matt Canavan said, this new way is actually going to bring evil upon the world. When the evil right now that is facing the world is due to people like Matt Canavan and fossil fuels, you know?

Damon Gameau  30:42  
Yeah, it's extraordinary, and just how interconnected like that was, what shocked me was just once it was really laid there, how much money was invested in Russian oil and gas and drum companies all around the world, and countries and even our own country, you know, some of our biggest super funds, you know, huge hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, propping up this war machine. Let's be frank 40% of Russians, incomes comes from their coal and gas, oil and gas. So we have to be very honest about what our money is doing, and be very smart about and really think about what impact it's having if we're really going to believe in ESGs, where we're being exposed right now with climate and the war. Is that where is your money? And what's it actually contributing to?

Dan Ilic  31:20  
Yeah, the big stat is that, you know, Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. But now that Russia isn't selling, does that make us a second baby? Yeah. Great, we're moving up the table of bad people.

Lewis Hobba  31:38  
Yeah, well, I mean, obviously, noted, climate hero, Elon Musk this week was also tweeting. He's like, look guys. I don't want to say it, but we got to start getting more oil and gas out of the ground. Say, you own an electric car company. That's, that's your business? Yeah, it's not not on that one.

Dan Ilic  31:58  
Hey, Damon, thank you very much. Before we go, you know, we were in conversation on October around the around COP 26. When the a rational fear joke keeper billboard campaign, funded by 2000 Australians went into high gear,

Damon Gameau  32:15  
Is this how you're buying your houses? Is this how you're getting your houses, through do that campaign?

Dan Ilic  32:19  
How much do you think $190,000 buys in billboards? You know, every- here's the thing, you know, Clive Palmer, spending $80 million in advertising. And they're like, every time somebody sees an ad, someone tags me and it's like, oh, Daniel, you need to buy a billboard here. And like, dude, the billboard money's gone like this. I've spent it all on billboards, it doesn't buy you very much.

Lewis Hobba  32:41  
You could just buy six billboards Dan and shape them into a sort of long house.

Dan Ilic  32:46  
I bought about 25 billboards or something like that, you know. So there's that. That's how much it gets. Yes. But billboards in Times Square are expensive people. It's very expensive. But one of the billboards we tried to get was actually animating our billboards on the side of the SEC armadillo in in Glasgow, but it didn't kind of come to fruition. Damo, tell us what happened there. Like, you know, I went on the project, I put my personal integrity on the line. Er;;, you know, people go on the project, they do that, too. It's a risk, it's a risk. But I put my personal integrity on the line, and Australian media told people that we would animate the billboard outside of the Convention Centre, what happened there,

Damon Gameau  33:27  
I have to I have to publicly apologise to you. And I felt such waves of shame around that, because I was telling you the story that we were invited by COP too... So they basically said to us, you've got four hours to project whatever you like on the Friday night, primetime with all the delegates there, you can project whatever you like, on the building. And so that's when I reached out to you. And then we started sending their proposals and they said, saying, yeah, no, you can't do that. That's we'd modify it. And they'd say, no, no, you can't do that. And so we just got this watered down. And it really, to be honest, really exposed how inadequate copies and it makes sense, because we've had 26 of them and our emissions have raised, you know, almost 50%, since we've had them, but just their their lack of willingness to actually call out the truth. We even got to a point when we said, can we just list the top three emitters of fossil fuels and like, you know, Russia, Australia, and now you can't even do that. Can we even have this young Australian say I hope my leaders switch to more renewable energy and utilise all the sun now you can't do that. So, really demoralising process for us. So we ended up doing this really saccharin safe, you know, eco porn shots of last nature and whales. Like just like-

Dan Ilic  34:37  
Beyond petroleum.

Damon Gameau  34:40  
I was really sad actually. And we had some really, you know, heated debates of them saying Here we are, like, really? You've just had an IPCC report saying a code read for humanity. And we can't even you know, we're our hands are tied so I apologise mate because I really did think we had a great chance to do something exciting there. And we just got absolutely COP washed

Dan Ilic  35:01  
Yeah, COP. Yeah. That's totally fine. Like, and when you said, Oh yeah, you can do whatever you want. I was like, No, he's not. No, he's wrong about that. He hasn't he hasn't done a lot of these UN things in the past as he, you know, is this his first rodeo, I don't know. I don't think so

Damon Gameau  35:19  
Why, they said it. Those are the exact words. And they said, Yeah, please go, we want to be edgy. We want to be bold. So okay, here's some

Lewis Hobba  35:27  
Classic client.

Dan Ilic  35:28  
Damon, thank you so much for coming on and telling us about your region project. What's the name of the film, actually,

Damon Gameau  35:34  
it's called Regenerating Australia. And we're touring the country right now. And I, what I didn't say, which is really exciting is that WWF put up $2 million as a fund, off the back of it. So any community that watches the film and sees something that resonates like a community battery, or an urban food project, they can apply for that money, and there's that money and there's subject matter experts to take them through the process, develop the idea. So really, again, this is this idea of taking the power back into our own hands and getting it done ourselves. So really, that's why we're encouraging people to come along and I must admit, even since the floods, just the, the screens have been a lot more full and really great questions. So it's a good night to have a discussion about where we're headed.

Lewis Hobba  36:13  
What's next on you tour? What are the next couple of dates? 

Damon Gameau  36:16  
Shepparton tomorrow. Then Yakkandana. And then through other parts of Banala, and then back through Melbourne, then into Sydney then regional New South Wales, Queensland, WA, Tassi,e South Australia. We're doing it all just try and get it done before the election.

Dan Ilic  36:30  
Amazing. Well, good luck and I hope to catch a screening in Sydney that'll be there'll be absolutely awesome

Damon Gameau  36:39  
Jump on a panel if you want to come and be part of the conversation

Dan Ilic  36:42  
Mate I'm just a comedian I don't know what's, what's fucking going on

Damon Gameau  36:44  
Cause you've got so much time

Dan Ilic  36:49  
There was a, Peter Fitzsimons put out a tweet earlier this week saying which comedians are like Zelinsky that we can follow into battle I'm gonna put up Mark Humphreys and Dan Ilic and I was like yeah, Dan Ilic. I'm like no, no, don't I- I don't want to lead us into battle thanks very much. I'm doing really 

Damon Gameau  37:11  
I'm buying a new house

Dan Ilic  37:11  
Yeah, I'm really busy. Yeah, buying multiple houses and and I've got to get an asai bowl and yeah,

Lewis Hobba  37:17  
I spent the last week trying to buy the last dehumidifier in Sydney so got no time to run for PM.

Dan Ilic  37:23  
Oh, do you do you have mushrooms in your ceiling yet? Louis?

Lewis Hobba  37:27  
I have my house is riddled with mould. Oh never experienced anything like it. Yeah. And obviously again goes without saying in the spectrum of people suffering this country. I am not in on the list. 

Dan Ilic  37:38  
No. Yeah. 

Lewis Hobba  37:39  
But yeah, never never experienced anything like this. It's um, yeah, and everyone knows everyone I've spoken to in Sydney. It's just my jeans have got mould my shoes have got mould. And he's just fucking covered in mould. It's like it's the weight. I'm like I feel like this is you know, in War of the Worlds when you like, the thing that brought them down in the end was not even the aliens. It was the particles, like, fuck, where the aliens? There's gonna be fucking black mould we're all gonna drop dead.

Dan Ilic  38:04  
Lewis, that's it. The thing that brought us down is co2.

Lewis Hobba  38:07  
Yeah, I know. It's like, Fuck, I was worried about the nuclear war. It should have been the fucking mould.

Dan Ilic  38:12  
I did the briefing podcast about the news. Tom Tilly had me on a few weeks ago. And he grilled me as if I was a politician about climate change being an election issues like but Dan, do people really care about climate change? And like, Tom, yeah, they do. It's like, what's yo…

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