Embracing optimism: you know it works

Wendy Harmer
Photo © thehoopla.com.au

A speech by Wendy Harmer at the launch of Bob's new book "Optimism" at Geelong on 4 August 2014. Published in The Sydney Morning Herald 9 August 2014.

It’s time to take a good look deep into the well of human optimism.


Yes we can! That was the three-word slogan chanted endlessly by a legion of Barack Obama supporters in the 2008 US presidential election.

The Obama campaign logo, incorporating the letter “O”, was intended to evoke the image of a rising sun over the horizon symbolising hope, although one clear-eyed critic described it as “a zero and a sunset over a deserted highway”.

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Earth Song

Music and lyrics by Bob Brown, sung by Claire Dawson accompanied by Craig Wood and Michelle Wood.

Michael Gissing did a great job of putting together some fantastic footage supplied by Joe Shemesh, Pawel Achtel, Aerial Inspections, David Gemmell.

Enjoy! And if you'd like to help the Earth, donate to the Bob Brown Foundation.

Copyright © 2012.


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Optimism - The Introduction

The introduction to Bob's new book "Optimism" is available for download in full for free right here.

Several book launch events are being held accross the country - probably one near you!

All the "Optimism" launches and related activities are shown on our Events page.

"Optimism" will be released in August 2014.

All online retailers are now starting to list "Optimism" (in both print and e formats) as available for pre-order.


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'I am a conservationist' – is Abbott the only person who believes that?

Tony Abbott recently told a community forum that "I'm as much a conservationist as Bob Brown".  Here is Bob's response, originally published in the Guardian on 16 June 2014. 

In February 2012, as leader of the Greens, I made a courtesy call on Tony Abbott. He had just pipped Malcolm Turnbull in a party room vote for the leadership of the opposition. He looked straight at me and said, "I am an environmentalist!"

I did not roll my eyes or argue. I had heard the like before. The CEO of Tasmania's Hydro-Electric Commission, after flooding Lake Pedder and at the height of the controversy over damming the Franklin River, maintained that he was an environmentalist. So have a string of other dam-builders, loggers and gougers of the Earth.

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Defend World Heritage public meeting

On Wednesday 21st May, Hobart Town Hall was packed to overflowing for our public meeting to defend World Heritage. If you weren't able to be there, here's a short video of some of the highlights.

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Defend World Heritage Rally

This beautiful short video of the Rally for World Heritage, shows highlights of the speeches, the crowd and the magnificent forest itself.  Watch it, be moved and take action.


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A Whale of a Win

Wild Magazine, April 2014

The International Court of Justice's decision to ban Japan's whale slaughter in Antarctic waters is a bolt of optimism from the blue. Raise a glass. Celebrate the 12 to 4 judges decision which reflects remarkably closely the the 80 per cent opposition in Australia to whaling, logging of ancient forests and coal or coal seam gas extraction without farmers' agreements.

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Tasmania: a death warrant against pristine forests Abbott has never seen

The Guardian, 6th March 2014

Prime Minister Abbott's rousingly-received speech to an audience of loggers at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday night had a Biblical ring to it.

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Bob Donates Painting of Recherche Bay to Tas Museum and Art Gallery

14 February 2014

Ian Hansen, The Lyluequonny People Farewell D’Entrecasteax’s Ships “Recherche” &”Esperance” Recherche Bay, Tasmania 1793
Ian Hansen, The Lyluequonny People Farewell D’Entrecasteax’s Ships “Recherche” &”Esperance” Recherche Bay, Tasmania 1793

Bob Brown has given the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery a large oil painting. The work, by noted Sydney marine artist Ian Hansen, depicts the well-documented scene at Recherche Bay when d’Entrecasteaux’s two ships Esperance and Recherche were farewelled by the Tasmanian Aboriginal landowners on 14 February 1793.

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What do Abbott and the Taliban have in common

The Age, 5th September 2013

In 2001 the world reacted with horror as it saw graphic film of the Taliban dynamiting the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two giant 6th-century statues of Buddha in central Afghanistan. 

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