Liz Bonnin has said she needs regular therapy to deal with the stress of witnessing the devastation that climate change and environmental crises are wreaking on the planet.
The Irish-raised broadcaster is known for bringing the beauty and wonders of nature to TV screens, but she’s also made hard-hitting programs about climate change, plastic pollution and the environmental damage caused by mass meat production.
She said she struggles to tell the “cold, hard truths” about how serious the threats to the planet are without losing her audience because the material is too depressing.
She seeks truth and inspiration, she said, to make clear how bad things are but to show how the problems can be addressed.
However, she admitted it was hard work.
“I’m going to get people on social media to say to me, ‘I just can’t watch another one of ‘Drowning in Plastic,’ or please don’t do another program that talks about climate change,” she said.
“I am in favor of getting involved. You have to lean into the discomfort. But if some people can’t do that right now, how do we reach them?
“The challenge is to wake everyone up before it’s too late.”
Bonnin is the first guest in a new series of podcasts being produced by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
She told interviewer Jim Scheer that she was initially skeptical about the benefits of meditation for stress management, but said, “Now it’s gotten to the point where it feels like a warm blanket around me.”
Exercise and therapy are also essential, she added.
“The therapy is extremely important. It’s something I do as a matter of course now, as a part of my life, and now it seems so absurd that we don’t do it as a regular activity,” she said. “It’s not easy. You have to get used to the discomfort.”
However, she finds that there are times when she really wants to leave.
“Maybe I’m excited because I just got back from Greenland and the place is a mess and the ice is gone,” she said, adding that her therapist helped her find calm.
“It must be just as important as exercising your muscles. You need to train your mind and process your thoughts. It’s a really important part of life, especially now that things are difficult to face.
“So, meditation, exercise, therapy and good food and a good glass of wine. They are my five points of contact. And friends and family. Connecting is hugely important.”
Bonnin spoke about her early immersion in nature as a young child living in the mountains of southern France before moving to Ireland, and her journey back and forth through science and show business to the point where they unite their passions for could science and programming.
She also shared her anger and despair at the “farce” politics, the “circus” of the COP26 climate summit, the media’s failure to report honestly and adequately on Earth’s crises, and the reasons she finds for optimism .
A new podcast episode will be available each week for the next two months on the SEAI website (seai.ie).
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/liz-bonnin-turns-to-therapy-to-beat-stresses-of-telling-tv-audiences-cold-hard-truths-about-climate-challenges-41919596.html Liz Bonnin turns to therapy to overcome the stress of telling television audiences “cold, hard truths” about climate change challenges