Chris Darwin following legacy of ancestor, tackling mass species extinction | Video

PURPOSE: Chris Darwin with his son Ras Darwin, sharing the beauty of the natural world. Picture: Annette Ruzicka (Bush Heritage Australia)
PURPOSE: Chris Darwin with his son Ras Darwin, sharing the beauty of the natural world. Picture: Annette Ruzicka (Bush Heritage Australia)

Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandson has an easy familiarity that finds you talking like old friends before you’ve finished your cup of tea. 

A valuable asset in his mission to make a real difference to what he calls one of the most important issues of the time – global species extinction. 

Chris Darwin wants just a simple thing, each person to have one meat-free day a week. He suggests a meat-free-Monday, or perhaps a tofu-Tuesday. 

“Globally the greatest single threat [to species] on land is habitat destruction and in the ocean is overfishing. Three-quarters of all habitat destruction globally is undertaken by the livestock industry,” he said. 

“If you were to do one thing to help mother nature it would be to have one meat free day a week.”

Mr Darwin has a ripping tale to share as a guest speaker at the Tasmanian Eco Film Festival, which boasts an impressive array of guests, panels and films over its four days.

Despite failing biology as a youngster, Mr Darwin has ended up following the legacy left by his ancestor Charles Darwin. 

“We all tend to think we’re not impacted by our past, probably just because we like to believe that we are free agents doing what we like to do,” he said. 

“But then you look at my background and you go, well Charles sailed around the world starting when he was 23 - I sailed around Britain when I was about 23, I climbed in the Andes - Charles climbed in the Andes, I’ve written two books - Charles wrote a lot of books, I’m interested in trying to protect biodiversity - he was, and it seems rather too coincidental.”

Mr Darwin has had some pivotal moments in his life that have shaped who he is and his direction. 

The moment he realised his own impact on the planet had a profound effect, catalysing a lifestyle change to live within the resources of a single planet – as at the end of the day we’ve only got one.

“For me the really big impact was when I started measuring my impact on the planet and discovered that actually, far from being the solution, I was actually the problem,” he said. 

“If everybody lived like I was living you’d need 5.7 planets and that was a pretty big moment.”

Since that moment 2 years ago, Mr Darwin has reduced his footprint to just 0.8 of a planet. 

Mr Darwin will be live-streamed in to a question and answer session following the film Creation about Charles Darwin, and is the subject of the festival’s closing short film.

To find out more about what is on offer at the festival, visit the festival website

The Examiner