A Message from the Edge of Climate Catastrophe
Released 2023, Wakefield Press
Unprecedented fires ripped across Kangaroo Island’s precious landscape in early 2020. Wildfires are an ancient presence in Australia, but this was a drier, hotter season than we have ever experienced. These were monster fires that burned too hot and were impossible to contain. Even the oldest souls within this small island community gravely shake their heads and whisper ‘never before’.
Margi Prideaux and her husband lost their home and farm on that fateful day. In the aftermath, Margi has chronicled her community’s journey from the disaster into the stark awareness of climate chaos, from climate apathy to frontline witnesses of a global climate crisis.
FIRE carries a message from a small community to the world. The time for words, and targets, and plans is over. Communities must adapt to survive and save what we can before it is too late. ‘We have experienced the beginning of the climate change curve and we cannot hand this hell to the future.’
‘This book is a revelation; an ambitious, poetic, sweeping account of the Black Summer fires … a natural catastrophe on a ferocious scale beyond the realm of anything previously experienced, or for that matter, imagined … a sterling primer for survival in the age of climate chaos which deserves very wide readership. This is a must-read book for the climate crisis era we are now living in.’
—Peter Garrett AM, noted environmentalist, former Australian Federal Minister, and Midnight Oil frontman
‘An incendiary appeal for sense with regard to climate change, and an excoriating and very brave, very courageous account of the fires.’
—Peter Goers, ABC Radio Adelaide
‘I absolutely loved ‘Fire’; the way in which Margi has weaved personal recounts through the book to support her research reiterates the dire need for action. Margi’s work is truly a powerful ‘call to arms’ – one of utmost importance; a must read for all.’
—Melissa Jones, CEO, BlazeAid
‘Margi Prideaux’s no newcomer to articulating the dire predicament we face due to the extraordinary complacency – and complicity – of our political leaders who dance around the edges of much needed change. Her wisdom gleaned from personal experience and her willingness to dive deep and untangle the wicked problems we now face provide us with more than hopium.’
—Petrea King, Quest for Life Foundation
‘Margi Prideaux weaves graphic human stories through the reality of our changed environment. A powerful, must-read for today and the future. A truly incredible book, written with compassion and understanding from within the fire-scar of earth.’
—Becky Westbrook, Evie and the Bushfire
‘Fire is brilliant and powerful and deeply, deeply moving. It is not a book I will easily forget. And I suspect that as the years of climate collapse roll on, I will think of and turn to it many times.’
—Stephen Harrod, Earth Grief: The Journey Into and Through Ecological Loss
‘An expression of despair, anger and bewilderment. The only way forward is not with more failed government policies, but through resolve and action at the grass-roots community level.’
—Alan Atkinson, Three Weeks in Bali
Global Environmental Governance, Civil Society and Wildlife
Released 2017, Routledge
The world is entering a period of unprecedented environmental and political change. By mid-century, climate change will cause dramatic ecosystem shifts. Hundreds, if not thousands, of species will disappear from the earth including icons like polar bears, gorillas, Asiatic lions and bluefin tuna.
For many cultures ’species’ are ’place’. As our cultivated global community erodes, international triage decisions about species and local ecosystems will commence and if we are not alert, these decisions will be made on our collective behalf, without local perspective or accountability. Global Environmental Governance, Civil Society and Wildlife illuminates a clear pathway for the environmental, non-governmental community to transition into a co-governance role. Many NGO diplomats have deeper experience and more technical knowledge about policy discussions than their government counterparts and are unburdened by sovereign constraints. The book puts forward the perspectives of developing world civil society and the case that it must play a more significant role in future decision making. Civil society from around the world must be welcomed by governments at the global environmental governance table if we are to hear birdsong after the storm.
An extraordinary book responding with experiential brilliance to the violent storm raging across the whole of planet earth. Writing with the deep knowledge of a scholar, the engaged fervor of a veteran activist, and the wisdom of a poetic visionary Margi Prideaux has produced an inspiring text for our time enlivened by its focus on the frightening ordeal we humans inevitably share with the animal wonders of nature also entrapped in this predatory capitalist world. Without exaggeration, a thrilling and indispensable guide to the future.
–Professor Richard Falk, Power Shift: On the New Global Order; and (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance.
‘[T]he exemplar of what happens when you combine two decades of cutting edge conservation at the practical level by a leading NGO, and critical thinking of what solutions, at the theoretical level, to some of the most pressing problems of our generation are required. This book is radical. From the personal journeys at the micro level, to the clashing of states at the macro level, this work will make you think as philosophy, politics and law are all tightly weaved into a convincing narrative. This is an excellent piece of scholarship.’
—Professor Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato. Author of International Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics; and Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law
Tales from the River
An Anthology of River Literature
Released 2018, Stormbird Press
This collection of river literature compiles both classic and cutting-edge essays of twenty-one writers who draw on their wisdom, compassion, and ecological consciousness to create an original and inspiring collection borne from their unique connection with the natural world.
Tales of the River features original writing by award winning authors including Anthony Birch, author of Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and cutting-edge prose by Kathleen Dean Moore best known for award-winning books about our cultural and spiritual relation to wet, wild places, and fresh new voices from across the globe.
This connection is shared in stories where, being so focused on the complexities of the river ahead makes the rest of the world completely disappear, and the smoke of a driftwood fire floats in air too thick to carry any sound but the rushing of the river. A canoe is tossed aside and rests akimbo with an aspen branch penetrating its hull, white fog flows down a river as if even the air runs to the sea, and an Aboriginal ‘slum kid’ steals a bike so he can visit a river rich in eucalypt trees that ‘old blackfellas’ had used to make bark canoes, scar trees.
Like Eric Sevareid’s Canoeing with the Cree, Hemingway’s Big Two-Hearted River, and Edward Abbey’s Down the River, the anthology promises glimpses into history, adventure and magic, and reminds us that the crystal-clear rivers of our childhoods are the way rivers are meant to be.
Editors Donna Mulvenna and Margi Prideaux share a passion for wild spaces as portrayed in the anthology’s dramatic range of environmental writing which offers an insight into rivers across the world, reflected by the varied perspectives of field biologists, environmentalists, wilderness guides, academics, writers, and naturalists.
Rivers are story bearers. In this volume, memories and murmurs, tragedies and travels, elegies and epics are borne to us on currents of masterful language. Reading Tales from the River was like sailing the world anew on a vessel built of sheer joy.
—Alyson Hagy, Ghosts of Wyoming and Scribe
This wonderful collection reminds us that rivers are far more than just sources of water: they nourish people’s fields and souls, they flow through our cities and our cultures. Protecting and restoring the world’s rivers requires us to value them for all their benefits: this book evokes these benefits and provides a powerful call for a re-evaluation of why rivers matter.
— Stuart Orr, Leader Freshwater Practice, WWF
Birdsong After the Storm
Averting the Tragedy of Global Wildlife Loss
Released 2018, Stormbird Press
There is a storm brewing. Humans may survive the turmoil and onslaught of climate change and political upheaval, but the world they create will be brittle and harsh. In choosing between the market, people, and wildlife, we are casting a future where a tiger’s footprints will not be seen in snowdrifts, and the deep, pungent smell of elephant musth won’t carry on the wind. Drawing on decades of experience as a wildlife activist, international negotiator, and academic, Dr Margi Prideaux describes how we can amplify voices from Africa, Asia and Latin America. She presents a poignant essay—we need not march into a tragic future where wildness disappears. Tapping local community wisdom, we can design promising potential. We can choose to hear birdsong after the storm.
Clearsighted, passionate and inspiring, Margi Prideaux has written a vital reimagining of the destiny of environmental activism. Birdsong After the Storm is a clarion call for civil society to step forward and demand greater power. This important and wise book will reshape the thinking of activists, environmentalists, NGOs and policy makers.
–Micah White, The End of Protest.
‘At once a window onto civil society and a critique of elite diplomacy, this book’s powerful call for a new earth-centred democracy cannot be ignored.’
—Professor Anthony Burke, UNSW
‘[P]rofound insights into why so many well-meaning international conservation efforts are failing so many communities and so many species. Prideaux’s spirited and brave call for truly collaborative governance with local communities deserves a full airing in the boardrooms of the big NGOs.’
—Professor Peter Dauvergne, University of British Columbia
All Things Breathe Alike
A Wildlife Anthology
One wildlife anthology. Three passionate nature writers. Nine engaging stories.
Humorous, heart-warming, and just plain entertaining, this delightful miscellany of creative non-fiction and fiction tales, by Margi Prideaux, Jessica Groenendijk, and Donna Mulvenna, captures wildlife writing at its most exciting and diverse.
All Things Breathe Alike takes you on a journey through some of the most scenic and rich wildlife habitats in the world. From the humble chameleon in Tanzania to the regal gorilla in Rwanda, from the irrepressible giant otter in the Peruvian Amazon to the majestic elephant in Thailand’s forests, and from the gentle sloth to the haughty harpy eagle in French Guiana, the insights and encounters with nature will charm and inspire anyone with a respect and love of wildlife.
After losing my home, farm, and wildlife sanctuary to the unprecedented and climate-driven Australian Black Summer wildfires, I am dedicating the next decade to writing about and advocating for human and non-human communities affected by unfolding climate chaos.
When I am not at my desk, I will be actively engaged in community building and climate change adaptation in my local region, and in re-establishing our self-sufficient farm.