Meet Laurel Colless: author, speaker, carbon buster!
“I began focusing on climate education for 9 to 12-year-olds, because they ‘get’ the urgency of climate change and can’t wait for one of their big ideas to become part of the solution.”
– Laurel Colless
I got started on the Peter Blue series following a pivot away from my career in environmental business. In short, I gave up on the world of grownups, who will invariably put short-term economic imperatives ahead of long-term environmental gains that are good for people, planet, and that ultimately make good business sense.
Instead, I began working with the upcoming generation, who are now 9 to 12-year-olds. They get the urgency of climate change and can’t wait for one of their big ideas to become part of the solution. They also still believe in magic and oneness of nature.
The story telling behind the Peter Blue series grew along with the teaching materials. Working with teachers and scientists to develop lesson plans, I quickly found that my characters and their adventures made good springboards into all kinds of learning activities.
But while the lessons are of course science-based, the eco-adventures of Peter Blue and his friends exist foremostly as entertainment – and that’s a promise!
Having said that, if a reader were to join the dots linking overconsumption and extreme weather with the enemy Anthrog demons born from garbage dumps, who show up as killer storms, then so much the better. But having this extra layer of awareness, should neither add nor detract from the full enjoyment of a page-turning story.
Australian-New Zealand children’s author Laurel Colless grew up with books as her friends. Always a fan of adventure stories with twists, Laurel reverts to her eleven-year-old self when writing the Peter Blue books, a science fantasy series where a group of young friends solve big world problems and battle the evil foes of climate change.
A literary comparatist by education, Laurel spent 25 years working in environmental business and journalism in Asia, the US and Europe, before coming back to writing. She is the founder of the Carbon Busters Club, a kids’ climate-science adventure program that combines storytelling and dramatic arts with science education.
In 2013, Laurel Colless became an Al Gore Climate Reality Leader.
When Laurel is not writing or busting carbon, she likes reading, watching movies, forest walking with her dog (and sometimes even her cat!) and spending time with her teenage daughters. She is a fan of rugby, golf, tennis, yoga, and swimming in the sea (not with her cat).
After living on four continents, Laurel now makes her home in Helsinki with her Finnish husband, their two daughters, a wiry-haired dachshund and a rescue cat.
“If we can get children to love the environment, to protect it and find new ways to stem the effects of climate change then this is the greatest demographic we can reach, because the children going through this project are the adults of tomorrow.” – Laurel Colless