The stories that enrage and sustain us.
rage \ respite
edition 01
the stories that enrage and sustain us.
Image from above of a secluded cove, surrounded by thick rainforest.
Moses Bridge. Halsteren, Netherlands via @tomorrowcreates

“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything” is the philosophy the Morrison government is grounding Australia’s vaccine roll out in. While the UK and US proudly parade their daily vaccination numbers (read: over 130m people in the US are now fully vaccinated), Australia’s status is shrouded in secrecy.

We don’t really know how many people have received their jabs, how many vaccines are available, and, the most troubling and confusing question, why the roll out has slowed to a point where a nurse vaccinated
just one person in an 8 hour shift at a central Melbourne hub. Any requests for this information by journalists or scientists have been rejected, and epidemiologists, our very own public health experts, are having to
rely on unofficial sources to stay informed.

Abroad, we’re seeing people aged 30-50, a crucial demographic for minimising the spread, starting to receive their vaccine. But at home, under 50s have no roadmap for when they’ll be rolling up their sleeves. 

With over 90% of over-40s having already received their first dose in the UK, Australia is trailing behind. This week, the Coalition excitedly announced that 2m doses of Pfizer will be available per week... from October. In early 2021, during the global vaccine race, the Morrison government committed to vaccinating all adults by the end of October. Now this goal has been abandoned and no updated target has been set. 

All this considered, we can see why mistrust of the roll out is palpable in the community; over 50s aren't heading to their hubs in great numbers, 30% of Australians say they won't get vaccinated and some are arguing that the government should start paying people to do so. How did we get here?

As we approach another winter, it's easy to feel as though our opportunity to be on the front foot of a third wave has been missed. Our communities remain vulnerable, epidemiologists are struggling to plan without accurate information, hospitals feel unprepared and we're all wondering how this was so colossally screwed up behind closed doors.

Incompetence and secrecy plague Australia's leadership. As a federal election peeks over the horizon, let's encourage our communities to consider Australia's post-Covid future when we head to the polls.
As governments around the world continue to drag their feet on climate and grandstand their lacklustre environmental policies, communities are turning to the courts for desperate action.

Since signing the Paris Agreement in 2016, the UK government has paid £3.2 billion in subsidies to North Sea oil and gas companies, paying them to pollute. And while receiving these subsidies, major fossil fuel companies are
laying off workers, meaning that nobody benefits from their propping up.

(We're no better. Australia gave out $10.3 billion in subsidies to fossil fuel companies this financial year, almost doubling the UK's handouts.)

In comparison to other European countries that drill in the North Sea, the UK receives the least in tax from the fossil fuel industry but offers the most in subsidies; meaning the UK is the most profitable country on earth for oil and gas producers.

So three activists are taking the UK government to court with the campaign
Paid to Pollute, claiming that Number 10's continuous pay-outs to fossil fuel companies are unlawful. Partnering with law firms and supported by environmental organisations, the three activists argue that the subsidies provided to climate-destroying fossil fuel corporations could instead fund a just transition. That is, investing in the renewable economy while providing jobs for fossil fuel workers to transition to.

Increasingly, climate change litigation is becoming
an avenue for driving action, with the trend leading to wins for activists around the world; from the German court ruling that climate inaction violates the rights of the young to the French state being charged with failing to keep its promises to tackle emissions. The International Bar Association has even produced a legal model on how to undertake proceedings against your government for their failure to act on climate change.

And predictably, it's young people who are leading the charge and inspiring hope. From Peru to China, children are showing more leadership and courage in protecting their future than our geriatric governments. Could the legal system be more powerful than the political in driving desperately needed climate action? Take your government to court today and find out!

This newsletter is created on the lands of the Bidjigal and Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.
A newsletter by Georgia Gibson.

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Clovelly, Clovelly, NSW, 2031, Australia