EnvironMental as Anything
Everyday people can do extraordinary things. Two men from sailing4sanity.au from the South Coast decided to sail all the way up to Newcastle on a sea kayak to join forces with the Rising Tide blockade.
The Newcastle movement known as Rising Tide, is the rising tide of ordinary people who have enough of the governmental and business inaction on climate change. Rising Tide is organising a people blockade in the port of Newcastle to bring attention to how much Australia contributes to global CO2 emissions with its coal and other fossil fuels exports.
Newcastle port is the largest coal and fossil fuel exporting port in the world. With 165 Mt of coal a year, the port ranks very high when compared to other international coal exporting ports. Ironically, Newcastle port is decarbonising its operations to be powered by renewable energy in 2040.
Our friends at the Shovel have written a satirical piece ‘Fossil Fuel Voice to Parliament to remain in place’ after the failure of the indigenous Voice referendum. As the Shovel puts it:
A panel providing policy advice to the Government on coal and gas projects will remain in place, after being overwhelmingly endorsed by fossil fuel companies today.
The advisory panel, which is made up of CEOs, lobbyists and other corporation elders, exists to provide secret advice on decisions which affect all Australians.
The decision to keep the panel was informed by a nation-wide, democratic vote. Just kidding. As if you’d ever get a say in who gets to rip stuff out of the ground in your own country. It was informed by a series of undisclosed meetings, cash donations and soft corruption.
The outcome was seen as a victory for the traditional owners of Governments past, present and emerging.
The Shovel is not just pulling this out of thin air! According to the Australia Institute’s latest research on subsidies to the fossil fuel industry:
‘In 2022–23, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $11.1 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries.
This year’s figure represents a 5% decline on last year’s, but subsidies in the forward estimates have increased from $55.3 billion to a record $57.1 billion. This is 14 times greater than the balance of Australia’s Disaster Ready Fund, which is used to respond to climate disasters.’
More and more people protest governmental decisions or lack of with direct action tactics. Why don’t they negotiate? Perhaps because they are not invited to or they are not listened to!
If many of us are passive in the face of the climate emergency crisis, others are taking action to protest and tell those in power that this is not acceptable. Others are even changing their lifestyle to minimise their footprint. These people install renewable energy systems in their home, they minimise their consumption, they change their cars for smaller models, they take public transport more often, and have become very thoughtful about the consequences of their daily life practices.
Brigit interviewed Tom Hunt from sailing4sanity.au about the journey to join forces with Rising Tide. Here is the conversation.