AQ Volume 88, Issue 4
Is Australia’s judicial system awash with vexatious litigation from eco-terrorists?
Why have current and previous governments attempted to erode community objection laws, to mega mines like Adani’s Carmichael mine?
With one of the Middle East’s most important cities reduced to rubble, what has been lost in the sacking of Aleppo?
And what irony lies at the heart of the Pacific Islands’ survival in the face of climate change?
Law, Legitimacy and Activism in the Anthropocene
There’s a growing narrative that we are blindly walking down the path to catastrophic climate change. But the truth is even scarier – we are being shepherded down this path quite deliberately, by governments and vested corporate interests. Yet when confronted with legal interventions by communities and landowners, governments have been making ever-increasing use of state power to silence opposition. The climate clock is ticking over to midnight and we are all waking up. The question is: what are we going to do about it?
The Lost City: Homage to Aleppo
In the hills around Aleppo the wild grasses that homo sapiens first cultivated twelve millennia ago still bear seed; except now they’re springing up amongst the rubble of a fallen city. Once a rich court of philosophers, poets, historians and musicians, Aleppo has survived sacking and looting by Mongol and Byzantine Christian armies, but none of these invaders were able to cause the degree of destruction now witnessed. There is no earthly way to console those who mourn Aleppo and its people but there should at least be a pause to honour the lost city and its splendid past.
Under-Mining Public Trust – The Rhetoric of Lawfare
Access to justice underpins the trust citizens have in their governments. And like most OECD countries, levels of trust in Australia’s national government have been declining for a decade. Under our democratic system the separation of powers enables the judiciary to be a check and balance on government decisions. Yet the ‘lawfare’ rhetoric being utilised by ministers and industry lobbyists is a dangerous attempt to erode public access to the courts, further undermining public trust in government decisions.
Sun, Wind and Fire – Renewable Energy in the Pacific
One of the ironies of anthropogenic climate change is that Pacific Islands threatened by rising sea levels are also highly dependent on carbon emitting fossil fuels for their energy needs. So as the Pacific Island nations plead for the major nations to reduce their reliance on carbon emitting fuels to save these island paradises, action is also urgently needed to reduce the Pacific Islanders’ carbon dependence. By uncoupling these islands from expensive fossil fuel imports there could be wide-ranging economic benefits, and provide a test case for improving energy infrastructure in developing countries around the world.