Fires are currently raging across New South Wales and Queensland as a result of an explosive combination of drought, high winds and dry air.
These same conditions have contributed to lower than average wheat and barley winter crop yields. This situation is set to further deteriorate as predictions of low summer rainfall mean less planting of summer crops.
As the climate crisis worsens, these kind of scenarios are becoming the new normal.
To confront the crisis, writer and journalist Naomi Klein says we need “the courage to dream a different kind of world and a different kind of future.”
She says we have “to shake off the sense of inevitable apocalypse that permeates every aspect of our culture” and envisage “a destination, a common goal, a picture of the world we are working towards.”
Klein is right.
We need to comprehend the seriousness of the situation we are in, but we also need to be able to come up with an alternative vision for the world we want — and commit ourselves to fighting for it.
The September 20 Global Climate Strike is shaping up to be a huge mobilisation for climate action and an important step in this fight.
When asked what she would like to see happen on the day, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said: “I want September 20 to be another tipping point, a social tipping point, where people start to realise the urgency of the crisis.
“Where there will be so many people that we cannot look away any more. And that we have people of all ages, of all parts of society, standing together, fighting for the same cause, because that would be so powerful.”
Unprecedented numbers of people across Australia will be taking the day off work and school to participate in local strikes for climate action.
But it’s not enough to just be a rebel for a day — we need to be rebels for life.
As Thunberg said: “We are standing at a crossroads, and we have to decide which path we want to take...
“Everyone has to choose. There can be no people standing by watching. Everyone needs to be involved. Everyone who can do something needs to do everything they can.
“Please pick a path, pick a side and continue and never stop fighting and see you on September 20.”
Green Left Weekly will be there on September 20, reporting on the protests and getting the word out about future actions.
We will continue to build, support and report on the upcoming Extinction Rebellion (XR) actions in October and the Stop IMARC protests later that same month in Melbourne.
And we will continue to provide news about the global climate movement to readers.
If you like our work, please become a Green Left supporter. Signing up is easy and you’ll help to support this vital social change project into the future.