The stories that enrage and sustain us.
rage \ respite
edition 10
the stories that enrage and sustain us.
The past month has been filled with climate-driven disasters; from extreme heat to flash floods, record rain fall and wildfires. And still, world leaders are dragging their feet on meaningful, urgent action.

Unprecedented summer rainfall in western Europe has led to parts of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands experiencing deadly flooding and immense destruction, over 200 are dead and hundreds still missing.
Footage of passengers on underground trains in parts of China shows them standing in chest-high waters; there are stories of people calling their loved ones to say goodbye. London Underground stations were flooded as the city was hit by flash flooding. A heat dome has formed over North America where Canada has seen record-breaking temperatures that have killed almost 500 people. The Siberian Tundra, one of the coldest places on earth, is on fire. California and Brazil are experiencing record droughts.

Every corner of the earth is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. No longer can we simply palm the consequences of inaction off to developing parts of the world, it is on our doorstep and in the richest nations. When will our leaders take action?

Scientists are concerned that the effects of the 1.2 degrees of warming that the world has so far experienced is creating outcomes on-par or worse than previously predicted. Worryingly, scientists are also finding gaps in climate change modelling, particularly in seeing how its effects manifest at a local level. For example, new atmospheric changes that are not currently captured by climate models are believed to be occurring. Major jet streams that move air around the earth are believed to be slowing, allowing heat or wet weather systems to linger and inflict further suffering.

And yet, this season we've also seen world leaders travel by private jet to meet at a luxurious hotel in Cornwall to discuss our planet's future. They gorged on steak and lobster and were treating to an aerobatic jet show. The irony that the G7, a group of glorified politicians who are responsible for our future, enjoy fossil fuel-fuelled light entertainment at climate talks is not lost on anyone.

As the world burns, drowns and cooks around us, at home in Australia we have a government that is fighting tooth and nail to allow new coal, oil and gas projects to proceed. How bad do things have to get for them to finally take climate action? It may be too late to know.
Winter 2020 was a traumatic time for Victorians. The world was still scrambling to understand an ever-changing virus, governments were learning how to protect and shield communities and communities were learning to live with uncertainty and oftentimes, fear. 

The Victorian Government, the first in the country to deal with a significant outbreak, was developing systems and processes for contact tracing and isolation that the rest of the country has benefitted from. They, and all Victorians, learnt the lesson of what happens when you lock down too late; and together, we learnt the rules, and staying COVID-safe became second nature.

All the while, we were led by a leader who didn't bring concern for his reputation or political standing with him to work. Instead, he listened to expert health advice and did what needed to be done to protect Victorians, despite the consequences and the vile that was thrown at him by the conservative Murdoch media and federal government.

So now, as Victoria comes out of our fifth lockdown and the third snap lockdown of 2021, the well-oiled community is showing its strength.

Victorians have learnt that going hard early is the only way to keep an outbreak at bay. They remember their masks and wear them when required, they isolate according to the rules and keep their distance. Of course, there are outliers and selfish individuals, enflamed by the right-wing press, who protest lockdowns. But Victoria must be one of the few places in the world that has gotten a Delta outbreak under control, twice.

Over the border to the north, NSW has not learnt a thing. The Liberal Berejiklian Government locked down at the last possible moment, failed to mandate mask wearing and still allows many non-essential businesses to remain open. Many in Sydney don't understand social distancing and the vaccination rate is the lowest in the country, on par with Queensland and Western Australia. We fear that NSW will learn Victoria's lessons the hard way.

What a relief it is to know that a society like Victoria exists. One where leaders take responsibility, lessons are learnt and communities act for the greater good. There's no other place quite like it.

I slagged off the Olympics pretty hard in Edition 09, so I feel rather guilty for taking pleasure in enjoying the Archery over this past weekend in lockdown. With a many months' long lockdown looming here in Sydney, I was drawn to the precision, frivolity and focus of Archery, my new (only?) favourite sport.

For two days I was cast away into a world of distant targets, relative silence and incredible skill - it was, unexpectedly, the spirit I needed in these times. The women's and men's individual competitions are taking place this week. If you need a break, give it a go.

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Thank you for all the support on rage \ respite so far. Bear with me as I take a couple of weeks to re-focus on what this project will look like going forward.
Stay tuned!

This newsletter is created on the unceded lands of the Bidjigal and Gadigal people of the Eora nation. I pay my respects to their elders past and present.
A newsletter by Georgia Gibson.
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Clovelly, Clovelly, NSW, 2031, Australia