Fair-trade initiatives, known by a variety of names, are promoted as a way of alleviating the suffering of people in the Third World by insulating poor producers from the downward pressure on prices caused by global market competition. Proponents argue that fixed prices for their commodities allow fair-trade producers to pay their workers a living wage, hire adults instead of children, produce in a way that is better for the environment and local communities, and ensure that the conditions of production can be reliably reproduced.
The climate crisis is causing hellish disruption around Australia. In the past week alone, more than a quarter of NSW government areas have been declared disaster zones, and evacuation orders have affected 47,000 people. Meanwhile, many victims of the earlier Lismore floods are still homeless, after 4,000 buildings were rendered uninhabitable by the record-breaking deluge. Beyond our corner of the world, people in the poorest countries are suffering the worst effects of climate change.
23 September 2020 will go down in the University of Sydney’s activist history books as the day students and staff successfully defied the New South Wales government’s anti-protest laws and resisted the Liberal Party’s attacks on universities.
The time for waiting for governments and corporations to act on climate change is over. It is delusional to think that they will, of their own accord, take the drastic action required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial-society levels (the limit after which scientists say we reach a climate crisis tipping point). So we have two choices: act now, or put our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. I’ve chosen to act, along with thousands of others around the world, by joining the Extinction Rebellion protests.
Under the guise of freedom of speech, defending religious freedom and “letting kids be kids”, LGBTI people have faced an assault from recently anointed prime minister and homophobe in chief Scott Morrison.
Images of battle-weary soldiers and children drenched in napalm are burned into the minds of those who lived through or have studied the Vietnam War, a conflict that left up to 5 million people dead.