Bushfires, supercyclones and 'resilience': Is it being weaponised to deflect blame in the climate crisis?

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    2020 has been a year of cascading crises for us all. The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to eclipse the longer term crisis of global climate change. Australia's Black Summer of unprecedented bushfires in 2019-20 and Vanuatu's experience of Tropical Cyclone Harold in April 2020 were both signs of the increasing severity of 'natural' disasters due to anthropogenic climate change. Combining personal and political reflections on these two disasters, this essay analyses how the discourse of �resilience' can deflect blame from the ultimate causes of climate change in increased greenhouse gas emissions and from those countries and corporations who are primarily responsible for the climate crisis. In both Australia and Vanuatu, it interrogates where resilience is located: in government and corporate systems of disaster preparedness and infrastructure and/or the communities and people who are suffering disasters of increasing severity and frequency. Per capita, Australia is one of the most polluting countries in the world and its current retrograde policies on climate change and energy perpetuate both climate crisis and injustice, whereby those in the Pacific who contribute the least to climate change suffer the most. Global inequalities are both cause and consequence of climate change. Fighting climate change must entail fighting against inequalities to achieve climate justice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-90
    JournalScottish Geographical Journal
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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