People and Places
01/07/2021
Climate crisis is also a crisis for our health
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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Photos: Matt Hrkac

We are already seeing the impact the climate emergency is having on our environment, most notably the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 and historic NSW floods earlier this year. Something that isn’t as talked about is the impact the climate emergency is having on our health and well-being, and how this is set to worsen.

We are Extinction Rebellion (XR) Frankston – a group of seriously concerned locals taking part in a global movement for government and corporate action on the climate emergency. We have three demands for the Australian Government: declare a climate emergency; co-ordinate a just transition for fossil fuel workers towards net zero emissions by 2025; and form and be led by a Citizens’ Assembly of people like you and me, and for those less included in the conversation – particularly Indigenous peoples – to develop solutions together.

On Sunday, May 23, we staged an act of creative civil disobedience simulating a morgue outside Hoyts Cinema in Frankston to alert our community to the deadly consequences of government inaction on climate change. The Australian Medical Association, joining the US and British health organisations, has declared that climate change is causing a health emergency. This will severely impact the health and well-being of Australians through an increase in infectious diseases and extreme weather events, with the World Health Organization estimating the health costs of climate change to be between $US2-4 billion annually by 2030. Furthermore, vulnerable communities – including Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples and asylum-seekers – will be disproportionally affected.

This isn’t just an issue of environmental collapse. Society as we know it will be changed for ever. We believe that through acting together to hold governments and corporations accountable, a better Australia and a better world is possible.

XR Frankston meets fortnightly and we are currently organising an introductory talk for July. Email us at xrfrankston@protonmail.com to get involved and stay up to date with actions, events and information. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @XRFrankston, and @XR_Frankston on Twitter.

LARA WILLIAMSON and SOFIA GRAGE-MOORE

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