This book addresses the various legal aspects of the catastrophic bushfires burnt through millions of hectares of mainland Australia in the spring and summer of 2019 and 2020. Lives and properties were lost. Wildlife was destroyed. And for millions of Australians, and others worldwide, it was with the Australian wildfires that the global climate emergency became tangible, concrete, no longer a comfortably deferred, albeit problematic abstraction which could be consigned to future generations to deal with. This book explores the legal implications of new understandings of climate emergency arising from the fires, and potential legal avenues for seeking retribution – from government and from the big fossil fuel emitters. It also considers the impact of the fires on the burgeoning phenomenon of climate activism, particular in Australia, and whether there has been a corresponding shift in the State’s response to activists. Finally, the book reflects on the fires through the lenses offered by climate fiction, and apocalyptic fiction more generally, in order to consider how these shape, and might shape, our response to them. This important and timely book will appeal to environmental lawyers and socio-legal theorists; as well as other scholars and activists with interests in climate change and its impact.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Fire, Emergency and the Suspension of Law 2. Suing the Perpetrators: the Search for Retribution 3. Climate Activism in the Aftermath 4. Climate Crisis and the Role of Climate Fiction
Nicole Rogers is based in the School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University