For some five decades, Australian struggles for Indigenous and ecological rights have followed increasingly braided paths. The first phase of 'green-Black' (or non-government environmentalist-Indigenous) contact was provoked by a mining boom and Australia's growing involvement in the global nuclear cycle in the early 1970s. Northern Aboriginal groups and southern environment organisations sought alliances to bolster their fragile political strength - for instance, to resist uranium mining.
Nature has long been 'denaturalised'. Since the 1980s, geographers, cultural theorists, historians and philosophers have problematised terms like 'nature' and 'wildness' as social constructs. Meanwhile the idea of 'wilderness' has been thrashed as racist by Indigenous activists.
Two shadows hung over negotiations at the Paris climate talks (COP 21). France was in a state of emergency following the terrorist attacks a fortnight earlier. Heavily armed security forces were prominent across the city, climate demonstrations were prohibited, and when they did occur they were quickly shut down. But over the following weeks anxiety was replaced with defiance. A huge sign - Fluctuat nec mergitur, the city's motto since 1358 - appeared on a…
Two great movies, The Day After Tommorrow and State of Fear, carry environmental debate into the heartland of popular culture and try to use mass entertainment to capture the hearts and minds of millions. Both the movies deal with the core problems of climate change by radiating the doubts and anxieties that frame global warming as an issue of public concern.