Aug. 26, 2020

Special | To Feed Two Birds With One Scone - Jess Fairfax

Special | To Feed Two Birds With One Scone - Jess Fairfax

The Climactic Collective is thrilled to be able to bring you this special feature, an audio documentary from Jess Fairfax -


An audio documentary by Jess Fairfax

Over the past year or so, I have found inspiration in the work of Michel Foucault, who believes in the power of discourse as both “an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy” (Foucault 1998). The dominant discourse our government upholds, preserves an economy powered by fossil fuels, despite the known impacts of global warming. With business as usual brought to a standstill due to COVID-19, and the government looking for ways to stimulate the economy, I felt an urgent need to amplify alternative discourses that point towards a new low carbon economy. Within this documentary you will hear from researchers, farmers and representatives from unions, investor groups and worker cooperatives about the environmental, social and economic impact of climate change and the solutions at hand.

The piece also considers how we might shift the way we think of ourselves from consumers to citizens, part of, not separate from, the environment.  Orr (1994) states that we must shift our current paradigm to one that “places us in the web of life as citizens of the biotic community”. Within the piece, I addressed this through using field recordings from various Australian ecosystems as background to the dialogue. I also believe music is an incredibly powerful medium and I composed the soundtrack as a way to bring beauty to conversations around the economy and energy systems. I wove stories my friends told me about their time outdoors during lockdown into the piece. I believe that isolation has instilled a great appreciation in many people of the value of green space for our mental and physical health. I hope this translates into citizen action around the need to preserve and care for the environment.

This piece is just the beginning and I encourage feedback, comments, communication, ideas, criticisms and importantly conversations. It is here that the power should be.

Here are the links to the interviewee’s organisations and publications, along with other references:

LUKE SKINNER – Climate Justice Union of WA

PETER HOLDING – Farmers for Climate Action

EMMA HERD – Investors Group on Climate Change

PETRA STOCK- Climate Works Australia

DAN MUSIL – Earthworker Cooperative

Other References:

The Guardian: Business, unions and green groups call for sustainable Covid-19 recovery with clean energy transition

The Sydney Morning Herald: Breakthrough moment: Woodside investors revolt on climate change

The Australian Financial Review: Coronavirus complicated Woodside’s task on LNG

The Guardian: COVID Commission boss Nev Power steps back at gas company amid conflict of interest concerns

ReNew Economy: Solar, batteries, micro-grids and ISP should be added to Covid-19 response 

The Clean Energy Council: Renewables clean energy has the potential to drive covid-19 economic rebuild 

The IEA: Put clean energy at the heart of stimulus plans to counter the coronavirus crisis 

The Age: ‘Ambitious climate action a double win for economy in Coronavirus recovery’

The Conversation: Why it doesn’t make sense to ignore climate in our recovery from the pandemic


Foucault, Michel (1998) The History of Sexuality: The Will to Knowledge, London, Penguin.

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