FireFeels arose from two friends writing letters to each other about how they felt about the bushfires ravaging Australia in 2019/2020, and climate change more generally.
We then decided that our political representatives who have the power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus prevent such situations worsening need to know how we feel. So we are sending the letters to them.
We’re encouraging you to do the same by sharing your experiences of the bushfires. You might have noticed Scott Morrison wants us to stay calm, and that if our feelings get too ‘raw’ he won’t take it seriously. Well, we think he, and the rest of them, need to know that we will not calm down, we will not wait patiently for crumbs of a climate policy to be slowly dispensed while our homes and forests burn around us. We are feeling raw, and that’s because we are burning for change. We will continue to feel raw until we see real climate action.
Maybe you’re angry. Maybe you’re sad. Maybe you’re both. Maybe you’re numb, maybe you feel guilty, shocked, devastated, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, outraged… Maybe you can’t breathe. Whatever the case, let them know.
You might want to draw a picture, or take some photos, or write a poem, or make a video, rather than write in letter form. But however you do it, let your Member of Parliament know how you are feeling.
Normally when you write to a politician, you outline a problem and a solution. But we think they know, and we’re tired of being held responsible for policy development when they have the entire Australian Public Service to do that for them. So we are cutting that out, and just telling them how we feel and sharing our experiences and stories. We hope you will find doing so cathartic, potentially helpful, and hey, maybe they might finally take notice. (If you do want to ask for specific things, we think the School Strike 4 Climate’s demands are pretty savvy, and Environment Victoria also has a useful page).
You can find your Federal Member of Parliament or Senator here, and you can find their contact details here. You might also like to write to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, or the Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, or the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions, Angus Taylor. You might like to post your letter (or other media addressed to them) to their social media page too. We are using these hashtags: #FireFeels #BurningForChange #FireForYourMP and #WeDontNeedAnEmpathyCoach
We are publishing the letters here, to inspire you, and if you would like to publish yours on here, we would love that. To do so, please email your content to FireFeels2020@gmail.com, and let us know how you would like it attributed (i.e. your name, or anonymous, and any copyright for images (please make sure you have the right to use any images you provide us with), etc).
The focus of the campaign is on uncovering and expressing your feelings and telling your story. While a rage-fueled rant might tick those boxes, we won’t publish anything that is discriminatory (e.g. sexist, racist, homophobic, class-ist, etc) or that targets people on a personal level. Direct your rage at their policies, actions and statements. We won’t publish anything that constitutes climate denial, nor anything we know to be factually inaccurate. Having said that, nothing apart from our two personal letters on this site represents our views, and we take no responsibility for what others have written.
In love and rage,
Blanche and Mandy.