A change in the political weather?

Forecasting the future of climate policy

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  • Published 20190205
  • ISBN: 9781925773408
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN RECENT YEARS, a figure has begun to emerge from the dark recesses of Australia’s colonial history – one of the most progressive and courageous people from Queensland’s violent pastoral and logging frontier. Danish-born Carl Feilberg was a journalist and fiction writer of elegance, an environmentalist and Indigenous rights campaigner who confronted Queensland’s politicians and their vested pastoral and logging interests with ugly truths about their killing of the country and its custodians. Feilberg is colonial Queensland’s most notable early non-Indigenous human rights activist, and perhaps this continent’s first campaigning environmentalist; yet he has remained an obscure figure until recently because most of his advocacy appeared anonymously, without by-line, in a range of Queensland newspapers.

However, another Dane, the Queensland-based political historian Robert Ørsted-Jensen, is now reintroducing Feilberg to Australia through a forthcoming biography. Feilberg, born in 1844, survived childhood tuberculosis and migrated to Australia in the hope that the climate might bring him longevity. He wrote for and edited papers in Queensland including The Queenslander (the weekend literary edition of The Brisbane Courier, later The Courier-Mail). Between May and June 1880, he published a provocative series of thirteen editorials titled ‘The Way We Civilise; Black and White; The Native Police’ about widespread atrocities against Aboriginal people.

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