human activity and the destruction of the planet

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Oil giants spending millions to block climate change action

A report, cited in msn news and The Guardian, states that most of the top oil companies are lobbying on social media advertisements proclaiming the virtues of fossil fuel production.  The report was published by InfluenceMap.

The report’s author, Edward Collins, analysed corporate spending on lobbying, briefing and advertising, and assessed what proportion was dedicated to climate issues. He found that the largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change.  Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil were the main companies leading the field in direct lobbying to push against a climate policy to tackle global warming. Increasingly they are using social media to successfully push their agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation in the USA to tackle global warming.  In the run-up to the US midterm elections last year $2m was spent on targeted Facebook and Instagram ads by global oil giants and their industry bodies, promoting the benefits of increased fossil fuel production.

But the report said these campaigns were misleading the public about the extent of the oil companies’ actions because, while publicly endorsing the need to act, they are massively increasing investment in a huge expansion of oil and gas extraction. In 2019 their spending will increase to $115bn, with just 3% of that directed at low carbon projects.

The Guardian article provides graphic data to support these statements.


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Heat stress in the Global South

Some 1.8–4.1 billion people living in the developing countries of South Asia, South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are vulnerable to heat-related stress, and lack access to technology to cool their living spaces, according to new estimates.

“Addressing the lack of access to thermal comfort has important implications for reducing the risk of heat-related deaths and dysfunction and improving the well-being of billions of people in the Global South,” Alessio Mastrucci, an author of the study and researcher at the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), tells SciDev.Net.

The authors note that as health risks rise with global temperatures, the need for air conditioning is expected to add to global energy demands.

Universal access to electricity and adequate and affordable housing are prerequisites to accessing cooling technologies, and are closely linked to meeting several of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mandated by the UN, the study notes. According to Mastrucci, filling this “cooling gap” links with the SDGs on affordable and clean energy, poverty reduction, health and wellbeing, and sustainable cities and communities.

Clinton Andrews, professor of urban planning at Rutgers University in the United States, says that the study shows that “even after accounting for longstanding adaptations that people living in hot climates have made to local conditions, the poor who lack access to electricity, and therefore air conditioning, are at increasing risk of health problems due to heat stress”.

Although previous studies have estimated demands for cooling on a global scale, few have focused on developing countries, and more specifically where adverse climate conditions and poverty converge.

The researchers looked at the energy needed to meet cooling needs of populations exposed to heat stress by taking into account climatic conditions, type of housing, access to electricity and ownership of air conditioners.

energy infographic

“We estimate that between 1.8 and 4.1 billion people in the Global South — with a median of 3.7 billion for 26 degrees Celsius set point threshold and at least five days of annual exposure — are potentially exposed to heat stress in their homes,” says Narasimha Rao, co-author of the study and assistant professor of energy systems at Yale University in the United States.

Closing the cooling gap would mean a rise in energy demand of 14 per cent above current global consumption of electricity in homes, their model suggests. This demand is expected to be met mainly by using air conditioning, which is costly and environmentally damaging.

The authors note that timely policies to make air conditioning technologies efficient and affordable, and to improve the design of residential areas in order to reduce heat island effects, would benefit both the climate and development.

With acknowledgements

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How climate change affects extreme weather around the world: Carbon Brief analysis

Carbon Brief is a UK-based website designed to “improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response”.  It is funded by the European Climate Foundation and is based in London. The article cited , and included, below received a highly-commended award for investigative journalism from the Royal Statistical Society.  Originally published in 2017, it is updated annually.

Mapped: How climate change affects extreme weather around the world

Scientists have published more than 230 peer-reviewed studies looking at weather events around the world, from Hurricane Katrina to Russia’s 2010 heatwave. The result is mounting evidence that human activity is raising the risk of some types of extreme weather, especially those linked to heat.

Carbon Brief’s analysis suggests 68% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change. Heatwaves account for 43% such events, droughts make up 17% and heavy rainfall or floods account for 16%.

To track how the evidence on this fast-moving topic is stacking up, Carbon Brief has mapped – to the best of their knowledge – every extreme event attribution study from a peer-reviewed journal.

The map below shows 260 extreme weather events across the globe for which scientists have carried out attribution studies. The different symbols show the type of extreme weather; for example, a heatwave, flood or drought. The colours indicate whether the attribution study found a link to human-caused climate change (red), no link (blue) or was inconclusive (grey).

How to use our map of attribution studies.

Use the plus and minus buttons in the top-left corner, or double click anywhere, to zoom in on any part of the world. Click on a weather event to reveal more information, including a quote from the original paper to summarise the findings and a link to the online version.

The filter on the left allows users to select a specific type of weather event to look at or, for example, only those found to be influenced by climate change.

The software used to make the map currently only works with a Web Mercator projection (as used by virtually all major online map providers). It is worth noting that this – like all map projections – offers a somewhat distorted view of the world.

It is important to note that the weather events scientists have studied so far are not randomly chosen. They can be high-profile events, such as Hurricane Harvey, or simply the events that occurred nearest to scientific research centres. (More on this later.)

Guardsmen help evacuate Texans in need during Hurricane Harvey, Houston, Texas

Weather types

The 260 weather events in the map are covered by 234 individual scientific papers. Where a single study covers multiple events or different locations, these have been separated out.

Combining the evidence over the past 20 years, the literature is heavily dominated by studies of extreme heat (31%), rainfall or flooding (20%) and drought (18%). Together, these make up more than two-thirds of all published studies (68%). The full list is available in this Google sheet.

As the chart below shows, the number of events studied each year has grown rapidly over time; from eight in 2012 to 59 in 2018. Note that the studies typically follow a year or so after the event itself as the writing and peer-review process for journal papers can take many months.

The majority of studies included here have been published in the annual “Explaining extreme events” special issues of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). Each bumper volume typically contains around 20-30 peer-reviewed studies of events from the previous year. Other studies have been found through the Climate Signals database and online searches through journals.

Specific types of event can be displayed in the chart below by clicking on the category names at the top.

Number of attribution studies by extreme weather event type and year. Note: the total number of events dipped in 2017 because the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society special report for that year was published in early 2018 rather than late 2017.

Most of the categories of extreme weather are self-explanatory, but “storms” and “oceans” require a bit of explanation.

For ease of presentation, the “storms” category includes both tropical cyclones (i.e. hurricanes, typhoons) and extratropical storms. The “oceans” category encompasses studies looking at sea surface temperatures and storm surges, such as those generated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Hurricane Sandy (pdf, p17) along the eastern US seaboard.

Thirsty people drinking from a public fountain set up for Paris Plage, during the summer heatwave, Paris, France.

There are also some new categories of events in this update, including “coral bleaching” and “ecosystem services”, reflecting the ongoing developments in attribution science.

For example, two studies focusing on 2016 found that El Niño and human-caused climate change combined to bring drought and poor harvests to southern Africa (pdf, p91), and that enhanced warming of sea surface temperatures increased the risk (pdf, p144) of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Such studies show that attribution studies are increasingly considering the impacts of extremes, rather than focusing purely on the weather event. One of the first of these “impact attribution” studies was published in 2016. It estimated that 506 of the 735 fatalities in Paris during the 2003 European heatwave were down to the fact that climate change had made the heat more intense than it would otherwise have been. The same was true for 64 of the 315 fatalities in London, the study said.

This shift towards impacts “is quite significant”, says Prof Peter Stott, who leads the climate monitoring and attribution team at the Met Office Hadley Centre and has been a co-editor of the BAMS reports since they began in 2012. He tells Carbon Brief:

“Impacts are hard to do because you have to establish a significant link between the meteorology and the impact in question. As editors, we’ve been trying to encourage more studies on impacts because it’s the impacts rather than the meteorology per se that tends to motivate these types of study – and if we only have the attribution on the meteorological event then we only have an indirect link to the relevant impact.”

Finally, some attribution research has also looked at the human influence on changes in general indicators of climate change, such as global average temperature or sea level rise. These have not been included in the attribution map as the focus here is on extremes.

Human influence

Turning to the results of the attribution studies that have been published so far, scientists found that human-caused climate change has altered the likelihood or severity of an extreme weather event in 78% of cases studied (68% made more severe or likely and 10% made less so).

In Carbon Brief’s first edition of this analysis in 2017, 68% of events were found to have a human impact (with 63% made more severe or likely and 6% less so).

Note that events are classified here as having an human impact if climate change is found to have influenced at least one aspect of that event. For example, a study of the 2011 East Africa drought found that climate change contributed to the failure of the “long rains” in early 2011, but that the lack of “short rains” in late 2010 was down to the climate phenomenon La Niña. This event is, thus, designated as having a human impact.

For the majority of events affected by climate change, the balance has shifted in the same direction. That is, rising temperatures made the event in question more severe or more likely to occur. These events are represented by the red in the chart below. Clicking on the red “slice” reveals that heatwaves account for 43% of such events, droughts for 17% and rainfall or flooding for 16%. Return to the original chart, and do the same with the other slices to see the proportion of different weather types in each category.

In 11% of studied weather events, scientists found climate change had made the event less likely or less severe (pale orange in the chart above).

Unsurprisingly, this category includes blizzards and extreme cold snaps. However, it also features a few studies that suggest climate change has lessened the chances of heavy rainfall, and another that found rising temperatures have made agricultural drought in California less likely.

With thanks and acknowledgements to Carbon Brief.

The complete article can be found at

Mapped: How climate change affects extreme weather around the world

Later sections of the article contains sections on:



heavy rain and flooding




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England is running short of water

According to a report from the CEO (Sir James Bevan) of the Environment Agency, and published in The Guardian, England could be running out of water in 25 years’ time.

The reasons for this are an increasing population, with an increasing demand for water and the effects of climate change.

Sir James Bevan

People’s water use and leakage from pipes needs to be cut by 33% and 50%, respectively, according to Bevan.  He suggests introducing some ambitious measures, such as:

Building new and larger reservoirs; build additional desalination plants; and develop new ways of transporting water across the country.

In a speech to Waterwise, Bevan said that all water companies need to identify their biggest risk, that is Climate Change.  By 2040, more than half of our summers are expected to be hotter than the 2003 heatwave, he said, leading to more water shortages and potentially 50-80% less water in some rivers in the summer.

The average person’s daily water use of 140 litres could be brought down to 100, by raising awareness of water wastage and making it socially unacceptable to waste water.

England’s population is expected to rise from 67 million to 75 million by 2050.  Maybe this should be addressed, as well as the above measures.

Any planned developments to conserve water should also be sensitive to the needs of wildlife and the environment.


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Arctic is now locked into destructive climate change: new UN Report

According to a new commissioned UN Report, there is no chance now of saving the arctic from devastating destruction:

The report describes scenarios where arctic winter temperatures increase by 3-5 degrees by 2050, compared to 1986-2005 levels, and by 5-9 degrees by 2080.  It is expected to happen regardless of the success of measures introduced since the Paris climate change Agreement in 2015.

According to the report, even if global emissions were to stop overnight, winter temperatures in the Arctic would continue to rise by up to 5 C by 2100 compared to average temperatures in the late 20th century. The temperature rise is described by the report as “locked in” because of greenhouse gases already emitted and heat stored in the ocean. This is because carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions have a delayed effect; the emissions being produced today (and which continue to be produced) will have effects for decades. The momentum of climate change is very strong in the Arctic.

According to the report, this would devastate the region and cause sea level rises across the world.


Jan Dusic, author of the report

A massive melting of ice and a thawing of the permafrost is to be expected, threatening biodiversity and changing the living conditions of Arctic communities.

It appears that the thawing trend is now irreversible.

For further details, see:

And now, another report about changing Arctic temperatures from the Washington Post on 14th May 2019:

“Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eclipsed 415 parts per million for the first time in human history.”


The recordings were taken in Arkhangelsk, Russia, where the average high temperature is around 54ºF this time of year. The city of 350,000 people sits next to the White Sea, which feeds into the Arctic Ocean’s Barents Sea.

The abnormally warm conditions in this region stemmed from a bulging zone of high pressure centred over western Russia. This particular heat wave, while a manifestation of the arrangement of weather systems and fluctuations in the jet stream, fits into what has been an unusually warm year across the Arctic and most of the mid-latitudes.

These changes all have occurred against the backdrop of unremitting increases in carbon dioxide, which has now crossed another symbolic threshold.

Saturday 11th May’s carbon dioxide measurement of 415 parts per million at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory is the highest in at least 800,000 years and probably over 3 million years. Carbon dioxide levels have risen by nearly 50 percent since the Industrial Revolution.


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XR activities taking off all over the world – with updates as they happen

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is the organisation set up to raise awareness of the urgency to act on climate change, calling on local and national governments to declare a climate emergency.

The details below are copied directly from XR’s Newsletter No. 14:


Welcome to the 14th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

In the global north, spring is almost here – but Extinction Rebellion is blooming in both hemispheres, bringing our ideas and energy to minds and streets around the world.

In time for the new season, we’ve publicly released our strategy for the coming months – you can read it here. Branching out from the main strategy is a specific actions overview, from which in turn has branched an actions how-to guide which will help people all over the world to organise their own rebellions against our criminally complacent systems.

Speaking of guidance, the snowballing Earth March has also released a guide to help rebels everywhere in joining or establishing a March near them.

And in case that isn’t enough preparation, the Spring Uprising festival, coming up on the 16th of March, will welcome rebels from across the UK (or even beyond!) to take part in a weekend of training, celebration and community. You can book tickets here.

But it’s not all preparation – in fact there’s been so much going on over the past few weeks that it’s been hard to keep up. Actions include XR launching in many new countries and cities, rebel teachers marching on the Department of Education in London, XR members blocking coal ports in Australia, and a week of rebellion across Canada.

More and more citizens across the globe are joining our movement and standing up to rebel for life; in celebration of this global solidarity, this week we’re giving special prominence to the actions of our fellow rebels all over the world.

We’re entering a pivotal moment in history – if you’d like to get involved, our volunteers page has just published an exciting new round of available roles which we’d really love to fill. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form. If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.

If you’d like to look back through the newsletter archive, you can find it here.

Please help us improve the newsletter by telling us what you think about its current content, format and what are the most important things we should be including. Take the 4 minute survey.


  • International Highlights
  • Recent UK Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Announcements
  • Extreme Weather
  • Latest News and Data
  • Recommended Content
  • Regenerative Culture / Good News Stories

International Highlights

South Africa – February 7, March 15 and 23

Rebels used South Africa’s recent state-of-the-nation address to raise awareness of Extinction Rebellion’s demands, by holding a mock parliament and making their own address to the nation. There’s an ongoing, dynamic discussion about how XR can best tackle South Africa’s unique challenges, and help people affected by climate breakdown.

As well as participating in the upcoming international actions, Extinction Rebellion South Africa has two upcoming events:

March 15 Co-hosting the Cape Town Climate Strike, in solidarity with school students.

March 23 Funeral for the earth events in Cape Town, Jo’burg, Durban and more.

Italy – February 10

Rebels performed a die-in at a Mall in Milan. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon so the mall was busy, and the protest garnered a lot of attention. You can watch Extinction Rebellion Italy’s beautifully produced video here.

Canada – February 10-17

An Extinction Rebellion week in Canada saw a variety of creative actions across the country. As well as road-blocks and die-ins, XR attempted to deliver 4180 dumpster-dived candy canes to a politician to highlight the problem of food waste, and used the occasion of Valentine’s day to invite people to write love letters to trees.

Switzerland – February 12 and 23

Lausanne saw its first Extinction Rebellion action on February 12, when Rebels enacted a silent grieving in front of the city hall. This powerful demonstration asked arriving councillors to vote yes on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, and prioritise measures to combat climate breakdown. The resolution was postponed but the Swiss rebels remain undeterred, declaring “the pressure on the government is only the beginning”.

Meanwhile, in Zurich, on February 23, Rebels performed a series of die-ins in the city’s main shopping area. More than 25 participants simultaneously dropped to the ground and remained motionless for five minutes, while others spoke to people in the crowd. Despite some negative (though comical) comments such as “you should be at home making babies!”, the response was generally positive.

Belgium – February 19

In a spectacular first action for their country, Rebels protested outside a high-level international climate conference in Brussels. Rebels challenged the attending world leaders to set more ambitious targets on the oceans and climate change; they also managed to infiltrate the conference and interrupt the opening speech by Prime Minister Charles Michel (you can see a video of that here and more coverage on their facebook page). Their protest received significant media coverage: see here, here, here, and here for a few examples (not in English).

Sweden – February 22

Teachers in Stockholm demonstrated in front of their Department of Education in solidarity with protesting UK teachers and pupils, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency and the prioritization of the climate crisis in education. Students must be taught the truth about the ongoing catastrophe, they insisted, and all student climate strikes must be permitted.

Ireland – February 10

Extinction Rebellion Ireland, in coalition with other groups, held a die-in in Dublin on February 10, to protest a proposed gas terminal. This was covered in the media, including on page two of the Irish Independent, a prominent newspaper (picture shown here).

The Irish Rebels have also been busy holding various meetings and community talks.

Germany – February 23

In Hamburg, Rebels held a ‘funeral’ march in memory of all of the species that have gone extinct due to human activity. It was the first action in Hamburg; Rebels found it to be a good chance to meet each other and plan for the future. This video gives good coverage of the event.

Czech Republic – February 26

Extinction Rebellion CZ had a high visibility action when they dropped a banner in Prague old town square, calling upon the City of Prague to declare a climate emergency. Bravo!

The Netherlands – March 10th

40,000 people demonstrated against climate change in Amsterdam, urging the Dutch government to take action on climate change – see photograph below.  Unfortunately, the British press failed to report on this significant event.




Recently, having blocked a coal terminal in Australia for several days, protesters were greeted by a row of police at the gates to Abbot point, Adani. One protester had suspended himself on a giant tripod above the railway line that feeds key Adani infrastructures.

Spain – March 1 and 5

Extinction Rebellion Spain University group, along with FridaysForFuture and Youth4Climate, held a sit-in at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.

Now, Rebels are inviting climate and ecocide protesters to join them on the March 5th at 7.30pm in Madrid. They plan to hold a ‘jam’ in the city centre and are inviting everyone to share their creative skills. This could involve music, dance, circus skills and art on the streets. For more information click here.

France – March 24

French working groups are busy preparing for the “Jour de Declaration de Rebellion” (JDR) on 24 March, which will mark the start of Extinction Rebellion action there. It will take place at 2pm at the Place de la Bourse, in Paris, and will urge the government to meet Extinction Rebellion’s demands. A declaration statement will go out as a press release on March 20. The event page is here.

Planning is already underway for follow-up civil disobedience locally and nationally, and Rebels are conducting training in non-violent direct action and discussing how best to respond to the questions of the media and individuals.

Recent UK Activity

London Rebels Disrupt International Petroleum Week

On Wednesday 27th February, Extinction Rebels disrupted International Petroleum Week by blocking access to the hotel hosting an international gathering of fossil fuel companies, meeting to network and form new partnerships. Global finance’s cynical continuation of the status quo at the cost of life on this planet cannot continue unchecked, and we are supremely grateful to the brave Rebels who took action to disrupt the event and draw attention to the crimes of Big Oil. And despite the ideological clash, some delegates expressed support for Extinction Rebellion and took up the chanting inside.

Filmmaker Jack Harries was among nine arrested at the peaceful action, where activists glued themselves to the glass front doors of the hotel.

The Blue Wave, Glasgow

On March 2nd people flooded into Glasgow dressed in blue and green to draw attention to the rising sea-levels and flooding caused by the changing climate. They came together to demand that Glasgow City Council join local authorities across the country in making a Declaration of Climate Emergency.

XR Media Briefing

On 25th February, Extinction Rebellion held its first mass press briefing at its new London offices. Attended by media from across the world, the briefing shared Extinction Rebellion’s plans for the months ahead in order to ensure maximum coverage of our upcoming actions. Please keep an eye on our Upcoming Activity section and the press section of the website to keep up to date with these developments.

Teachers March on Department of Education

Friday 22nd of February teachers and students of all ages, supported by Extinction Rebellion, marched on the Department of Education in London to demand that climate and ecological emergency is made an educational priority. The protest came in the wake of  a letter signed by more than 200 academics in support of the Youth Strike 4 Climate. As it stands a student can go through the state education system and only hear climate change mentioned up to 10 out of approximately 10,000 lessons.

After some inspiring speeches from activists of all ages, teacher and Extinction Rebellion member Tim Jones spray-painted “Tell the Truth” outside the door of the Department. The peaceful act of protest was followed by a children’s sit-in outside the building, where they sang protest songs.

Speakers at the event included Professor David Humphreys (Open University), Dr Anne Andrews (Cambridge University) and Dr Alison Green, who recently stepped down from her Pro Vice-Chancellor role to focus on full-time climate activism and who authored the academic letter published last week.

Fashion Designer Clare Farrell Banned from London Fashion Week

During the opening of London Fashion Week on Sunday 17th February, Extinction Rebellion began a day of disruption by swarming outside Victoria Beckham’s show at the Tate Britain.

Following the protest, Extinction Rebellion member, organiser and fashion designer, Clare Farrell was barred from entering London Fashion Week, even though she was a Product Developer for the event. A police officer approached Farrell in the queue for the show, addressing her by name and informing her that she would not be allowed to enter as they did not want anyone from Extinction Rebellion to attend.

Local contributions

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos. So while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world every week. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!

XR Canterbury

Extinction Rebellion campaigners held a mock funeral parade through Canterbury to raise awareness about climate change. At the end of the procession, the traffic was blocked near Westgate Towers, drawing praise as well as anger from drivers.

XR Shrewsbury

XR Shrewsbury organised a climate march through the town centre on February the 16th, and it was so much better attended than we were expecting. It was a fabulous day!


Rebels in Marlborough have been spreading the message of emergency with leaflets, letters in bottles, and a banner right outside the town hall.


On the 17th of February 150 rebels in Halifax, Canada, shut down multiple intersections – and then went on radio to talk about it. They’ve since disrupted a local legislature meeting.

Upcoming Activity

The Blood of our Children: an Act of Civil Disobedience, March 9th

Join our bloody but non-violent civil disobedience at a central London government location. The science is done. We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We’re sending our children into a future likely to involve mental breakdown, starvation, war and early death. There are no words to describe the horrors we risk if we do not make governments act immediately. So we all have a responsibility and duty to take action. Even if that means breaking the law.

So whatever your age, beliefs, or background, Extinction Rebellion is calling for you to come and pour (artificial) blood on the ground outside a key government location. We’ll make the gravity of the crisis viscerally clear and show that we’re prepared to make the sacrifice of our own freedom by being arrested. This is now what’s required. We also wish to apologise to the next generation for our complicity in bequeathing them the toxic legacy of climate and ecological breakdown.

The event page is here. Say you are “going” or “interested” on this page and we will message you with a full briefing. Please share and spread the word. If you have any questions, email us at

Here is a picture taken at this event:


Protestors use red paint to symbolise climate deaths. Action taken outside

Downing Street


Wales Rising Up: Carnival of Animals, March 9th

Extinction Rebellion Wales will be taking over some central streets in Cardiff with a colourful eclectic carnival of insects, animals, and plant life.  People across Wales will come together to openly declare rebellion and to call on the Welsh Government to declare a Climate Emergency. There will be music, costumes, performance and more. Check out their Facebook page for more info.

XR Rig Rebellion – Edinburgh, March 8th

On Friday 8th of March, the Scottish Oil Club, an exclusive body representing the international oil and gas industry, will hold their annual celebratory dinner at the National Museum of Scotland.

A major driver of the climate emergency, the fossil fuel industry should not be celebrated, and definitely not on International Women’s Day! Women across the globe are on the front line of facing climate chaos, while rarely being the drivers of it.

Extinction Rebellion Scotland will protest this event through a dance-demonstration, driven by love, music and compassion. We’ll be dancing, singing, speaking and sharing – bring music, instruments, and your dancing feet!

Facebook event here.

Second UK-Wide Youth Strike – March 15th

Last month saw 10,000 young people across the UK rising up and demanding change, as part of the Global Youth Strike. Their voices caught national media and political attention. Unfortunately, the Government hasn’t received the message yet, as No.10 tweeted that it was a “waste of lesson time”. Together, we can show that that the inaction of political leaders for the past 30 years is much worse, as Greta rightfully pointed out. Join your local strike next Friday, found out more here.

Spring Uprising – Festival – March 16th




The weekend of 16/17 March in Bristol, Extinction Rebellion will put on its first ever festival of rebellion, activism and music – dubbed ‘Spring Uprising’ – at which up to 1,000 people at a time will be trained in peaceful non-violent civil disobedience.

Bringing together an unprecedented gathering of people from different backgrounds for nonviolent direct action workshops, music and art, the festival to be held in Bristol’s Motion venue (74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX) is part of Extinction Rebellion’s planning for what is expected to be one of the largest non-violent civil disobedience acts in decades – International Rebellion beginning 15 April 2019.

The event is supported by music industry and festival organisers such as Boomtown Festival, Buddhafield, Ninja Tune Records, Alfresco Disco, The Green Gathering, Woman Fest and Burn Punk, and over a dozen musical acts have so far been confirmed.

Don’t miss it!

See the website for details – and bookings!

For two weeks beginning April 15th is XR’s week of international action.  This is a report from action in London from the Evening Standard:

And the Morning Star:

“Over 120 environmental activists were arrested today as thousands of protesters resisted police efforts to end their occupation of key central London sites.

Traffic jams and road closures continued for a second day as members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) stood their ground at Parliament Square, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Waterloo Bridge as part of an international action demanding that a climate and ecological emergency be declared.

Four activists chained and glued themselves to the underside of a lorry parked on Waterloo Bridge, where they slept overnight. The campaigners, equipped with blankets and sleeping bags, plan to continue with their action “for as long as possible.”

Out of the 122 total arrests made by midday, five were for alleged criminal damage at oil giant Shell’s headquarters.

Further demonstrators were dragged away from Waterloo Bridge by police officers after continuing with roadblocks.

Officers were met with chants of “we are peaceful, what about you?” and cheers of support for those being removed. One protester was taken away in an ambulance after he hit his head on a police van and fell to the floor while being arrested.

Activists remained in high spirits on the second day of the action, waving colourful banners and playing music. More arrests are to be expected as the campaigners say protests will continue “throughout the coming weeks.”

One, who gave her name only as Hannah, said she would continue protesting until taken into custody as she does not want to see “children of today suffer in the future.

“I’m aware that people are suffering as a result of climate collapse much more than I will suffer getting arrested,” she said.

Scientist and XR co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook apologised for the inconvenience caused to the public, saying that the activists “don’t want to wind people up.

“We’re here to get people to have a conversation about climate change,” she said. “I have two boys, 10 and 13, and they won’t have enough food to eat in a few years’ time.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted his support for the activists. He said the disruptions “will be worth it” if it “moves us all a step further in tacking climate change.”

In the Netherlands, some 25 XR members also occupied the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling for “ecocide” to be recognised as an international crime.

They added that the “ongoing violence against the ecosystems that sustain all living things has been left unpunished.”

More than 200 people have been arrested during a second day of climate protests which have caused serious disruption in London.

Extinction Rebellion demonstrations have been taking place at Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.

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email received from XR on 18th April 2019:

International Rebellion Day 3 – The Empire Strikes Back
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 7:50

Dramatic events in London today ended in a resounding success for our brave, resilient and kind-hearted rebels. It’s easy to write about events, numbers and happenings – and today’s no exception, as we tenaciously held onto all four of our now cherished sites. But what might escape observation, despite being so much more important, is the way we do such things.

Non-violence and consideration are not just abstract ethical commitments – they’re a constant practice which must be renewed and maintained, and they’re essential to the success of our movement. Despite very little sleep and great emotional exertion on the part of so many rebels, we’re absolutely (non-violently) smashing this practice. This can’t be overvalued!

Back in the quantitative realm, we’re apparently blowing up on social media: our membership has been growing by 3,000 a day, our Facebook at some points by 1,000 an hour. We’ve also been making waves on non-social media, as XR member Robin Boardman gave Sky News presenter Adam Boulton a total schooling in non-violent communication.

And with today being the day of International Peasant Struggle, it’s only fitting that we’ve got another round of awe-inspiring actions on the international scene. Special credit must surely go to XR NYC for blocking Brooklyn Bridge and protesting outside City Hall, incurring/accruing 62 arrests in the process. XR New Zealand, on the other hand, wins a whole load of points for creativity!

Other incredible actions include roadblocks in Sweden, occupations in Australia and Canada, and die-ins in Canada, Germanyand France – many of the actions highlighting the theme of food security, in solidarity with farmers and peasants all over the world.

One reason cited for today’s imposing police actions in London is the approaching Easter bank holiday: just as it takes officers out of their helmets, so will it swell our rebellious ranks. We’re now just one day from this watershed moment. Better yet, XR Scotland is reaching the UK capital this morning, bringing fresh and experienced rebels to help bolster the ranks of our now long-held sites.

Our tactics are working. Our values are holding. Have no doubt: even if we all go home tomorrow, the world as we know it has changed.

And we’re not going anywhere.

For Monday’s update see here. Tuesday here.

For our latest short video, see here (1:20 mins). For a handpicked photo-series, see here.

For a sonic supplement to our updates, please check out the XR podcast.

Parliament Square

The day in Parliament Square started like any other: a little quiet, and with some politically inclined speeches – this time addressing the day of International Peasant Solidarity. As police appeared to be moving in on their usual targets of Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square sent what rebels they could spare to reinforce the other sites.

By 6:30, the roadblocks were stretched thin – and it was then that a concentration of police unlike any this week arrived, marching in a seemingly unending column and circling into the square. Word was instantly sent out to the other sites, but it looked like the back-up so urgently dispatched would arrive to find a square emptied of rebels. The massive police-force began removing rebels from three of five roadblocks, arresting an estimated 50; the displaced blockers regrouped for a final stand, lying down close together – and it was then the XR Samba Band arrived.

Rallying and reinvigorating with the rhythm of their drums, the band led the remaining rebels in a circle of the Square, growing in size as they went before slingshotting onto the bridge. For all the police’s numbers, comparatively few arrests were made; whether this was due to the newfound size, mobility and dynamic of the crowd, or due to nearly 400 prior arrests flooding police capacity, remains unclear.

What is clear is that Parliament Square was held, against all probability. Having outmanoeuvred police, a group of 10 rebels retook the southeast corner; at 1:00am this update went out internally:

“Now retaken all 5 roads at parliament square. The whole square belongs to us again. Hammock between the traffic lights and hot food from Hari Krishna van. It’s one o’clock in the morning and we’re feeling good!”

Photo by @ExtinctionR
An estimated 200-300 officers moved in force to clear out Parliament Square – or at least, to try!

Waterloo Bridge

Just as hope began shining in Parliament Square, a shadow was falling on Waterloo Bridge. Since Monday night’s incredibly close call (down to the last 15 arrestable rebels) the ‘real garden bridge’ has blossomed into a hub of high spirits. Sporadic waves of arrests throughout today were met with singing, clapping and cheering – and this writer can testify to the quality of WB’s kitchen.

The upbeat, loving atmosphere was jolted by the ominous news coming from Parliament Square; bridge-based rebels were sent to reinforce the square. Not long after this, the police declared their intention to clear the bridge wholly that night, announcing they had orders to make indefinite arrests until the job was done.

Calling for courage and solidarity, an announcer reasoned that the police’s urgency was likely due to the coming bank holiday, which is expected to swell rebel ranks even as it takes officers off the streets. An impassioned and determined crowd drew up its seated ranks, waiting for the first wave of arrests. Musicians led solidaristic songs and held a vigil.

And very few arrests were made. As for PS, the reasons aren’t yet clear. The crowd’s high morale (again rooted firmly in music) and big numbers (around 100 sitting down in the road) were likely factors, together with the remarkably high concentration of media; a related speculation involves the police running out of vans!

Whatever the reason – at 2:30am Waterloo Bridge remains, as the chants went, “everyone’s bridge”. Around 11:00pm, the stalwart crowd was rewarded with a serenade from Nick Mulvey.

Oxford Circus

The endless party continues in Oxford Circus. There were three waves of arrests over the course of the day, with police now taking more of a mingling approach: weaving through the crowd to hone in on individuals, and for the first time approaching those at the foot of the iconic pink boat (from which vessel Chris Packham gave a heartfelt speech).

Photo by: Vladimir Morozov/akxmedia

This greater proximity had some unexpected effects. Around the middle of the day, the crew up on the deck(s) were told of a police complaint with regard to the music – apparently they weren’t playing enough 60s stuff. Negotiations via the XR police liaison led to the crew accepting a request for Faithless, Insomnia, on the condition that the four officers behind the collective request would then dance to the solid gold classic. The conditions were accepted.

It wasn’t all fun and games: the police threatened to confiscate the Oxford Circus (OC) kitchen unless it was moved. The decision was made to relocate the facilities to the Marble Arch site down the road. Not long after this displacement, the ex-OC kitchen had cooked a whole batch of meals which were then bike-couriered back up to the Circus!

At 1:00am, the party was still very much going.

XR Youth also held a die-in blocking the entrance to the H&M on Oxford Circus, protesting our obsession with consumerism and the devastating environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry.

Photo by @XrYouth

Marble Arch

The Marble Monster continues to push down its roots. Along with sheltering the fugitive OC kitchen, and branching out with regular contingents to reinforce the other less secure locations, those at Marble Arch have found the time to hang many more banners, extend their range of tents, and begin a treehouse!

Less tangible but equally fruitful developments include the expansion of the stewarding team, the improvement of the welcome tent, a solid musical line-up, and a healthy rate of donations.

The MA treehouse!

Canary Wharf

Three rebels obstructed the overground tube at Canary Wharf station today, remaining in place for about an hour before being taken away under arrest. In a press release, explanatory context was given, underlining the need for all members of society (especially many of those working in Canary Wharf, we might posit) to ‘pause’ and reflect on the scale and severity of the ecological emergency.

Photo by: Vladimir Morozov/akxmedia

Jeremy Corbyn’s fence

Not long after the protest at Canary Wharf, four rebels, including a Labour councillor, glued and chained themselves to the fence outside Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s house. Describing him as “the best hope this country has got” in facing the ecological crisis, and asking the the Labour Party to go further than declaring a “climate emergency”.


Inductions at Parliament Square

Looking to support the rebellion in a low-chance-of-arrest, organisational role? Look no further than Parliament Square. We’re encouraging all budding rebels to start their journeys here: while all of the sites offer inductions, Parliament Square offers by far the most space and least noise, and (barring rare and implausibly ineffective mega-columns of police like today’s) comparatively little distraction. Inductions take place at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm. See you soon!

Plants for the planet

As we entwine ourselves into Waterloo Bridge (metaphorically but also literally – our lock-ons are always ready!), we’re eager to make sure the space continues to blossom into our beautiful vision of a better world. This a world with less space for cars, and more space for music and food and togetherness. But perhaps most importantly, it’s a world filled with greenery. We’ll give a warm welcome to potted plants of all shapes and sizes: your plant will enjoy untrammelled access to sunshine, clean air, good company, and 24-hour skate-ramp access. Please bring any plants that you can to Waterloo Bridge!

Coming up …

  • XR Scotland arrives in London! They’re rumoured to be moving in on Marble Arch around 11:00am
  • XR Youth to hold Non-Violent Direct Action trainings in Piccadilly Circus
  • Roadblocks across London!

Actions in Germany, Turkey, Sweden, and who knows where else!

International Highlights

New Zealand

In Wellington rebels dressed as cows rampaged up the steps of the parliament building, mooing and spilling ‘sour milk’ while chased by their ‘peasant farmers’. As well as contributing to the XR support of International Day of Peasant’s Struggle, this action highlighted the detrimental effects of intensive animal agriculture; New Zealand’s “white gold has turned to sour milk!”

Yesterday rebels turned off the water and chained themselves to pipes at Environment Canterbury offices, to protest water management practices in Canterbury as well as the broader crisis. Their action paid off: councillors have agreed to discuss declaring a climate emergency at their next meeting. Well done XR Ōtautahi!


Rebels in Adelaide were removed by police after occupying the lower house of the floor of parliament for more than an hour.

Photo by: XR South Australia, @XrSouth


Rebels in Guelph held a die-in yesterday outside the city hall.

In Québec six rebels chained themselves at the doors of the Prime Minister François Legault’s office, including 82 year old Serge Mongeau.


German rebels took their action indoors today with a die-in at supermarkets in Berlin, symbolising how there won’t be any food on an extinct planet.

Photo by @XRBerlin


Swedish rebels are continuing their actions this week, blocking road in Gothenburg.

Photo by @xrswerebellion


For the International Day of Peasants’ struggles, rebels in Paris handcuffed themselves in front of the entrance of the ministry of agriculture. After the arrival of police, they finished their action by a die-in. They wanted to highlight the harmful effects of the agricultural system and how climate change is tied in with it ⁃ the food shortages in the world, the difficulties farmers face, and the destruction of biodiversity.


Today in Namur, farmers and allies gathered in front of the Parliament of Wallonia, a few weeks before the elections, to demand a coherent agricultural policy that supports family and peasant agriculture and doesn’t destroy our climate. They planted potatoes together as a reminder that farming is for everyone!

United States

Rebels in New York are occupying roads in front of City Hall, climbing lampposts and dropping banners. Over 60 protesters were arrested.

Photo by @AlexandriaV2005, in New York

XRboston were inside the Boston Globe lobby asking the Globe to tell the truth about the climate!

Photo by @XRBoston

Humans of XR

Zoe 33 and her 2 year old rebel Max at Marble Arch. I’m here because of my daughter. I want her to live on a planet that’s not going to be completely destroyed.”

Photo by @ExtinctionR

Meet Peter, 70, from Birmingham, who got arrested at Oxford Circus for protesting, but that didn’t stop him from rebelling today!I got arrested last night at Oxford Circus. I’m here because I take what the scientists say seriously and they say we’ve only got 12 years left.” Great to have you back today Peter!!

Photo by @ExtinctionR

And another double act: Laurie 32 and Tsega, 4, from The Netherlands/Eritrea. “I am here because I feel that there’s now a turning point. Something needs to drastically change. Our politicians are ignorant about these issues & we wanted to stand in solidarity with people.”

Photo by @ExtinctionR

Do, 21 from Croydon, brought along Sir David as a special guest. “I’ve just rocked up, I’m here because I’m down for the revolution and I’m down to stop pollution!”

Photo by @ExtinctionR


Those involved in writing these updates are excited but exhausted by the week’s events; we’re deeply, deeply appreciate of our fellow rebels around the world, and will do our best to cover their incredible, moving and inspiring exploits – but we can’t promise to catch everything!

If you’d like to share a story from the ground or join our global crew of roving reporter ants, then please get in touch at

We’d also really like to hear from rebels who are willing to share the ongoing stories of their Affinity Groups during the Rebellion. If this sounds like your cup of tea, please get in touch by emailing

Day 5 posting:

Horizontal; Crowd; Kettle; Police; State

It was a sad day for London’s Rebellion, as the beloved pink boat was lost amid a stormy sea of police- men and women. The never-ending party was at last put on hold… for a few hours at least, until we retook Oxford Circus and the new sound-system arrived!

And let’s not forget, Oxford’s adversity was every other site’s blessing: as the fate of the boat and its harbour hung in the balance, rebels in Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square were taking some well-earned respite. Free from policing-based worries, rebels were free to proceed with the concurrent project of building a new, kinder, quieter world in the heart of the old one. It doesn’t grab headlines, but this is the process that’s changing the world.

Not that we’re too worried about headlines, with nearly 700 now arrested in the UK alone, and frenzied coverage of even small events like that in Heathrow involving a handful of youths.

And speaking of Heathrow, we’ve got another solid round of actions abroad: from bike-rides in Belgium to roadblocks in Germany.

Amid all the news and events, it can be good to remind ourselves why we’re giving so much for this movement. As a little refresher and ego-trip, here are the world of Noam Chomsky, one of the most influential thinkers of our age, on Extinction Rebellion:

“It is impossible to exaggerate the awesome nature of the challenge we face: to determine, within the next few years, whether organized human society can survive in anything like its present form. Global warming is already a prime factor in destroying species at a rate not seen for 65 million years. There is no time to delay changing course radically to avert major catastrophe. The activists of Extinction Rebellion are leading the way in confronting this immense challenge, with courage and integrity, an achievement of historic significance that must be amplified with urgency.”

High praise indeed – and we’re just getting started!

For Monday’s update see here. Tuesday here. Wednesday, Thursday.

For a sonic supplement to our updates, please check out the XR podcast, releasing throughout the week.

If you’d like to help fund the mass rebellion as it expands across the world, please donate to our crowd funder.

Oxford Circus

In the annals of International Rebellion, Day 5 will be remembered as the day the pink party boat at Oxford Circus was finally cast adrift.

Photo: Ali Johnson

Police arrived in great columns just before midday, first kettling the boat then the entire square. They came with angle grinders, they came with climbing gear, and as Emma Thompson and XR Youth to finished their poetry readings they set to work, clearing the hull of locked-on Barnacles, cutting the power of the music system, and then cutting through the metal pins at the boat’s base. Rebels had no choice but to just sit and watch as the pink boat, named Berta Cáceres after the murdered Honduran environmentalist, was slowly cleared of its precious rebel crew. The sound guy went down with the ship, his hand glued to the mast.

Photo: Peter Forbes

But the reaction from the OC Rebels on witnessing this sad sight was one of beauty. There was applause for an inspiring talk by transgender activist Paris Lees; there was a heartfelt and raw rendition of ‘Power to the People’ led by a member of XR Youth that resulted in him being handed a megaphone and held up above the crowd; and there was a moving speech from a representative of ‘XR Dance For Life’, imploring rebels to empathise with the police, and show thanks for all the times that they have been there to keep us safe. The booming cheers and applause that followed packed a powerful emotional punch, for both rebels and officers, with one of the latter turning around to wipe away tears.

The always rebel-rousing Samba band then arrived from Marble Arch with the dazzling Red Brigade in tow. As the sail finally came down around 5:30pm, the atmosphere was electric. The crowd started chanting ‘we’ve got more boats’ and arrestable rebels blocked the boat’s intended escape route, meaning it could only be moved a matter of yards without further arrests.

Photo: @XRNorwich

As the daylight faded, the pink party boat was gone, but the pink party boat atmosphere remained in spades. A huge banner went up with the words “We Are The Boat”. The Rebels still had the square, a new sound system was found, and in between the dancing, discussions turned to how a new boat might be built. Within hours, a new cardboard vessel was emerging from the tarmac. At the same time, around 300 mourning rebels accompanied the boat on its funeral procession, walking before it and then stopping to wave goodbye as it sailed into the distance and an unknowable fate.

It’s only in hard times that we show the full depth of our movement: our resilience, our compassion and support for ourselves and each other, and our unchanging commitment to nonviolence. What an amazing day and a beautiful turnaround to what should have felt like a defeat. It really didn’t.

Parliament Square

We’re happy to report that Parliament Square has remained the peaceful hub of climate learning and minimal policing that we all know and love. For once, high-vis jackets have been a rare sight for an entire 24 hour news cycle.

Buoyed perhaps by the Attenborough documentary airing the previous day, or the stardust of Emma Thompson (or possibly our positive review in Notices!), the induction and training tents of Parliament Square were positively heaving with eager attendees, their lines spilling onto the grass as they waited to learn about the ways of the Rebel.

Meanwhile the man living atop the very tall tree on the northside of the square is still there, doing his thing. Well done that man.

Photo: @hamishcampbell

Waterloo Bridge

Hundreds of Rebels occupied the bridge all day, and had a fabulous time in the sun, with music and dancing. By 5pm there were very few police in attendance, though there had been some some arrests earlier in the day. Spirits remained high and the music loud even after several waves of police arrests. The XR contingent took the arrests in their stride with the bands continuing to play as the arrests occurred, accompanied by applause and cheers of fellow activists.

Photo: Amber Lunt, Waterloo Bridge

Peppy Dadd, 64, said ‘you feel like everyone is there for one another as well as the cause.’ She described how the frontline held by protesters had been renamed the heartline and that the heartline showed no sign of breaking with any fear around arrests disappearing as activities, music and fun continued throughout the day.

The aim of XR to create a welcoming atmosphere and to rebel with love and rage is in full flow at Waterloo bridge. Matt Phelps, a conservationist from Surrey, who this week has fit rebelling around his work said, ‘it just feels like there is such a positive atmosphere up here and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to end anytime soon.’ He also commented how the public were becoming increasingly aware of XR and its aims and that many people were coming down to Waterloo bridge to see what was going on and to support.

Photo: @MaximilianJans2

Five days in and the atmosphere is positive and the resolve is strong. In the words of one activist and grandmother Gerri Jacobs, who was arrested today: ‘I am here so I can look my grandchildren in the eye and say I did what I could.’ The heartline is holding at Waterloo bridge.

Marble Arch

The atmosphere at Marble Arch remained chilled today, with a creative, playful mood taking hold as colourful bunting was erected. As rebel Ben said, “it’s begun to feel like home!” With it being a public holiday the area has been packed.

Photo: Andy Reeves

Rebels report that at least half of the public are interested in learning more and express support to the cause. The atmosphere brightened even more with the arrival of a Samba band, drums, yoga, and the election of a slackline. However, the police, as well as being present in greater numbers than yesterday, were noticeably more tense. Ben was warned for simply chalking on the pavement.

Heathrow Airport

After stirring up quite the media panic by pre-announcing Heathrow airport as a target for a ‘shutdown’ action, what actually transpired was a small, contained, and emotionally powerful protest led by a small band of XR Youth.

Photo Adam Gray

Around 20 teenage Rebels occupied a road beside the roundabout between terminals two and three, raising a banner that poignantly asked “Are we the last generation?”. A huge police presence ensured they were quickly surrounded and pushed back onto a nearby pavement, and tears were shed by the brave young protesters, as they were told to disperse or face arrest. Four refused to budge for over an hour.

No flights were ultimately disrupted, but the immense police reaction and widespread media interest in the action made it game set and match to XR.