Many people across the globe recently joined the “Rise for Climate” demonstrations against climate change. Now, a similar movement in the UK is calling upon people to do more. They are organising a number of actions of non-violent civil disobedience over the next few months.
Their website states the following reasons, as follows:
“HOPE DIES:ACTION BEGINS
We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Our children and our nation face grave risk.
The planet is in ecological crisis, we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event this planet has experienced. Scientists believe we may have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown.
The earth’s atmosphere is already over 1°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. The chance of staying below the 2°C warming agreed upon in the Paris agreement are tiny.
Recent projections show we are on course for 3 degrees of warming and potentially much higher.
Children alive today in the UK will face unimaginable horrors as a result of floods, wildfires, extreme weather, crop failures and the inevitable breakdown of society when the pressures are so great.
We are unprepared for the danger our future holds.
The time for denial is over – we know the truth about climate change and we know the truth about current biological annihilation.
It’s time to act like that truth is real.
What does living with this truth call us to do? Will you die knowing you did all you were able to?
Joining the organisation provides details of the events that are being organised, many of them having similarities to the suffragettes campaigns a century ago.
Another statement on the website:
“From the 31 October citizens of this country will commit repeated acts of disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience. There will be mass arrests.
We demand the UK declares a state of emergency, takes action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025, and creates a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what our zero carbon future will look like.
We are willing to make personal sacrifices. We are prepared to be arrested and to go to prison. We will lead by example, to inspire similar actions around the world. This requires a global effort but we believe it must begin in the UK, today, where the industrial revolution began.
We will not be led quietly to annihilation by the elites and politicians. We will fight their genocidal behaviour with honour, resilience, and peace, in the spirit of all those who fought for our freedoms before us. We call on everyone, regardless of your political beliefs to join us in fighting for our nation and life on earth.”
On a similar note, George Monbiot has written an article condoning this approach, published in The Guardian on 17th October 2018 and entitled “Rebelling against Extinction”. He gives the rationale behind the decision that now is the time for action. Governments have promised much on climate change but have done little, mainly because of vested interests in the fossil fuel industry. His article can be read in full on his website:
Also on his website is an earlier piece, entitled “Deathly Silence” which starts:
“We’re getting there, aren’t we? We’re making the transition towards an all-electric future. We can now leave fossil fuels in the ground and thwart climate breakdown. Or so you might imagine if you follow the technology news.
So how come oil production, for the first time in history, is about to hit 100 million barrels per day? How come the oil industry expects demand to climb until the 2030s? How is it that in Germany, whose energy transition (Energiewende) was supposed to be a model for the world, protesters are being beaten up by police as they try to defend the 12,000-year-old Hambacher Forest from an opencast mine extracting lignite: the dirtiest form of coal? Why have investments in Canadian tar sands – the dirtiest source of oil – doubled in the past year?
The answer is growth. There might be more electric vehicles on the world’s roads but there are also more internal combustion engines…….”
Action has already begun in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as shown by the newspaper cutting below:
Extinction Rebellion had a meeting in Parliament Square on 31st October to launch their movement. There were some significant speakers there:
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP, Former leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, MP and George Monbiot, Guardian Journalist. His speech can be seen here: