On Monday the 7th of October I will be taking to the streets of London with Extinction Rebellion to protest against the British government’s lack of action on the climate emergency and ecological breakdown. Now, I am aware that some people may be critical of this, so in the spirit of XR’s (Extinction Rebellion) first demand to tell the truth, I thought I should be open about it and try to explain why.
Having been environmentally aware for most of my life (thanks to hippy parents) I knew the climate crisis was bad. I had signed petitions, supported and donated to green groups, gone on strikes, marches, became vegan and zero waste and fostered many other individual actions to ‘do my bit’, But when I watched ‘Heading for Extinction and What to do about it‘ and read the undisputable science behind it I was truly shocked. I strongly believe that if everybody knows the dire truth, most people would do something about it. Some of the key facts that stood out for me were that the IPCC report is actually somewhat conservative and doesn’t include dangerous feedback loops that make the situation worse. But also if we continue on the course we are on we are headed for 3.5-5 degrees of warming or more which will not be survivable. I now know that all the laudable things I had been doing are not enough. In some ways they have even been a distraction or an illusion that suits the fossil fuel producers and their enablers in government to point the finger at us so they can carry on with business as usual.
“Humanity and life on Earth now face a ‘direct existential threat’ UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres
I am really scared for my son’s future and even for my own, as the risks we face are also very likely within my own lifetime. I had always hoped to have another child with my late husband and although I am still single, I have decided that I cannot now bring another child into the world. The risks of mass starvation, drought, societal breakdown and violent unrest (even in the UK) are not the world I would want my child (or anyone’s) to have to live through. We are already experiencing the melting of artic sea ice, arctic forest fires, record breaking temperatures, mass biodiversity loss and global crop failures many of which were predicted to happen many years from now so it’s not hard to imagine these rapidly increasing.
“Climate Change is now reaching the end-game… the issue is the very survival of our civilisation” Prof. Hans Schellnhuber
I love my son more than anything else in the whole world, He is the Boy Wonder, my incredible miracle and the embodiment of my love for my late husband. I am doing this for him more than anything as I want him to be able to grow up in a safe and beautiful world. I love this earth too, especially this small part of it that we call home, and want to be able to protect it and pass it on to him and future generations along with all the wonderful animals and living things in it. My son should be able to enjoy clean air, clear blue seas and the wonderful, rich natural world that I grew up with. All children and all people deserve this.
Change is not happening quickly enough and the 1.5 degree target set by the Paris Climate Accord according to the science is now impossible to meet. Our emissions have not declined to meet these hard won targets, but are actually rapidly increasing. We have all the solutions to drawdown these carbon emissions. We know what we need to do, but need the political will and complete system change to bring it about and fast. The 11 years the IPCC report gave us to turn things around is now 10 years and many scientists in fact say that the next 18 months are critical in getting things moving. Studies and history show that Non Violent Direct Action and civil disobedience is the most effective way to do this; from the civil rights movement to the suffragettes. Indeed, the actions that XR took in April have already changed the public’s opinion on climate change with over 64% saying that we are running out of time. It also helped to change the dialogue enough to get parliament to declare a climate emergency. All this has helped raise awareness, but no positive actions have yet been taken; instead support for renewable energy has been withdrawn and the 3rd runway at Heathrow and new coal mines approved.
“It takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.” Erica Chenoweth
So, the government has failed us. As a widowed parent I will not put myself forward for arrest, however it is my duty as a mother to do all I can to protect my child. This is why I am rebelling against government and the system they uphold. I hope you will join me on the streets x
#actnow #tellthetruth #extinctionrebellion