Time To Rebel - Now!

8 November 2018

On Wednesday 31 October, over 1000 people staged the first of a series of climate rebellions, organised by Extinction Rebellion. This took place in Parliament Square, London - and blocked the roads around it for several hours. Speakers included TV presenter Julia Bradbury, campaigning journalist George Monbiot, Green Party MEP Molly Scot Cato - and Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old climate campaigner from Sweden.
The day began with the reading of a ‘Declaration of Rebellion Against the British Government For Climate Inaction in the Face of Climate Change Catastrophe and Ecological Collapse’.
The Declaration states that: “…in accordance with our conscience - and a clear duty to our children, our communities, this nation and planet - [we] declare a non-violent rebellion on behalf of life itself, and against our criminally-negligent government.”
For those who may think this is a bit extreme, just consider the following:
• the latest UN’s IPCC Report says we have just “12 years to limit  climate change catastrophe” - and that “urgent and unprecedented changes” are needed to ensure average global warming doesn’t exceed 1.5C. Amongst other things, the Report warns of “fast-approaching and irreversible tipping points.” Debra Richards, Co-Chair of the IPCC, said:“It’s a line in the sand, and what it says to our species is that this is the moment, and we must act now.”
• the latest Living Planet Report issued by the World Wildlife Fund shows that, since 1970-2014, there has been a 60% decline in the numbers of all living species - and that one of the biggest reasons for this is the massive expansion of energy needs. Carter Roberts, President of the WWF, said:
“Natural systems essential for our survival - forests, oceans and rivers - remain in decline…It is time to…protect the only planet that is our home.”
And yet, as Green Party MP Caroline Lucas pointed out in the debate about last week’s Budget, there was: “Not one single word about climate change. Nothing about clean energy. Nothing about green energy….It’s not clear what planet Philip Hammond is living on - but it is his responsibility to do something to protect those of us living on this one.” She was unable to say any more, as she was cut off by The Speaker!
It is because of this signal failure of the government to act on the growing climate crisis - and because of its insistence on rolling out fracking (one of the most extreme and polluting energy technologies as regards the emission of greenhouse gases) - that Extinction Rebellion has called for peaceful disobedience, across the country, during the first half of November.
The campaign will culminate in a mass protest outside Parliament, on Saturday 17 November. I urge readers in any way concerned about global warming and the resultant climate crisis, to check out Extinction Rebellion:
- and then to make a date to go down to London for Saturday 17 November, with as many family members and friends as possible.
I know I won’t be alone in being prepared, on that day, to take non-violent direct action - even to the point of risking arrest.
Allan Todd
Published in the Whitehaven News 7.11.18

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