London is to be shut down for a week in October. If all goes to plan, New York, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and many other cities will also close. In fact, it may be two weeks, not one, starting from October 7. Be warned. The mastermind of this urban chaos is Roger Hallam, co-founder of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion. He started out as an organic farmer in Wales until the weather “went weird” and his crops failed. Then he went to King’s College London, where he studied civil disobedience. He learnt a lot. We must, they insist, cut UK net carbon emissions to zero by 2025. Forget your cars and holiday flights, forget your gas boilers, your woodburners, your barbecues, your steak. Their goals would require an almost unimaginable social and political convulsion, a government on a wartime footing. But if they’re right about the risk of climate change, why not? Are they right? I present two leading climate scientists with the science behind XR. “I don’t think we could disagree with any of that,” says Sir Brian Hoskins of Imperial College London. “I didn’t see anything that I thought was extreme in their science.” Their goal seems impossible politically — unless or until climate catastrophes become too big to ignore. For the moment, however, Extinction Rebellion has grabbed attention and is not about to let go.
Times 22nd Sept 2019 read more »
The climate protesters have to combine passion with realism. Expecting the West to adopt zero-carbon targets for coming decades is highly ambitious; Britain’s target is 2050. Expecting us to do so by 2025, at huge economic cost, is unrealistic and, yes, naive, particularly at a time when China, the world’s second-biggest economy, has yet to take meaningful steps of its own. The protesters are getting a sympathetic hearing. But sympathy should not mean support.
Times 22nd Sept 2019 read more »
Extinction Rebellion protesters closed down roads around the Port of Dover as they demanded action to tackle climate change. The port is a key route for imports from around the world and a massive ferry passenger port. Two lanes at the busy Kent port were fenced off and taken over by the environmental activists amid a heavy police presence. Chris Atkins from Extinction Rebellion Dover said: “As climate change develops, millions of ordinary Britons will face the real and growing threat of food shortages, hunger and starvation.” ‘Tell the truth’ He added: “Extreme storms and floods are already causing major crop failures across the world, with high temperatures also hitting livestock agriculture.
iNews 21st Sept 2019 read more »
Telegraph 21st Sept 2019 read more »
Observer 21st Sept 2019 read more »
Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist working with the University of Bath and the Climate Psychology Alliance, points out, adults too are having many “complicated feelings around the climate emergency”. “But they’re also thinking, how can I cope with my children’s feelings? How can I support my grandchildren?” Sometimes these feelings are described as eco-anxiety, a current buzzword, as Hickman observes, an inadequate descriptor for the full range of emotions around climate crisis. “Anxiety is the gateway in, but then people go through a whole process of emotions – depression, despair, frustration, among young people, that adults aren’t doing something, and hopelessness, and blaming.” Scottish climate-strikers will frequently mention eco-anxiety. One, 15-year-old Dylan Hamilton, says there are times when he has felt “really down”. “I’ve never felt like giving up. But I struggle a lot because I also have chronic fatigue, so it makes everything ten times more difficult. I have to constantly keep up and be on top of my learning. That can be really stressful and I’ve had a few burn outs, but I never stop striking.”
Herald 22nd Sept 2019 read more »
We should listen to the scientists. We should listen to the children. They are speaking with one voice. And it is getting louder.
Scotsman 22nd Sept 2019 read more »