A doctor who has spent most of his career trying to save starving children in Africa is today entering the third week of a hunger strike to persuade the government to take more action on climate change. Cliff Kendall, 38, a supporter of the activist group Extinction Rebellion, is sitting outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). He is one of more than 1,100 doctors who signed a letter last month supporting Extinction Rebellion’s “non-violent direct action”, which blocked roads in London for a week in April and disrupted traffic in other cities. “As caring professionals we cannot countenance current policies that push the world’s most vulnerable towards environmental catastrophe,” they wrote. “We are particularly alarmed by the effects of rising temperatures on health and heed predictions of societal collapse and consequent mass migration.”
Times 29th July 2019 read more »
Liz Hutchins: If you’re not at least a bit terrified by the climate and ecological breakdown unfolding before our eyes, you haven’t grasped the scale of the crisis. Eco-anxiety, defined as “a chronic fear of environmental doom”, is on the rise. But redirecting this anxiety into anger and collective action might just pull humanity back from the brink. We don’t know how far back in the human psyche eco-anxiety reaches, but we can learn not to repeat the mistakes of long-gone societies lost to environmental collapse. Jared Diamond’s Collapse uncovers the common driver that led to the fall of ancient civilizations from the Central American Mayan, to the remote Pacific Easter Island, to the Mycenae, the Greek centre of the ancient world: people inadvertently destroyed the environmental resources on which their societies depended. Diamond muses about whether these societies sensed impending doom. Or perhaps, towards the end, thriving nature was an experience of a previous generation that the last survivors could not recall. Today we are living in a new climate and ecological age. The new normal is one that humans have never before experienced on Earth, and that’s occurred within a generation. We can’t claim ignorance. Peer reviewed scientific report after report shows: unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic; heatwaves annually breaking records – with June 2019 the hottest in 140 years – the Amazon shrinking and drying; species extinction rates accelerating. Nature’s dangerous decline is unprecedented.
New Statesman 26th July 2019 read more »