By Rupert Read
Read studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Balliol College, Oxford,before undertaking postgraduate studies in the United States at Princeton University and Rutgers University (where he gained his doctorate).
Not heard of the “Extinction Rebellion” before?
Then you heard it here first.
Because soon, everyone is going to have heard of it. The Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent direct action movement challenging inaction over dangerous climate change and the mass extinction of species which, ultimately, threatens our own species.
Saturday November 17 2018 is “Rebellion Day” – when people opposed to what they see as a government of “climate criminals” aim to gather together enough protesters to close down parts of the capital – by shutting down fossil-powered road traffic at key pinch-points in London.
I’m a Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia and I have thrown myself headfirst into this movement. Our long-term aim is to create a situation where the government can no longer ignore the determination of an increasingly large number of people to shift the world from what appears to be a direct course towards climate calamity. Who knows, the government could even end up having to negotiate with the rebels.
As someone who is both a veteran of non-violent direct actions over the years and an academic seeking to make sense of these campaigns, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about what’s old and what’s new about the Extinction Rebellion. Here are my conclusions so far.
The Extinction Rebellion is rooted in longstanding traditions exemplified by the radical nuclear disarmament movement. The founders of the Extinction Rebellion have thought carefully about past precedents, and about what works and what doesn’t.
They’ve noted for instance that you don’t necessarily need active involvement from more than a tiny percentage of the population to win radical change, provided that you have a righteous cause that can elicit tacit backing from a much larger percentage.
The Extinction Rebellion is also quite different from its predecessors. True, the disarmament movement was about our very existence, but nuclear devastation was – and still is – only a risk. Extinction Rebellion’s aim is to prevent a devastation of our world that will come – and quite soon, unless we manage to do something unprecedented that will radically change our direction.
Climate activists often compare their struggle to victories from the past. But in my view comparisons which are often made – to Indian independence, the civil rights movement or the campaign for universal suffrage, for example – are over-optimistic, even fatuous. These historical movements were most often about oppressed classes of people rising up and empowering themselves, gaining access to what the privileged already had.
The Extinction Rebellion challenges oligarchy and neoliberal capitalism for their rank excess and the political class for its deep lack of seriousness. But the changes that will be needed to arrest the collapse of our climate and biodiversity are now so huge that this movement is concerned with changing our whole way of life. Changing our diet significantly. Changing our transport systems drastically. Changing the way our economies work to radically relocalise them. The list goes on.
This runs up against powerful vested interests – but also places considerable demands upon ordinary citizens, especially in “developed” countries such as the UK. It is therefore a much harder ask. This means that the chances of the Extinction Rebellion succeeding are relatively slim. But this doesn’t prove it’s a mistaken enterprise – on the contrary, it looks like our last chance.
This all leads into why I sat in the road blocking the entrance to Parliament Square on October 31, when the Extinction Rebellion was launched – and why I will be “manning the barricades” again on November 17. As a Quaker, I cherish the opening words of the famous Shaker hymn: Tis the gift to be simple. What does it mean to live simply at this moment in history? It means to do everything necessary so that others – most importantly our children (and their children) – can simply live. It isn’t enough to live a life of voluntary simplicity.
One needs also to take peaceful direct action to seek to stop the mega-machine of growth-obsessed corporate capitalism that is destroying our common future. That’s why it seems plain to me that we need peaceful rebellion now, so that we and countless other species don’t face devastation or indeed extinction.
The next line of that Shaker hymn goes: “Tis the gift to be free.” In our times, to be free means to not be bound by laws that are consigning our children to purgatory or worse. If one cares properly for one’s children, that must entail caring for their children, too. You don’t really care for your children if you damn their children. And that logic multiplies into the future indefinitely – we aren’t caring adequately for any generation if the generation to follow it is doomed.
As mammals whose primary calling is to care for our kids, it is therefore logical that an outright existential threat to their future, and to that of their children, must be resisted and rebelled against, no matter what the pitifully inadequate laws of our land say.
I’ve felt called upon to engage in conscientious civil disobedience before, at Faslane and Aldermaston against nuclear weapons and with EarthFirst in defence of the redwood forests threatened with destruction in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
But the Extinction Rebellion seems to me the most compelling cause of them all. Unless we manage to do the near impossible, then after a period of a few decades at most there won’t be any other causes to engage with. It really now is as stark and as dark as that.
If you too feel the call, then I think you now know what to do.
Press link for more: The Conversation
Watch Rupert Read Lecture Churchill College Cambridge University
The most important video you will ever see.
By Steve Hanley
Time to stop pretending.
The human race has conspired to exterminate itself, at least on this planet.
According to a study authored by Yann Robidou du Pont of the Australian-German Climate & Energy College at the University of Melbourne and Malte Meinshausen of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, if we continue to do what we are doing to address a warming climate, we might as well all lie back, sip our favorite alcoholic beverage, and party like its 1999, because we will all be dead soon and so will be our planet.
Nice work, humans.
We have conspired to foul our own nest so egregiously that our extinction is now all but assured.
All that left to do is rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic as we slowly but surely extinguish any chance that we have of survival.
The study, entitled “Warming assessment of the bottom-up Paris Agreement emissions pledges,” was published on November 16, 2018 in the journal Nature Communications.
It claims that if China, Russia, and Canada continue with their halfhearted measures to rein in rising global temperatures, the world will be 5º C hotter by 2100 than it is today. 5º Celsius, chums, is a death sentence for humanity and virtually every living creature on the Earth.
But there is good news.
The current policies of the United States and Australia would only kill most of the world’s population by permitting an increase in average global temperatures of 4º C. Europe is doing a better job than most parts of the world but even its efforts will lead to a rise of 3º C, enough to cause the death of billions of people. Congratulations, Europe.
You are the best of the worst.
Of all the developed nations, India is doing the best job.
Its policies, if enacted globally, would limit temperature rise to just over 2º C.
You can see where every country falls relative to each other on the interactive map at Paris Equity Check.
As part of the Paris climate accords of 2015, each nation made pledges regarding the actions it was prepared to take to limit its contribution to global warming, known as Nationally Determined Contributions.
The Paris agreements recognized that a top down solution to global warming imposed by the United Nations or similar organization was an unworkable plan, so the bottom up process of letting each country establish its own targets was adopted.
The NDCs are supposed to take into account the degree to which each country has contributed to rising global temperatures historically and its ability to bear the costs of decarbonizing its economy. The authors of the study recognize that each country will construct its NDC goals to reflect its own self interest. Their purpose is to provide a framework that allows each nation to compare its actions to those of other nations. “This paper provides a means for countries to check how their contribution might be perceived by other countries and thus judge whether they are perceived as a climate leader or laggard,” Joeri Rogelj of Imperial College London tells The Guardian.
Despite the gloomy results of the study, its authors see a ray of sunshine in all this. “The positive outcome of this study is that we have a metric to assess the ratcheting up of ambition. Civil society, experts and decision-makers can use this to hold their governments accountable, and possibly undertake climate litigation cases as happened recently in the Netherlands,” du Pont says.
“This metric translates the lack of ambition on a global scale to a national scale. If we look at the goal of trying to avoid damage to the Earth, then I am pessimistic as this is already happening. But this should be a motivation to ratchet up ambition and avoid global warming as much and as rapidly as possible. Every fraction of a degree will have a big impact.”
All we can say to du Pont and Meinshausen is, “Good luck with that, fellas.” Brazil has just elected a new leader who has vowed to withdraw from the Paris climate accords and permit clear cutting the remaining Amazon rain forest to allow more agriculture and oil extraction. His new foreign ministers told the press yesterday that climate change is nothing but a Marxist plot, echoing the now infamous statements of Donald Trump who called it a hoax perpetrated by China.
At a time when international cooperation will be required on a scale never before seen, many countries — including the US — are descending into a nationalistic fervor that demonizes foreigners, reducing the chances for cooperation and exacerbating the problem.
Right now the US and China are playing a game of “Mine’s bigger than yours” in the South China Sea and threatening the next world war.
It’s as if humans have some built-in wiring that prevents them from seeing the train bearing down on them while they cavort on the tracks.
The legend of the Great Flood is found in every known culture, even those in remote areas where contact with the outside world has been rare.
It’s not always Noah and the Ark.
Sometimes it’s a giant war canoe or a floating island.
The means of conveyance may vary but the message does not.
At some time in the past, the Earth was inundated and most life was destroyed.
After a few hundred thousand years, the waters receded and a new civilization arose. It’s as if humans have a genetic memory of a cataclysmic event that happened long ago.
Perhaps the Earth goes through cycles similar to the season — dying from time to time so it can be reborn.
If things continue going as they are now, with fossil fuel companies straining every sinew to extract the last molecule of energy from beneath the Earth’s crust, we may find soon ourselves approaching a precipice.
Once we go over it, the Earth will return to its watery state until such time as it heals the wounds inflicted by humans.
Let’s hope the species that follows us a million years or so from now is imbued with the skills necessary to avoid extinction.
Based on the observable evidence, almost any life form that follows after we have snuffed out human civilization will be an improvement.
Press link for more: Clean Technica
Steve Hanley Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His muse is Charles Kuralt — “I see the road ahead is turning. I wonder what’s around the bend?” You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.
4.1 Building on progress made at the local level to enhance climate action
The stocktaking provides valuable information on the state of urban adaptation and climate resilience worldwide with a keen focus on the Global South and the measures taken by mega, as well as small and medium cities in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
It makes sense to review the adaptation progress at the local level, since the impact of climate change is felt locally, affecting different sectors, services, systems, and populations from one city to another.
Sea level rise
This indicates clearly that each urban area’s exposure is unique and should therefore be assessed at the local level in order to create a viable defense against the impacts of climate change.
If there would be a single message coming from the figures presented extensively in the pages above is that there is already progress made at the subnational level in realizing a sustainable and resilient global urban future.
Therefore, integration of action at all government levels is paramount in order to capitalize on hard-won successes at the local level and learn from inclusive, holistic approaches to solving the climate challenge of our times. But the pace of action is clearly too slow.
Data indicates that the lives of millions of urban dwellers, as well as critical city assets, services, and crucial city-region ecosystems are projected to be severely impacted by worsening floods, precipitation, storms, heatwaves, drought, and disease outbreaks. And though climate change is expected to affect communities and regions everywhere, its impacts are likely to disproportionately affect the poor, marginalized, and most vulnerable populations.
Cities and regions in the Global South and Global North are expected to experience differential impacts from similarly hazardous conditions.
Within the Global South, disparities further trickle down to the city and community level. In Cape Town, South Africa, there’s a difference in the way drought is experienced between “formal” and “informal” urban dwellers.
Marginalized groups – depending on local context – could include women, youth, elderly, sick, poor, or slum dwellers.
Local and regional governments have raised the ambition and undertaken robust climate action, but the collection of information, understanding of new incoming climate knowledge, and corresponding action is still in infancy.
This holds especially true for urban areas in the Global South.
Nations are obliged to regularly submit (and accordingly adjust) their NDCs and also encouraged to formulate and implement National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).
Where there are currently 12 NAPs submitted from developing countries,44 there are already 162 climate adaptation/resilience plans or integrated climate plans available from cities and regions.
This local knowledge, availability of local data, and experience in adaptation planning may complement the NAP process if integrated in the national efforts.
Many components need to converge to bring about the system change toward inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable ways of living. New ways of collective thinking, new habits, impactful partnerships, innovative technology, and people-centered approaches are in the forefront of the sustainable development pathway humanity needs to follow. Such an endeavor will not be possible for nations without their cities and their surrounding regions and vice versa. “Data speak louder than words” reinforces the call for action stemming from overwhelming evidence (science, people, nature) of climate change worldwide. Actions taken by nations, cities, regions, communities, and individuals in the next ten years will be decisive in correcting the course of climate change and overcoming the global challenges of an urban future.
Press link for full report: Resilient Cities 2019
With just nine days until Rebellion Day, the environmental group Extinction Rebellion delivered a ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ to Downing Street warning about upcoming acts of civil disobedience.
The Declaration is a warning to the government against its failure to protect UK citizens from progressing climate change crisis. It is to be followed by protests starting Monday 12th November and leading to direct action on Parliament Square on Saturday 17th November in a national Rebellion Day.
Finn Harries, one of the activists who delivered the Declaration to No. 10, shared on social media: “We have no choice but to resort to civil disobedience in an attempt to protect our future.”
The radical UK-based environmental group states in the Declaration: “When Government and the law fail to provide any assurance of adequate protection, as well as security for its people’s well-being and the nation’s future, it becomes the right of its citizens to seek redress in order to restore dutiful democracy and to secure the solutions needed to avert catastrophe and protect the future. It becomes not only our right, it becomes our sacred duty to rebel.”
The first stage of their campaign of civil disobedience started on Wednesday 31 October and it saw 15 environmental protesters getting arrested. It represented the start of a series of events, including today’s, that will bring key parts of London to a standstill throughout November to draw attention to the “Ecological crisis caused by climate change, pollution and habitat destruction”.
Extinction Rebellion believe climate change is a threat so urgent, it requires people to risk everything to increase awareness and put pressure on policymakers to act on it. With seven in ten people in Britain concerned about climate change according to the National Centre for Social Research, they believe they have a “moral duty to rebel, whatever our politics”.
The move follows several reports calling on urgent action to stop climate change. The WWF warned of plummeting numbers of wildlife, which has decreased by 60 per cent globally between 1970 and 2014. The statement came after the UN warned of a climate change catastrophe in a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It gives humanity 12 years to act and stop the Earth warming beyond 1.5°C, which presents a serious danger, both to humans and wildlife.
In the most recent major assessment by the IPCC, they have reported the world’s oceans have absorbed over 90 per cent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases, 60 per cent more than estimated. The results mean the Earth is more reactive to fossil fuel emissions than previously thought and suggests they must be reduced by 25 per cent more than previously approximated. Researchers involved in the study told the BBC these new findings will make it harder to keep the targets set by governments in the Paris Agreement.
This month marks four years since then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for global action on climate change and two years since the Paris Agreement on climate change, which the UK signed, became effective. In April this year, the British government announced that the Committee in Climate Change would review the possibility of reducing emissions to net-zero by 2050 after the UN report was released in October, but recent results call for a more urgent action.
Words: Maria Campuzano | Subbing: Megan Naylor
Press link for more: The Voice of London
How to push green issues up the political agenda is a question that has exercised environmentalists for decades.
Do dark warnings about the world that awaits us if we do not curtail carbon emissions and protect forests and oceans motivate people to act, or scare them off?
Are apocalyptic visions such as that in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road what we need to open our minds, or an inducement to give up trying?
Opinion is divided, as events of the past week have illustrated.
In advance of his latest wildlife television series, Dynasties, David Attenborough said at the weekend that too many warnings about endangered species are a “real turn-off”.
A few days earlier, the activist group Extinction Rebellion launched a campaign of civil disobedience by demanding a zero-carbon economy by 2025.
Writing in advance of a protest in London that saw 15 people arrested, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said she and others have been driven to break the lawafter spending years ringing alarm bells and being ignored.
Molly Scott Cato
Influenced by thinkers including Charles Eisenstein and Erica Chenoweth, whose ideas about peaceful protest have also been taken up by opponents of President Trump, and with a commitment to grassroots organising that is similar to 350.org (the anti-fossil-fuel organisation launched in the US by Bill McKibben in 2007), Extinction Rebellion aims to foment a mass movement that will change history.
Elected politicians, goes the argument, have failed, as have businesses and other organisations including environmental charities.
Carbon emissions and biodiversity loss are out of control.
The “unimaginable horrors” of unchecked warming and habitat destruction mean more radical tactics are called for – and morally justified by the dangers, in the eyes of protesters.
While the current focus on the extinction crisis is novel, and a contrast to more familiar warnings about emissions, the notion that environmental activism encompasses lawbreaking is not new.
The Green party of England and Wales approves of civil disobedience in the statement of underlying principles known as its “philosophical basis”.
Greenpeace has engaged in nonviolent direct action alongside the traditional NGO tools of lobbying and petitions since the 1970s.
Activists have used occupations and blockades as techniques in protests against road-building, airports and coal-fired power stations.
They have also mounted protests against sponsorship by oil companies in museums.
Most recently, attempts to frack in Lancashire have been disrupted by protesters, three of whom were freed from prison last month after successfully appealing against sentences that judges found to be “manifestly excessive”.
The heightened language of emergency and breakdown employed by this new grouping will not appeal to everyone.
Nor is it intended to.
It is rational to be sceptical about whether the protesters will achieve their aims.
But on the basis of the most recent warnings about rising temperatures and species decline, and chancellor Philip Hammond’s failure to mention climate change at all in last week’s budget, it is not rational to deny that they are justified in rebelling against the government’s inaction.
Their sense of urgency is welcome.
Press link for more: The Guardian
A group of British scientists and their supporters is willing to risk a prison term to press governments to tackle climate change and environmental crisis.
By Alex Kirby
Alex Kirby is a former BBC journalist and environment correspondent.
He now works with universities, charities and international agencies to improve their media skills, and with journalists in the developing world keen to specialise in environmental reporting.
LONDON, 31 October, 2018 − A growing number of British academics, writers and activists say they are ready to go to prison in support of their demands for action on the environment.
Scientists are not normally renowned for their political activism, and the UK is hardly a hotbed of determined and risky protest against its rulers. But, if this group of nearly 100 British scientists and their backers is right, all that may be on the brink of changing.
Today sees the launch of ExtinctionRebellion, which describes itself as an international movement using mass civil disobedience to force governments to enter World War Two-level mobilisation mode, in response to climate breakdown and ecological crisis.
The group is launching a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK government “for criminal inaction in the face of climate change catastrophe and ecological collapse” at the Houses of Parliament in central London.
“We need ExtinctionRebellion as part of the mosaic of responses to the extremely precarious situation we now find ourselves in”
From today it promises “repeated acts of disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience” if the government does not respond seriously to its demands, and says “there will be mass arrests.”
“Now is the time because we are out of time.
There is nothing left to lose.”
Children all over the planet are organising a walk out to Demand Climate Action
The group’s demands include the declaration by the UK government of a state of emergency, action to create a zero carbon economy by 2025, and the establishment of a national assembly of “ordinary people” to decide what the zero carbon future will look like.
Based on the science, it says, humans have ten years at the most to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero, or the human race and most other species will be at high risk of extinction within decades.
“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.”
On 30 October the Worldwide Fund for Nature reported that humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, something it says threatens the survival of civilisation. ExtinctionRebellion says the loss of species shows that “the planet is in ecological crisis, and we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event this planet has experienced.”
Its members say they are willing to make personal sacrifices, to be arrested and to go to prison. They hope to inspire similar actions around the world and believe this global effort must begin in the UK, today, where the industrial revolution began.
Many of the Declaration’s signatories are well-known in the academic world. They include Danny Dorling, professor of geography at the University of Oxford, and Dr Ian Gibson, who formerly chaired the Parliamentary science and technology select committee. Serving Members of Parliament who support ExtinctionRebellion include the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas.
Other backers are probably better-known for their achievements beyond science, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, now the Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge, and the journalist George Monbiot.
Cry of desperation
Another supporter is Andrew Simms of the New Weather Institute. He told the Climate News Network: “This is almost a cry of desperation. People are bewildered. But almost every profound change in British society, from the abolition of slavery to the improvement of shipping safety, has involved people risking arrest.
“The signs I am getting from the UK government now are that it is a reckless administration putting its own people and others at risk by putting climate change virtually nowhere.
“The Declaration alone won’t bring about change: we’ll need people working practically to make change happen on the ground. But we need ExtinctionRebellion as part of the mosaic of responses to the extremely precarious situation we now find ourselves in.”
Simms, convinced that an entirely new potential for rapid societal change now exists, says: “We know what’s needed, and the resources to do it are there. ExtinctionRebellion is one example of how new ideas can spread quickly and rapid shift − and radical action − can come closer.” − Climate News Network
Press link for more: Climate News Network
By Harry Cockburn
Huge amounts of energy in the oceans mean hitting climate change targets could be much harder than expected ( Getty )
The results suggest over the past 27 years, the world’s oceans have retained 60 per cent more heat each year than research teams had previously thought.
This represents an enormous amount of additional energy stored on Earth, indicating the planet is far more sensitive to fossil-fuel emissions than past studies have shown.
It also raises further serious doubts over whether current temperature goals – to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – are attainable.
If accurate, the study is likely to have a major impact on climate modelling, which has largely used lower estimates for the amount of energy stored in the oceans.
Most previous models for ocean heat uptake have used data taken from the Argo Float programme, in which about 4,000 buoys drifting at around 1,000m below the surface of the oceans take temperature and other readings. It has been fully operational since 2007. Issues with the system are that it only measures the upper part of the ocean, and there remain huge gaps in coverage.
But the new study provides a separate estimate with data going back to 1991, and uses “dependable” measurements of atmospheric oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) – levels of which increase as the ocean warms and releases gases – as a “whole-ocean thermometer”, the authors wrote.
The study, published in the journal Nature, says the world’s oceans took up more than 13 zettajoules – which is a joule, the standard unit of energy, followed by 21 zeroes – of heat energy each year between 1991 and 2016.
This amounts to the oceans absorbing an amount of heat energy 150 times greater than the energy humans produce as electricity annually, over each year of the past quarter of a century.
“We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted,” lead author Dr Laure Resplandy of Princeton University, told The Washington Post.
“But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”
The study comes three weeks after scientists from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) commissioned by the United Nations issued the most urgent and far-reaching call yet for world governments to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and stop global warming.
“It is a big concern,” Dr Resplandy said.
“If you look at the IPCC 1.5C, there are big challenges ahead to keep those targets, and our study suggests it’s even harder because we close the window for those lower pathways,” she told the BBC.
Scientists already know the ocean takes up roughly 90 per cent of all excess energy produced as the Earth warms, so calculating the actual amount of energy makes it possible to estimate the level of surface warming we can expect, said the study’s co-author Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Oceanography geophysicist.
“The result significantly increases the confidence we can place in estimates of ocean warming and therefore helps reduce uncertainty in the climate sensitivity, particularly closing off the possibility of very low climate sensitivity,” Professor Keeling said.
Press link for more: Independent
New scientific evidence suggests that the carbon dioxide levels on earth right now are the highest they have been in 15 million years.
Scientists also believe that the last time levels were this high, the sea level was about 75 to 120 feet higher than now, there were no permanent ice caps in the Arctic, there was very little ice in Antarctica and Greenland, global temperatures were 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today, and no humans were in sight.
In April, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii found that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere stayed at 410 parts per million (ppm) across an entire month for the first time since measurements began to be taken.
In case there was any doubt about it, this is all very bad news.
It is only a people’s revolution that can save what little of the earth there is left to preserve and protect.
Increasing levels of greenhouse gases — of which carbon dioxide is one of the most important ones — can lead to drastic changes on earth and to our life as we have known it thus far.
It is important to also keep in mind that climate crises will not occur in linear, cause-and-effect ways.
The earth’s biosphere is a complex system in which events and crises reinforce and transform one another, causing non-linear, unpredictable changes.
This means that the ecological volatility of the earth in its current state is unpredictable and doomsday could be around the corner.
The only thing we know for sure is that increasing CO2 levels will definitely lead to melting polar ice caps and an increase in sea levels.
Several island nations, such as the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Tuvalu, are implementing adaptation strategies such as building walls around major cities and negotiating resettlement plans for entire populations with other nations.
Not only does this mean that life in its present form will be disrupted, it also means that for a large section of people from island, coastal and low-lying areas, their histories, traditions, and cultures will be lost forever.
There is no longer any doubt that this extreme situation will almost certainly occur. But governments, corporations, and international agencies have thus far not done enough to mitigate the problem, and appear increasingly incapable of implementing effective adaptation strategies either.
Perhaps it is time for a people’s revolution to jolt the powerful out of their lethargy.
The need of the hour is to make climate and the environment an election issue; and only vote to power those who grasp the gravity of the situation, and the need for urgency in climate adaptation policies.
Press link for more: Hindustan Times
Read, spread. This speech held #Swedish Greta Thunberg in London outside the Parliament, in front of over 1,000 people who participated in a peaceful action of civil disobedience by occupying the streets around the Parliament.
– When I was about eight years old in 2010, I heard for the first time about what was called climate change, or global warming.
Apparently, it was something that we humans had caused by our way of living.
I was asked to turn off the lights to save energy and recycle paper to skimp on the resources.
I remember that I thought it was very strange that we humans, which are a species of many, can alter the climate of the whole world.
Then in 2010, if it were correct we should not talk about anything else.
As soon as you turned on the TV or radio, all the programs should have been about the climate emergency.
Just like if there was a world war. But no one was talking about it.
If the use of fossil fuels was so dangerous that they threaten our existence – how can we let everything carry on, business as usual?
How can it still be allowed?
For me, it didn’t make sense. It felt unreal.
I have Asperger’s syndrome and for me, almost everything is black or white.
In many ways, we are autistic the normal and you others are strange.
You are saying climate change is an existential threat and the most important issue.
Yet everything goes on as usual.
If we are to stop releasing greenhouse gases, we must all change our way of living and ending our emissions.
To me it’s black or white.
When it comes to survival, there are no grey areas.
Either our civilisation survives or not.
‘We must change ourselves’
Countries such as Sweden and the UK must start to reduce emissions by at least 15 percent per year if we are to reach the target of two degrees in average temperature increase.
Now the UN panel on climate change says that we must aim at 1.5 degrees.
We can only imagine what that means.
The climate change issues should be at the top of decision makers and the media’s agenda. But it’s almost completely quiet.
Nor does anyone talk about the greenhouse gases embedded in “the system”.
If we stop burning all fossil fuels today, the average temperature will still increase by between 0.5-1.1 degrees.
Nor does anyone speak of equality or climate justice, mentioned in the Paris agreement.
This means that rich countries must reach zero emissions within six to twelve years.
It provides space for poor countries to increase their emissions as they raise their living standards and build infrastructure such as roads, schools and facilities clean drinking water.
How are we supposed to expect countries like Nigeria and India to care enough about climate change when we, who already have everything, do not even live up to our promises in the climate agreement?
So why are our emissions increasing?
Are we committing conscious mass extinctions?
Are we evil?
No, of course not.
Most people act as they do because they do not know the consequences of our actions or know how urgent it is that we act.
No one acts like we’re in a crisis.
Even the greenest politicians fly around the earth, eating meat and dairy products.
If I become 100 years old, I will be alive in 2103.
When you think about the future, there are few who can imagine the world after 2050, but then I’ve only lived half my life.
What happens next?
In 2078, I’m 75 years old.
How we act now will affect my whole life, my children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
When school started in August this year, I thought it might be enough.
I sat outside the Swedish parliament in a school-strike for the climate.
Some felt that I should be in school instead.
Others thought I should become a climate scientist to find a #CO2lution to the climate crisis’, but we already have enough facts to solve the climate issue.
All we need to do is wake up and change.
Why should I study for a future that is not available?
Children in Bendigo Australia Meeting with Politicians to Demand Climate Action.
Why should I study for a future that doesn’t exist?
What is the point of learning the facts when our politicians and our society ignore science?
Many say Sweden is a minor nation and that what we do does not matter. But if some school students can become world news just because we skipped school for a few days – imagine what we can accomplish if we all work in togethernessship.
Children in Canada Strike for Climate
Today, 100 million barrels of oil are produced every day. There is no political will to change it. There are no laws that force the companies to leave the oil in the ground. It shows that we cannot save the earth by following the rules of the game. Everything must change. And it must start today.
“To all of you out there: it’s time for civil disobedience. It’s time to rebel.” – Greta Thunberg
On November 30th, several organisations will support the national climate strike.
/Come you too! 😊💚🌎👊
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