Extinction Rebellion Diary #1: So it has come to this?

Photograph of people's climate march 2014

 People's Climate March 2014

Extinction Rebellion is a new group advocating for direct action to confront climate change. ROGER HALLAM reports

This November we will rebel. We will go to London and block transport and government infrastructure.

The forests are burning, the temperatures are soaring and people are dying. And this is just the beginning. The silence on the climate crisis has become deafening this summer, despite record temperatures around the globe.

In complexity theory, when a system comes under increasing pressure there is often a period of calm before a “phase transition” – when the system breaks down into new state. This calm is about to break.

The conventional campaigning has, yet again, revealed its failure to influence the political establishment. Thirty years since scientists told us that we are heading for ecological collapse, a majority of Labour and Tory MPs voted through the UK’s biggest carbon intensive infrastructure project – the third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Rebellious struggle 

Once completed, the expanded Heathrow will produce more carbon emissions than the entire country of Portugal. No act confirms more clearly the pathological criminality of our political class. 

So it has come to this: rebellion! 

This November we will rebel. We will go to London and block transport and government infrastructure. We will be arrested. Once released we will do it again.

To stop us they will have to imprison us. We will appeal to people to rise up and join us. But whether they do so is not important. What is important now is for us to make a stand – to engage in a direct political struggle that is appropriate to the crisis we face.

This November we will rebel. We will go to London and block transport and government infrastructure.

Climate catastrophe 

We must speak the blunt truth – we are heading for extinction.

Finally after decades of emailing, donating, marching; after years of growing depression, desperation, and despair, we have reached this point.

We will no longer tolerate the destruction of this beautiful planet. The humiliation of seeing this crime of all crimes take place year in and year out throughout our whole lives. We have decided that crying alone in the dark is no way to deal with our piercing grief at this horror.

We are going act and action is the antidote to despair. This is our choice today.

Not so long ago we were told by scientists in no uncertain terms that if we exceed 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere we would face catastrophe. We are now at 410.

Rights and duties

The increase used to be 1ppm a year, then it rose to 2ppm, we are now approaching 3ppm. In a decade or so we will be crossing 450ppm – the equivalent of the Paris limit of 2C.

In the words of Professor Peter Ward, at 500ppm “all bets our off”. He means that we will have triggered the geophysical feedbacks that will lead to our extinction.

After years of denial we finally have to accept the terrible truth – those in authority are going to kill us – the infliction of unimaginable suffering on billions of innocent people. This is what is planned – openly and wilfully. There is no greater crime. 

So the time for facts and figures is over – the speculations, the distractions – the talks that lead to more talks. We are adults and no longer children.

Already, around the country, hundreds are answering our call. We started our presence in London, Bristol, and Stroud. We now have groups in Frome and Exeter. The rebellion is spreading.

Get involved

Extinction Rebellion (XR) needs you! We are calling for a national mobilisation on the biggest scale ever.  We demand that carbon emissions be reduced to zero by 2025.

This aim is in line with The Climate Mobilisation (TCM) in the USA. We can do this, but we need your help.

Please ‘like’ our Facebook page, follow @ExtinctionR on Twitter,  and message us to offer support.

As well as the civil disobedience on the frontline, we seek media specialists, writers, editors, public speakers, software designers, performers and artists of all kinds to help spread the XR campaign.

This Author

Rogar Hallam is an organic farmer, public speaker and carbon divestment campaigner.