By Paul McBride
After reading articles and watching a couple of videos released by Extinction Rebellion recently, I was interested enough to ignore the rain and go along to their first Scottish event. I would have joined the march to St Andrews House but had to rush off to look after my grandson. My grandson is a beautiful four-month-old child and like all of us he deserves better than the desolate future currently being sold to us all. The message being promoted by Extinction Rebellion is a message of indisputable truth. The truth of science and the truth of inaction by our politicians and their affiliates/ influencers who set the political agenda.
This is a truth that I sign up to.
Fortunately there is no need for meticulous research based analysis, the evidence is already in the public domain. The challenge is not rediscovering the truth but generating enough support for people to accept the truth as a reality and to act accordingly.
Accelerating environmental degradation will leave billions with two choices:
DEATH OR MIGRATION.
These choices will be non-negotiable. They will not be confined to a predictable crocodile tears response for the war-torn ravages in the Middle East or famine in sub-Saharan regions, but will transcend all borders physical and political, all creeds, all colours and all bank balances. Unless you reside at the very top-tier of the elite power broking class your Mercedes-Benz and your holiday house on a sunny foreign coast will not cocoon you from the unstoppable force of nature. The time of comfort and turning a blind eye has run out. We have arrived at a critical junction in human history where all of us have an urgent responsibility to recognise that rapid systemic change is the only option left to protect the lives of our children and our grandchildren. Continuing to vote vicariously for the 0.01% and their narcissistic apparatus will never open the doors of their entitlement, riches or protection to you or your family.
It will be too late to come together when the human crisis is no longer confined to the millions already fleeing war, persecution and poverty.
It will be too late when tens of thousands dying in the sea between North Africa and Europe is no longer the ugliest political football being kicked around the corridors of power – to allocate quotas of morality.
It will be too late when our own government go beyond the mere normalisation of destitution imposed on its own citizens through policy to protect the profits and false integrity of global corporations.
“It is in truth not for glory, nor riches nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”
These words written almost 700 years ago resonate louder now than they ever have. They resonate not for the declaration of a nation-state nor for the responsibilities of a population to defend and support that nation, but for citizens the whole world over to unite, to rise up and defend our planet. Our planet that supports all nations and all populations.
In public politicians pay no more than lip service to the fast approaching horrors, their “kick the can” monologue makes it conceptually more straightforward for billions to accept the end of the world as we know it, rather than contemplate the seemingly unattainable intellectual leap to dismantle, rethink and rebuild all glaring redundant notions of status quo. Political mainstreams have become inextricably linked to global corporate entities, their mutual aims enshrined in the propaganda that is piped into our lives on a daily basis. Their deception professionally glossed over by significantly the largest share of the 600 billion in advertising dollars spent in 2018, dollars that carefully nurture society to follow their trends and “other” those who don’t. Are voters in modern democracies happy to endorse this model or are they just hamstrung by the institutional variations on a theme that are made available at polling booths? The collusion of government and corporate entities, too easily delegitimise challenge through their ideologically aligned media partners. When the monologue is confronted it simply turns up the volume, changes the agenda or allows rigorous fact based objection to drift off, under or unreported to the margins of the media and illegitimacy.
By inaction and collusion our leaders have abdicated their right to lead. The systemic road blocks are so entrenched that the responsibility to administer the change necessary to prevent global annihilation is all of our responsibility. Right now, we in the UK have the privilege of a formal education, access to information, access to communication and the freedom to express our views publicly. It is our duty to the world while these privileges still exist to use them to their full extent and not only initiate appropriate change but ensure it. Each one of us has a pressing obligation to step into the void of reality left by politicians and the elite and take ownership of the agenda relating to climate change and its global human consequences. At present the only guarantee we have from our duplicitous leaders is the inevitability of a dystopian future. Time is not on our side. I for one do not want to be part of their future. People must act now, people must act in significant numbers, people must break the stigma of being ‘othered’ by our peers and we may be lucky enough to avert the worst outcomes of disaster we charge blindly towards, fuelled by the indecision and negligence of those who purport to lead.