Potatoes and Football

By George Palen

In the game of football, no one ever grows potatoes. Not only is this a true fact, but no one is surprised by this fact. The rules and objectives of football simply do not allow for the planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting of potatoes. Everybody knows this. You would be laughed off of the field if you brought a hoe, some gardening gloves, and some seed potatoes onto a football field at the beginning of a game.

Similarly, in the game of western culture, Mother Nature is not supported. The rules and objectives of western culture, whereby individuals pursue as much wealth and power as they can, simply do not allow for the support of Mother Nature. And thus we should not be surprised that life on Earth is going away. Indeed we have seen how people in support of life on Earth have been laughed out of corporate board rooms, swept into the streets where their voices have no seat at the decision making table.

We are playing the wrong game. I refuse to play football. I would surely get hurt if I did and besides, the score at the end of the game is meaningless. Society should stop embracing the game of “get rich and powerful”. People just get hurt and the score at the end of the game is meaningless. Instead the rules and objectives of our society should support life. Let us change our game. Let us change our culture. Let us support life on Earth.

XR Glasgow Report

By Ian Paterson

Extinction Rebellion Glasgow formed in November 2018, and took our first actions the following month, including disrupting Christmas shopping by swarming in Style Mile shopfronts, and forcing BBC Scotland to close their front doors due to our Reclaim the BBC demonstration.

 XR Glasgow aren’t where we want to be yet, but things are starting to come together and we are on track to deliver a strong contribution during the International Rebellion of 15th–19th April 2019. Affinity groups are forming, with XR Glasgow students organising a Youth Strike on Feb 15th, and XR Glasgow is staging a mass action on March 2nd. So far in 2019, a wide variety of activities have already taken place…

Ae Fond Rebellion.

You may have seen XR Scotland’s Rabbie Burns inspired action, in the news recently too, as XR members occupied the Scottish Parliament and conducted the UK’s first ever Citizens Assembly on Burns Day, the 25th of January, with crucial contributions from XR Glasgow members.

I don’t actually know any Burns poems to quote to you and find the language archaic but I’m quite a fan of social commentator and poet, Gil Scott-Heron. He famously said “the revolution will not be televised” but I’m beginning to wonder if he was right about that, as News outlets seemed quite keen to broadcast our recent action at the Scottish Parliament.

Fun Fact: Gil Scott-Heron’s dad played football for Celtic FC in Scotland and was the first person of colour to do so.

You may take our lives, but you’ll never take our treedom!

When faced with the destruction of trees and natural habitat, to make way for building developments on Otago Lane close to her home, XR Glasgow member Cheyenne was quick to react and form alliances with a local ‘Save Our Lane’ group.

“The main criticism involves the destruction of a vital green area that is home to native wildlife such as otters, kingfishers and bats. The area is part of Glasgow’s Green Corridor and hence should be considered a protected nature conservation area. The initial application stated that trees of a certain maturity and height will not be cut down. However, this was not adhered to”, Cheyenne told me.

Glasgow is known affectionately as ‘Dear Green Place’ and wider Scotland fondly referred to as ‘Caledonia’ – the name given to this area by the Romans, due to the vast expanse of woodlands in our region. Sadly we’ve seen our forestry systematically destroyed to a tiny fraction of the size it once was.

As the old song by Dougie MacLean goes: ‘Caledonia, you’re everything I’ve ever had’, yet still we destroy her namesake. Come to think of it, ‘Dear Concrete Jungle’ doesn’t have much of a ring to it either.

Rebel & Rejuvenate.

Of course, a hard day of action requires time to reflect and rejuvenate and with XR Glasgow’s new ‘Book/Craft’ gatherings, people are able to come together, talk, listen and conduct vitally important talking and making therapy with one another.

“We need to form bonds and care for each other as well as planning actions and creating resources”, group creator, Anna, reflects. “It might also be a focus for people who don’t feel any of the Working Groups are calling to them just now, or are trying to work out how they want to get involved”, she goes on to say, so this event provides a welcoming and inclusive outlet for further discussion.

Youth Strike 4 Climate.

It’s true also, that some of the younger members, along with their families, have found our way of working hard to fit in with the demands of daily life. XR Member Sapna has developed an inspiring initiative to combat this however, with ‘Wee Rebellion’, an event attended by 250 parents and young people.

“It’s really difficult for parents, teenagers and children to get to meetings in the evenings but because of the way most people’s work schedules function, it’s the obvious time to have meetings to talk about issues and plan actions. Wee Rebellion will attempt to be a space for parents, children and young people to talk to each other about how they can engage with XR and to generally raise awareness about climate change with the hope of finding shared vision for change. At our first event, among other activities, there will be a discussion space for adults asking what are the barriers to participation for caregivers and what strategies can we collectively come up with to overcome them”, Sapna tells me.

Less nuisance, more news sense.

Although there are challenges to overcome, fortunately it’s now fairly easy for me to keep abreast of environment news, thanks to the new ‘Glasgow St’ online briefing paper. The brainchild of XR member Thomas, ‘Glasgow St’ has clear principles, which set it apart.

Being over-reliant on traditional media for your climate news may not be the wisest decision. With climate lobbyists and business interests attempting to influence the agenda, we must analyse and scrutinise it ourselves. G-Street’s wiki approach allows for a collective learning experience, which I’m sure will prove valuable to the whole XR movement. Users of Medium – take a look and contribute.

To keep in touch with XR Glasgow, like us on Facebook, follow @ScotlandXr on Twitter, and @xrscotland on Instagram. Sign up for our mailing list by emailing xrglasgow@gmail.com. From February we will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 7pm at the Kinning Park Complex.

 

 

 

Teach-In Week at Manchester Uni announced to raise awareness over climate change

We did not seek permission to re-post but consider it ‘fair use’ to re-post in full and credit the original source. Please get in touch if you are the original author and would like the post altered or taken down -The Editors.

 

A new initiative aimed towards expanding students’ understanding of climate and sustainability issues is set to take place between the 18th and 22nd of February.

Promotional material distributed to advertise the cause stresses the need to demand ‘climate justice’ and ‘take back our education’.

The four-day movement aims to encourage teaching on climate change-related matters, through a collaboration between academics and students.

Teach-In Week encourages a refusal of the current university curriculum, attempting to encourage a discussion over putting more powers into the hands of students in determining the content of their studies.

Organisers of the event claim that the intention is not to disrupt courses and lecture content, but rather provoke a meaningful debate over the true purpose of a university education.

Lizzy Haughton, the Activities and Development Officer at the SU, who is behind the cause, pointed to the Youth Strike 4 Climate campaign in Switzerland and Germany, that saw over 30,000 students strike over the failure of their degree programmes to adequately educate themselves and their peers over the planet’s future.

In an email explaining the cause, Haughton argued that students had to be ‘shown the way’ in regards to such issues. Identifying a 12-year estimate for dealing with climate breakdown before facing human extinction, Haughton was clear that the issue was not whether “they [students] care enough”, but “telling them that they have to care”.

Haughton herself is involved in the Extinction Rebellion movement, that seeks to achieve radical change and sometimes controversial methods, including the welcoming of arrest.

The objective of overhauling government and economic policy in regards to environmental issues has developed a new branch as it enters grassroots involvement in university education, with possibly transformative effects.

For those looking to get involved with Teach-In Week, there are weekly information sessions up until the event itself, held every Tuesday from 3-4pm in room 1.3 of the SU.

Those interested are also encouraged to contact Lizzy Haughton at elizabeth.haughton@manchester.ac.uk, or alternatively, Ryan Woods, at ryan.woods@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk.

XR NZ NEWS: Invitation to composting of the RMA this morning

This was originally posted here: http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/331049

We did not seek permission to re-post but consider it ‘fair use’ to re-post in full and credit the original source. Please get in touch if you are the original author and would like the post altered or taken down -The Editors.

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

On Friday morning the Resource Management Act will be composted outside the Canterbury Mayoral Forum by protest group Extinction Rebellion. Spokesperson Julie Thompson said “There’s a climate and ecological emergency and we want Canterbury mayors to make acting on this an absolute priority.”

“The Resource Management Act has repeatedly failed to safeguard Aotearoa New Zealand’s environment so it needs to be transformed into an Ecological Protection Act. Currently the RMA even excludes climate change concerns.” she continued.

Thompson says “We are asking the mayors to take the leadership and moral responsibility that their position demands. They need to tell the truth about the ecological and climate crisis and stop using the RMA as an excuse for bowing to developments that sell out, concrete over, pollute and mine our life support systems in the name of private profit.”

Extinction Rebellion members and supporters will be on the road outside the Copthorne Hotel as mayors arrive to the forum. They will be adding pages of the RMA to garden waste, food scraps and wood chip to make a large mound of compost. A native tree symbolising an Ecological Protection Act will then be planted in the top of it.

“Cities across the world, including London and Vancouver, have now declared climate emergencies and have committed to zero carbon by 2030. We urge the Canterbury Mayors to follow suit, to lobby central government for an Ecological Protection Act, and be guided by participatory democracy for all of this.” Says Thompson.

“To declare a climate emergency is a crucial first step to show a change in priorities, to take wellbeing of people and planet seriously. Now is the time for courage to care for what’s most important to life. If need be, the grassroots will show our elected representatives what that means,” she finishes.

XROtautahi has notified the Mayors, and is hopeful that specific attendees might speak on the issue.

Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi is part of an international movement declaring rebellion against government for criminal inaction on the climate emergency. In December they turned off Environment Canterbury’s water supply in protest of decisions made around water and broader environmental protection in Canterbury. About fifteen Extinction Rebellion groups have become active in Aotearoa NZ since October 2018.

USA NEWS: Last Saturday, Extinction Rebellion sent a message heard ‘round the world: Cut carbon dramatically or face the consequences.

People rose from Los Angeles to Chicago, from DC to Austin, demanding that their governments declare a climate emergency and get us to zero emissions by 2025. (Click here to see a roundup of protests around the country.) And New York led the way with style. Hundreds marched. Dozens of people blocked traffic and staged die-ins, and we dropped a giant banner over the Prometheus statue at Rockefeller ice rink to let people know that climate change = mass death.

Every single one of you played an integral part in the success of this action. Whether you painted a sign or organized outreach, got arrested or supported those who did—YOU grew this movement. YOU helped us reach thousands of people. YOU helped us get media attention (we were covered in Rolling StoneNBCABCDaily NewsPix11 and elsewhere!) And YOU can keep this movement going.

We don’t have much time to act, and if we’re going to do this, it’s going to take all of us. So get involved! We have a worldwide week of action coming up on April 15th and we need it to be bigger and bolder than anything we’ve done or seen before.

 

What can you do?

 

  • ATTEND our events in the “Looking Forward” section below.
  • Can’t attend in person? Email nyc@extinctionrebellion.us to get plugged into one of our working groups. Or start an XR chapter where you live. (We can help!)
  • DONATE money to fund the resistance—and to help with jail fees for our friends who got arrested.
  • SPREAD THE WORD. Host a house meeting and get your friends, family, and coworkers involved. (Email nyc@extinctionrebellion.us to host!)
  • SPEAK THE TRUTH: In every conversation, every political action, every demand you make, tell the truth about the climate crisis. Don’t settle for anything less than zero emissions by 2025.

The scientists have spoken and the people are rising. In cities and towns across the world we are planting the Extinction Rebellion flag, showing the world we will not idly stand by while the earth burns. This is just the beginning. Join us!

 

Looking Forward

In a few short weeks, we have created community bonds, organized a successful mass meeting, and created an amazing action together. Now we need to look to the future and determine how to organize to sustain the momentum our planet needs.

We are currently in process of expanding the movement in NYC, including making it easier for everyone to get plugged in and scheduling weekly meetings. We need all hands on deck to make mass mobilization possible, and we need you to jump in anyway you can. Stayed tuned for info on how to do that. In the meantime, here are some upcoming events to get involved in:

Sunday February 10th  4 – 7pm – We will be hosting a potluck dinner! We need to celebrate what we have accomplished in an incredibly short time, and look to the future. There will be time to get to know each other and share good food, as well as (fun!) XR activities. Stay tuned for more details.

Starting next Wednesday February 6th @ 6pm –  This will be the first of our bi-weekly art making parties. Location: 545 5th Ave, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn – Email: xrnyc.art@gmail.com for more info.

International Rebellion Week – Starting April 15th – Get the ideas flowing for actions! As we re-build and grow, we will be looking forward toward the week of April 15th and being a part of actions all around the world.

 

Questions, comments, concerns? Email us at nyc@extinctionrebellion.us

Go to our website and sign up to get involved in working groups, and to stay up to date on the latest news –  XR NYC

Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter Instagram Facebook

 

DONATE NOW!

 

Statement of Defence used in Exeter Magistrates Courts 29/1/19

Statement from Matthew Tehanu who on 29th January appeared at Exeter Magistrates Courts over his defacing of the Exeter branch of Barclays bank on 2nd January of this year, with the slogan ‘Frack Off’ and the ‘#XR’ hashtag.

***

‘The magistrates and court officials gave me plenty of time to explain and justify my actions, for which I am grateful. I strongly hope that this information will inspire XR activists who are considering arrestable direct action. Winning the hearts and minds of magistrates and court officials could be a key element of our peaceful fight, as we increase the intensity and frequency of arrests over the coming months to address global governmental inaction on the accelerating sixth mass extinction event on Earth.
The following is a slightly adapted and extended version of the defence I gave in court. I refused legal representation:
***
1) Whilst admitting the offence of criminal damage, Barclays commits the greater crime by their investment in Third Energy, the fracking company. The people of northern England have clearly stated that they do not want Third Energy fracking in their neighbourhoods. Additionally, studies in the USA have shown that fracking pollutes water supplies and creates unaccounted-for leaks in the methane infrastructure of fracking (including pipelines) which contribute to climate breakdown.
***
2) Climate breakdown is accelerating globally. This month, yet more high temperature records were broken in Australia. Climate breakdown and species extinction have a relationship of mutual reinforcement as proven by scientific studies, i.e. they form a positive feedback loop. Any corporations which are invested in unnecessary industries which are democratically unpopular and polluting of water, which is essential to all life, as well as contributing to climate breakdown by methane release, must be legally enforced against immediately. Where governments fail to do this, citizens have a moral duty to use non-violent direct action and mass civil disobedience to protect their countries from the starvation that is increasingly likely from food-ecosystem collapse. By conservative estimates we have ten years to reduce carbon emissions to zero to avoid mass starvation, including in the UK, from food-ecosystem collapse.
***
I received a Conditional Discharge for a period of 12 months with immediate costs of £110. The costs will be paid by XR Exeter, for which I’m very grateful.
***
I publicly intend to breach these conditions in April during international XR actions, as the future of life on Earth depends on it.’
– Matthew T.

COMING SOON – THE HEAT THAT KILLS IN HOURS

By Bill McGuire (ex-IPCC scientist writing exclusively for XR Blog)

Here in the UK, with snow drifting down and the papers full of warnings of the imminent arrival of ‘the beast from the east’ – the bitterly cold weather pattern that brings the worst of winter weather – it is hard to imagine that elsewhere on the planet temperatures are soaring to dangerous levels. A world away from the frost and icy wind, Australia is in the grip of an unprecedented heatwave. Last week, temperatures across much of the country topped 40°C and, in many places breached 45°C. A few days ago, at Port Augusta in South Australia, the temperature peaked at a record-shattering 48.9°C. Probably most astonishing is the record overnight temperature, which – at Noona in New South Wales – fell to just 35.9°C; an all-time record for the country. I have always thought of Australia as essentially a desert with a few green bits around the outside. The prospects for the country on Hothouse Earth are bleak, so it is particularly ironic that successive governments have proved to be some of the least climate-friendly on the planet.

The scorching temperatures down under are likely to be just the advance guard of what may well be Planet Earth’s hottest year ever. With a new El Niño looking to build across the Pacific – a phenomenon that acts to boost global temperatures as well as supercharge extreme weather – 2019 is widely predicted to be hotter than each of the last three years which, themselves, make up the three hottest on record. As a consequence, heatwaves are likely to be widespread – as they were in 2018. Last year saw unprecedented heat across four continents, especially in July, when more than 3,000 daily high temperature records and 55 all-time highs were shattered.

It hardly takes an Einstein to appreciate that heatwaves will become one of the most damaging, disruptive and lethal hazards as the world continues to heat up. According to the University of Hawaii’s Camilo Mora, one of the authors of a study published last year in Nature Climate Change, when it comes to future heatwaves ‘our options are now between bad and terrible.’ What this means is that, even if we slash greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, by the end of the century nearly half the world will experience deadly heatwaves. If we take no effective action, then three-quarters of our planet’s population will be under threat.

Furthermore, the nature of the worst future heatwaves will be very different from those currently baking Australia and that scorched much of the world in 2018, and their impact potentially catastrophic. As global temperatures continue to ramp up, a deadly conspiracy of heat and humidity, measured by the so-called ‘wet-bulb’ temperature, will bring about murderous heatwaves from which there can be no relief and no escape. When the wet-bulb temperature reaches 35°C, the combination of heat and humidity is such that losing heat through sweating is impossible for the human body. In such circumstances anyone without access to air conditioning – however young or fit – has only six or so hours to live, whether sheltering in the shade or not. Research (1,2) reveals that as the century progresses – and under a business as usual scenario – more and more of the planet will come under severe threat from such devastating heat, in particular the Middle East, South and South East Asia and China. Ground zero looks like being China’s northern plain where – today – four hundred million people toil in the country’s agricultural heartland. By the second half of the century, fatal humid heatwaves are forecast to strike the region repeatedly, effectively making China’s breadbasket uninhabitable.

No human has yet had to experience such heat-death conditions, but it can only be a matter of time. In Bandar Mahshahr (Iran) temperatures of 46°C combined with 50 percent humidity, brought conditions, in July 2015, to the very limit of survivability. Perhaps 2019 will be the year the threshold is breached, bringing a first taste of what it will be like when parts of the world that brought forth and moulded our species finally become off limits to us.

(1) http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/8/e1603322

(2) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05252-y

Bill McGuire is Professor Emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at UCL and author of Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanic Eruptions. He was a contributor to the IPCC 2012 report on Climate Change & Extreme Events and Disasters.