Author Archives: Filiberto Heidenreich

Why more blogs should address climate change

Published by:

Public awareness of the challenges and the issues associated with climate change are not where they are supposed to be. A dangerous number of people are still oblivious to the challenges they will be facing in the near future as a result of their lack of knowledge about the issue. A study conducted on a number of European countries has shown that public perception of climate change is threatening. The findings say that 6% of Germans and 14% of British were sceptical about human activity as a cause for climate change or did not believe that climate change occurs at all. On the other hand, less than 3% in both countries listed “climate change” as one of the toughest challenges their country will face in the next 20 years (Steentjes et al. 2017). Furthermore, in America, over half of the population believe that climate change is not a result of human activity but due to natural causes (31%). Others say there is no solid evidence of warming (20%) (Funk and Kennedy 2016). For this reasons, the burden of educating and opening people’s eyes to the issues lies on the shoulders of first scientists, who are obligated to help inform the general audience about their findings, researches and associated implications and second bloggers who have the responsibility of translating and communicating the scientific findings in the simplest way possible for the general public in order to raise awareness and get more people to take the full responsibility of their actions that cause harm to mother earth.

Why talking about climate change is crucial :

Big Change Begins with Small Talk

Talking about climate change is the first step to the big change. It allows others to learn key facts about climate change and the threats it imposes on humans and earth. They’re also more likely to learn about the clear scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-caused. You might be wondering why scientific consensus is such an important thing? Well, It allows people to believe that climate change is happening and it’s actually human-caused and therefore they should act up as soon as possible and take full responsibility for their action which will in a way or another pave the way for the real change, in other words, save the earth from the damage caused by us, Humans. Once the belief is planted within the public, it will gradually encourage discussion of the issue, which starts the cycle again. More discussion. Greater belief. A greater concern, greater change.

Why blogs are such a valuable communication channel for the general public about climate change :

First, it serves as an intermediate between the scientists and their findings and people. Topics around climate change are complex and too complicated especially when explained using all the scientific terms and explanations; therefore, blogs serve as the appropriate medium to deliver those information in an easy and simple way. Furthermore, it allows for depth and range. A blog can be as short as a couple of hundred words or as long as several thousand to explain a topic in the simplest terms so it reaches as much audience as possible. In addition to this, they are an informal and easily accessible mode of communications whether it’s a youtube video, an article or a 140-character tweet. Even researchers and scientists can use those communication tools as a platform to engage with a broader audience allowing for collaboration and networking due to the quick and timely discussions that can take place. Activists can also use blogs as a direct channel with the general public to raise awareness and educate people about the topic. It allows them to communicate directly with people interested and get more people to become more interested in the topic since blogs can be a great tool to reach more audience. There are even services that help you reach the right audience for your cause, take for example Acheter des Followers Instagram which have been used by several activists to grow their exposure on social media and reach more audience

In Fact, blogs have more potential to reach a broad audience than academic and research communities. They are available and accessible to everyone whether it be youngsters, adults, men or women. They also allow for exclusive and timely publication without the need for going through the review lag time.

Climate activists – Bring the real change!

Published by:

The environment is a gift that an individual has from nature. It renders a lot many things in hand and is one of the assets that is irreplaceable. Several activities directly or indirectly are adversely affecting the Earth. It is also leaving a drastic impact on the climate and making it haphazard. Looking around and researching the changes, these activities are diminishing the purity of the space one lives. As people realize this folly, they are also actively working together to form a human chain to protect the environment for leading a pious life. One such group is the climate activist who contributes to climate safety. They understand the ways human activity is affecting the climate and ways to correct it.

Does climate change affect us?

Over time, climate change has slowly begun and explicitly puts up its impact on several things. It mainly affects the resources that people use and the environment. The temperature rise, change in the quality, and other climate factors affect the following:


Water is a primary and basic necessity for an individual’s living. Due to the change in the climate, several parts of the world are experiencing droughts. It also affects the snow caps by either melting them or forming a lesser accumulation of snow. All of it is collectively leading to a water crisis, arising issues for humans.


The entire ecosystem on the Earth is interdependent. The activities like deforestation have to lead to an increase in the pollutants in the environment, affecting the climate. The heat and the rise in temperature due to various activities also lead to natural fires in the forest. It leads to the destruction of the forest and the wildlife cover.


The availability of a specific food around the world depends upon climatic factors and weather conditions. Although there are several ways of altering the conditions artificially and meeting the needs, the factors like temperature rise, water availability, moisture, etc., can still affect the portion one gets on the table.


Health and wellbeing are vital assets that an individual has in hand. The drastic climate change affects the health of all living organisms around the world. It leads to a new and variety of health issues and diseases that may or may not have a cure. As it affects the health of plants, animals, and humans, it affects the living as a whole.


The activities of the environment are dependent on the climate. A slight change in it affects the habitats and the wildlife living, disrupting the peace of the humans and unbalancing the ecosystem. Climate change also accompanies a change in gas levels like carbon dioxide, nitrogen. It also affects the activities of the ocean.


The change in the environmental and climatic factors also leads to increasing the frequency of natural calamities. It includes global trouble by hurricanes, storms, droughts, floods, and many more. It also tends to increase the intensity and the damage it brings to the people. Bringing destruction causes the climate to balance a bit.

Climate Activist – An insight!

Climate activists are people who come from a non-government organization for activism against climate change issues. They work for a cleaner, greener, stable, and more security of the Earth. They pick up problems that lead to the change in the climate and make people aware of making a difference. The work of activists begins with creating a chain and representing it at a global level for addressing the actual cause. The activism for climate change finds its roots in the 1900s to discuss the changing climate, its framework, the measures for correction, and much more. Climate activists keep themselves active on social media, including platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and much more. They tend to bring in the power of the public to mitigate the damages and problems in society as a whole. Making the people aware, they also contribute to the global meeting for climate change. It helps them to work together regardless of the country for bringing the change. As per the climate activists, one has the power to bring change and settle for the best.

Climate Activists – The role!

The role of climate activists does not restrict to any specifics. It includes a lot many things that combine to maintain the equilibrium for sustainability. The following are the primary roles:
• Addressing the various causes for climate change and picking up one such issue to bring it before the public.
• Searching and finding solutions to the existing climate problems and creating ripples for the difference.
• To create a human chain, rallies, posters, and other means of communication with the public.
• Using social media platforms to spread the message of securing climate change all over the globe.
• Educating and training youths for taking part in demonstrations that help to save the climate change.

Trail of issues

There are a variety of problems that lead to climatic change around the world. These are the issues that the climate activists are trying to hold and make a change. They are the following:
• Global warming: Several human activities like the emission of greenhouse gasses, etc., lead to higher absorption of heat by Earth. It leads to a rise in temperature and disbalances the climate. It also causes a shift in seasons.
• Burning fossil Fuel: Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources. They take a lot of time to form, and their use contributes majorly to the environmental and climatic changes. It also leads to depleting resources that are vital for balance.
• Ozone layer depletion: Ozone is one of the protection around the Earth’s surface. As human activities are depleting the layer, it fails to stop the UV rays strength that contributes to global warming and other problems for health.
• Vanishing forest cover: Forest covers and trees, in general, are responsible for keeping the balance between the gasses in the air. As deforestation is a recent issue, it leads to disrupting the balance, causing habitat changes, and much more.
• Air pollution: Due to industrial pollutants, the use of vehicles that emit harmful gasses, etc., the statistics of air pollution are changing. With an increase in air pollution, the climate sees a turn, hence contributing to many effects.
• Human needs:  The use of coolants, fire-extinguishers, sprays, pesticides, and others that make use of F-gases are also a cause of climatic change. A few of them have less impact, but several keep affecting the environment for decades.
• Carbon emission: The presence of carbon in the environment is one of the first factors that affect the climate. It does not just affect human health but can also accelerate the speed of melting snow tops and much more.

The new activism!

The modes and methods of activism have been changing over time. The activists started in the earlier centuries by taking out rallies, demonstrating the cause, impact, etc., to the people. It helped them to bring awareness and take them together in the activity. Over the years, the model and the medium have drastically changed. The new era of activists also caters for using social media to reach out to billions using it. The various options and the benefits for the activists are:
• YouTube allows them to spread a message, create awareness, and helps them to render alternatives to the activities. Although naturally viewed, they also can youtube klicks kaufen that help them reach more people.
• The Twitter handle allows the activists to tag the authorities in the field of the cause. It renders the talk reach the ears of the people who can create a difference and address the issue on a national and global level.
• Several platforms are emerging for the generic talks that allow the activists to express themselves freely and reach a global mass. It also allows them to create awareness, and it’s considered as an alternative to demonstrations and rallies.
• A platform like Instagram, Facebook, and much more allows climate activists to publish their views and connect to the youth by creating pages. Through it, the youngsters stay updated and can also contribute and take part in the good cause.
• The world of blogs and websites also allows climate activists to render their thoughts in a better way. It caters them to reach out to the public and spread their views globally. Hence, it allows creating an impact that makes a difference.

The need and urgency of attending the climate change and the impact are well known to everyone. It takes in the notice the small changes that accumulate to create big trouble. The first step towards it comes with realizing that every individual is contributing to the change. Hence, one has the power to bring back normalcy. The climate activists have been addressing the issue and have managed to create sensitivity. Therefore, regardless of age, everyone is forming a chain of protection with a vow to protect climate change. With the utmost awareness and a sense of togetherness, everyone can contribute to the vision of the Climate activists of a place where the climate is sustainable.

Dear Rebel…

Published by:


Between the 15th and 25th of April 2019 over 1000 people were willingly arrested, sacrificing their liberty to block – with peaceful and joyful nonviolent resistance – five high profile locations in Central London: Marble Arch – (‘This is an Emergency’) Oxford Circus – (‘Tell the Truth’) Waterloo Bridge – (‘Act Now’) Parliament Square – (‘Beyond Politics’) Piccadilly Circus – (‘Extinction Rebellion Youth’). During the Oxford Circus occupation, a member of the wellbeing team came up with an inspiring idea: to have people write ‘loveletters’ that could be handed and read out to the people who were ‘locked-on’. It brought many welcome smiles. We then decided to take things one step further, inviting people across the world to write an anonymous ‘love-letter’ of gratitude to the rebels who had been putting themselves on the front line and spending time in police cells to protect what we all rely on for life. ~What follows, are just some of those LOVE LETTERS~ Please send a ‘love-letter’ of your own to: x

Dear beloved Rebel, My rebel, my love, my heart, I write to you with the upmost passion and urgency to express the love I hold for you, but before I continue I will tell you about where I am now and what spurned me to write this letter. I am sat on the bank of a river, in a meadow in Cambridge, there was a sudden spring shower and the skies darkened and a-darkened above unforgivingly. The rain came and fell upon the earth sending every creature running for cover. But after it passed and I continued my journey down towards the quiet green tranquil meadows the sun broke through and suddenly all around me was a sight so beautiful. The river is glistening, the trees fresh with bright green spring growth, willows overhanging the waters edge, the birds sing merrily and altogether the moment struck me with such an awe and inspirational love for the natural world around us that I could do nothing but feel fear for the earth and environment. And this leads me onto you and the passion for our earth that you have shown, a passion so true and so courageous that it will inspire many and be told for generations to come, for what you have done might seem trivial, a small thing, but it is a part of a journey so noble than none but the devil himself could mock or fault you. You dear rebel are beautiful, and your beauty will last forever, immortalised in legend. Dear rebel, I love you. Sol x

Dear Rebel, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your bravery in getting arrested in the name of the greatest cause in human history; averting climate change and ecological disaster. Speaking of history, whatever happens in the course of your arrest / court case / other consequences, you can know that you will be on the right side of history, having stood up to the disaster capitalists hell-bent on putting profits before people and planet. You can tell future generations you did all you could in what has now become a war for our very survival. As I write this, my baby son sleeps next to me, unaware of the events unfolding around him. He delights in pictures of elephants, gorillas and tigers, yet I worry they won’t even exist by the time he is grown up. I worry daily about the kind of world he and his descendants will inherit, or even if he’ll be the last generation. He is both the reason I can’t currently risk arrest myself and also the reason I have joined Extinction Rebellion. As an innocent baby he is powerless to change our course to avert climate change but you and I are not. Together we can and must stand and act together to avert this impending climate disaster. Thank you for taking the first steps and for inspiring me to join you. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Your actions mean you are already creating a more truthful, harmonious and greener world for us all. Thank you from me, my husband, my baby and (I hope) his children’s children’s children’s children … With very best wishes, love and rage, Natalie

Dear Rebel, With tears in my eyes I send you my love. Thirty five years ago I stood up for the environment. My family ate organic food produced mainly by my husband, but sometimes bought expensively with meagre earnings. I kept plastic out of my home and brought up my children to love nature. I cannot thank you enough for taking part in Extinction Rebellion now that I am in my 70s and have not enough stamina to be with you in person. I am right behind you in spirit and will help however else possible. Maria

Dear Rebel, You are a rock star!! When my children grow up I’m going to tell them stories about the amazing people who gave everything to save our future. I’ll tell them that even though it must have been scary, it’s also so brave and courageous and I feel so immensely proud of the people that faced arrest for what they believe in. Even though I don’t feel like I have a right to be proud of you, because I haven’t done enough myself to earn that right. But I want to do more, you’ve inspired me to do more and I imagine thousands of other people will be in a similar position. It could be the tipping point that saves the world. Every single person that stood up that day is my hero. I don’t have the words to eloquently describe how thankful I am to you but I promise to let everyone know, now and in the future, how absolutely bloody brilliant you are. Hannah

Dear Rebel, I am so very grateful to you. Wonderful you! You have been brave, bold and beautiful on behalf of future generations. Generations of birds and beasts yet to emerge, generations of insects and amphibians, who will never know your commitment. On behalf of all life: generations of humans who have hope because of you, plants, animals, bacteria and fungi, thank you so much! With admiration and kindness Becky

Dear Rebel, Locked on. Locked in. Locked up. Super glued super heroes using super powers, you make me marvel. Enduring that parallel universe of uniforms and metal doors, of finger prints and scary forms. Parliament has declared a climate emergency. Your tools of disobedience have leveraged change. Today, 3rd of May, councils have gone Green across the UK. A hive mind, paradigm, seismic shift. Thank you for your amazing part in this gift. With thanks and admiration, I salute you. Sophie

Dear Rebel, You have given hope, where hope was waning. You have given time and life and liberty, when all of these are in short supply. You have offered such courage, it makes my heart weep – and I am so very, very grateful. The world is changing faster than we knew. Until this past month, it seemed all a slide downhill. And now…. now there is hope. Life is wonderful and I am beyond grateful for all that you have done With many blessings Mx

Dear Rebel, From the bottom of my heart, I want to let you know how much I love you. I want to put my arms around you and say that that I admire you and I’m proud to be part of a movement that includes YOU. You have been prepared to stand up and be counted and to sacrifice your liberty for the benefit of humankind and all life on earth – thank you so much for your selfless, truly loving and peaceful act.. On one of the road blocks at International Rebellion I saw a placard saying ‘be a Worthy Ancestor’. Well that is what you are, you are indeed a WORTHY ANCESTOR and you should be very proud of the path you have taken. On that theme, this is an abridged piece I came across in the Earth Pathways Diary: This is an urgent message from the future and it’s a message for you. We are the as yet unborn and we’re asking you not to give up on us. We know that your actions, your choices, your beliefs, play a crucial role in the direction of the Earth’s history. We tell stories about you and people like you who refused to give up on the future. You are our ancestors and we call on you to play your part, to recognise your responsibilities and to rise to the occasion. Hold on to hope as we do; our hope lies in you. Jenny

Dear Rebel, My name is Ella and I am 14 years old. People like you inspire me tremendously and I hope to one day be as powerful and inspiring as you are. I love you for saving me and my future. Thank you so much xxx

Dear Rebel, I’m completely in awe and delighted to see the XR protests around our dear little planet. That you have offered yourself to the cause by being arrested brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. I offer you thanks from the depth of my heart. As an elderly gent (72) I’ve done my share of polluting our home and now having a granddaughter my feelings are mixed. A bit of shame at years of flying etc (tho I have lived off grid these last thirty years) and fear for my daughter’s new child. I live at the bottom of the planet in Tasmania where our temperate rain forest burned for the second year, an unprecedented event. My partner and I have signed up for XR. I offer this info in solidarity. What you have done is to start the ball rolling and my gratitude is just a small note of appreciation for your sacrifice. I hope that the changes you have set in motion will be some recompense for your action in being arrested. Best wishes, hugs and love Dr Jim

Dear Rebel, I am writing to express my love and gratitude to you for standing on the front line in our rebellion. Without your courage, this beautiful movement would not have flourished, and touched thousands of people with its compassion for our planet and the life it sustains, and galvanised us to work together to defend our natural world and give our children the chance of a life worth living. Life fights to survive, and truly knowing that is profound and humbling. A year ago I started working at an animal welfare organisation, where I signed up for wildlife bulletins from various sources. Every day since I have been forced to accept little truths about the scale of our destruction of life on this planet. The near extinction of monarch butterflies and the loss of one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. The quietening of the cliffs of the Shetlands because of the loss of its seabirds. Every tiny pocket of Earth, where life has found a way to thrive, it is assailed by man-made threats as we destroy habitats, pollute eco-systems, kill wildlife for profit and murder our life-giving planet. Until the International Rebellion began, I couldn’t bear to acknowledge the deep sense of grief and mourning I have been carrying around with me. The prospect of the end of life on this planet was too overwhelming to cope with or meet with anything other than fear and anxiety. I’ve carried around a sense of guilt that I had brought two sons into a world with such an uncertain future. Until the International Rebellion began. You have shown me and my family that we are not alone. You have given us belief that together we can change our collective fate. I hope I can repay you and our community for these gifts and I will do whatever I can to help. Please remember when you have moments of doubt, or fear, or worry, that behind you are tens of thousands of people like myself, loving and grateful for your sacrifice. Let’s celebrate this moment, when the environmental movement has burst back into public consciousness, led by XR and the Youth Strikers. Thank you. Thank you a million times over. Thank you. Love, Peter

Dear Rebel Thank you for what you are doing to stand up for the planet and its future. For many years, I have tried to share the message about the importance of caring for the earth through environmental teaching and earth education. Recently, I had been wondering if it had all been in vain; if anyone had heard or understood the things we educators and scientists have been saying about the seriousness of it all. Had it all been a waste of time, I wondered? But seeing the passion and courage of the Extinction Rebels has reignited my hope and fired my enthusiasm! It has renewed my faith in humanity and made me feel so much less alone. That there are selfless people like you out there, making sure that this vital information is seen and heard by so many people around the world, is truly inspirational. Well done for standing up for what you believe in. And from me, and for our fellow passengers on the earth, thank you. Kate

Dear Rebel, First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a 39 year old male living in Shropshire and working as a chef. Around 20 years ago i was involved in the animal rights movement, with environmental issues, and with the anti capitalist movement. Then I got a mortgage, bought a car, and generally did all the “normal” things. 20 years went by and I think I got a bit sucked in to all this consumerism bollocks. Two weeks ago I watched people standing up for the world in which I live, people such as you and I realised that I had forgotten so much of who I was and really who I wanted to be. Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that, there are obvious victories, the government have declared a climate emergency being the most obvious. But the real victories are the amount of people like myself who looked at the actions that were taken in London and thought “shit, these people have a point” and want to know how they too can make a difference. So I want to say thank you. You have changed me and you are changing the world. Dave

Dear Rebel, Firstly – and forever – thank you! I was thinking about what you have done by calmly and deliberately getting arrested – and how difficult I would find it to decide that it was worth taking on the consequences of this action in the way that you have. I wanted to tell you how extraordinary you are, how much of a difference you have made, how much bolder you are than me, and how much better you are than anyone who critiscises you for what you have done. When it really mattered for our planet and for future generations of humans (as well as all other species) you stood up and did what was needed no matter the consequences. I genuinely believe that you, and your actions, will be written into the history books as the sparks that ignited the changes we need. I am utterly convinced that what you have done is not only right, but necessary. Thank you for being bold and clear sighted. Thank you for being a leader. Thank you for doing as much as could possibly be asked of you. Thank you for our future. Nick

Dear Rebel, Hey wonderful, you know how much you mean to me, but let me say it one more time! You are the most beautiful and caring thing that has ever happened to save the planet. Words are not enough to express my gratitude. There should be a poster of you, the 1000+ who helped change history. Your non-violent peaceful and polite protest will be looked upon in high regard. I hope that the police were kind to you and avoided the use of handcuffs. That they softened their stance once they knew you were a first timer and showed you some humility and humanity. I hope that when you were released, you were not too far from where you were taken, and that XR colleagues were present to help you. I hope that those that love you boasted of this ultraistic badge of “arrest” honor. I hope that you have excellent legal representation and your fine is minimal. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means so much to me and to the rest of the world. Thank you very much for bringing eternal sunshine to my life and a climate emergency declaration by this government. The sacrifice of your liberty makes my day and inspires me to do the best of things in my life. I am humbled by your sacrifice. Thank you very much for that motivation. Sharing the Earth with someone willing to spend time in the cells for future humans keeps me hopeful. Thank you very much. Hey sexy rebel, I think I love you, Thank you for being there, when the planet needed you.All life on this planet loves you. Thanks for you time and amazing efforts.Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Truly yours, Ian

Dear Rebel, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart for what you have done. This cause, more than any other, lives inside my soul. The earth is our Mother, and has given us so much. She supports us and lets us live. She is so beautiful! And we know that we are destroying her… You have been brave enough to put yourself in the front line, facing the law, getting arrested, being deprived of the freedom which is integral to life. I am in awe of your bravery, of your commitment, of your love. I am indebted to you (and others) for your willingness to be arrested. You have truly done something amazing, for which I hope you are very proud. The earth will feel your actions; your actions will have ripple effects and bring us to a better future. I also worry about you, wondering how you are post-arrest. I do hope you are proud and happy and energised, but I wonder if you are also shaken and frightened and sad. If so, I hope you can reach out to your friends, family (of choice) and the XR community, for the love and support you need. You deserve to be held and nurtured, coming back from the front lines of this struggle. Thank you. Thank you from me, from the birds in the garden, from the polar bears in the arctic, from the bees. With love overflowing, Max

Dear Rebel, Thank you for all that you are and all that you have done, in dreaming and determination. I see you and I love you. Alexander

Dear Rebel, I watched over several arrests. I hope yours wasn’t one of the rough ones. I couldn’t get arrested myself, and the more I saw the more badly I wanted to. I cried at every one. I hope you weren’t scared. It was harder to watch when people were scared. And so many seemed so, shaking, to have vultures come down and take their autonomy away like that. Probably you aren’t the girl with the human/coral tattoo on her arm. I wanted to tell her that her tattoo was cool but it felt like such a private moment. She was so potent, lay on the floor with her arm in a metal tube. Singing while they read a section to her. She was with a group, and I felt so moved by the comraderie of them. They had a copy of H is for Hawk with them and that just really stuck with me. One of the arrestees I witnessed was one of the first to be tried and left court with a fine. They were so jubilant in the newspaper, and seeing them, I felt this feeling of, yes! You did it! Even though I never knew them. They didn’t say a word as they were being arrested and carried away. They were so dignified. You probably aren’t the girl either who was crying so much. It was hard to watch, and everyone who looked at her, honestly, I was taking note of it, everyone who looked at her was weeping too. You know what, it felt like an honour to cry with her. I really hope she noticed how many people were feeling that because of her. I don’t know who you are but I just want to say thanks truly and deeply. Because if I had had seen you I know I would have been in awe and gratitude to you, with real tears of something like grief and something like real hope, hope with teeth. I hope to join you next time X To all those who have matched their words with actions To all those who have shown what is possible with bravery and imagination Thank you for showing that love can overcome fear I am so humbled by your commitment I am so inspired by your example I am so moved by your sacrifice I am so thrilled by your success Please know that when you are alone in a cell, if you are afraid in the dark or intimidated by those in power Millions are with you Millions are watching You are making a difference You are doing this for all of us

Why I say that this civilisation is finished.

Published by:

By Rupert Read.

It has been a huge privilege to be involved with
Extinction Rebellion, for nearly a year now. For the first time in years I feel
a growing glimmer of hope for humanity. Finally, we are seeing a mass
mobilisation of people who are not willing to die quietly. An upwelling of
people unafraid to call for the radical initiatives that we need to limit the
scope of global overheating. As a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, I have
been among those privileged to put the case for the action of our rebels to
those in the media and in Government.

We need to be clear that there is no ‘safe’ level
of warming. ‘Even’ 2 degrees (which is now almost unachievable) means the death
of over 99% of the world’s
coral reefs – permanently defacing the ecology of our
planet, and probably means the end of ice in the northern hemisphere. The International Panel on Climate Change — which is still, contra popular belief, a relatively conservative
body — is unambiguous in its latest report (1.5 degree) that 2-degrees means
the displacement of millions of people through desertification and flooding. It
means a much greater frequency and a higher magnitude of the extreme weather
events that are increasingly blighting the world. It means an increase in
violence and war globally because of resource scarcity and hotter temperatures.
It is violence: 2 degrees is violence from the rich and stupid
against the global masses. It means increased frequency of pandemic and pestilence, with greater threats to our health and the food supply we rely
upon to nourish us. And because of the inherent unpredictability of the effects
of 2-degrees warming, it could expose us to a myriad of other threats that we cannot predict and that
could be far worse than our models suggest.

This is why Extinction Rebellion’s actions are
so important, and in particular why the call for net zero UK emissions by 2025
is vital. Our movement has been courageous by communicating with brutal honesty
exactly what is at stake over the climate emergency. There needs to be far more
of this communication within the public sphere.

In my new book, This Civilisation is Finished, co-authored with Samuel Alexander, we
attempt exactly this. We reject the ‘soft denialism’ so often present in the mainstream
discourse about the climate emergency. A discourse that seems cherry-picked to
present what is actually ecological apocalypse in as palatable and
unthreatening a way as possible. Instead, we have found that minds and hearts
are only truly concentrated when the scale and enormity of the threat to human
and non-human life is exposed in its unveiled magnitude. When this occurs,
people stare the threat in the face, the fight-or-flight response is activated
and – as there is nowhere to run – they become energised by the necessity to
battle for the survival of themselves and their children.

This is no exaggeration. The stakes of course are very, very high, here, because the climate crisis and the broader ecological emergency of which it is only the most urgent part puts the whole of what we know as civilisation at risk. By ‘this civilisation’ I mean the hegemonic civilisation of globalised industrial growth capitalism— sometimes called ‘Empire’—which today governs the vast majority of human life on Earth.

As I see things, there are three broad possible
futures that lie ahead:

  • This civilisation could
    collapse utterly and terminally,
    as a result of
    climatic instability (leading for instance to catastrophic food shortages as a
    probable mechanism of collapse), or possibly sooner than that, through nuclear
    war, pandemic, or financial collapse leading to mass civil breakdown. Any of
    these are likely to be precipitated in part by ecological/climate instability,
    as Darfur and Syria were.


  • This civilisation (we)
    will manage to seed a future successor-civilisation(s),
    as this one collapses.


  • This civilisation will
    somehow manage to transform itself
    radically and rapidly, in an unprecedented manner, in time to avert collapse.

The third option, at which XR aims, is by far the least
likely, though the most desirable, simply because either of the other options
will involve vast suffering and death on an unprecedented scale. In the case of
(1), we are talking the extinction or near-extinction of humanity. In the case
of (2) we are talking at minimum multiple megadeaths. But (2) would obviously
be hugely preferable to (1), and thus the ultimate importance for us of getting
our societies not only to mitigate but also to adapt, deeply.

The second option is very difficult to
envisage clearly, but is, I now believe, very likely. Unless we are incredibly
lucky or incredibly determined and brilliant (or almost certainly both) then we
are facing, almost certainly, changes around the world which are going to bring
an end to this civilisation. So we need to think about what comes after it. We
need to think about it now, and we need to start to work toward it; because
there are many sub-possibilities within possibility two, and some of them are
very ugly.

One of the reasons I wrote the book with Sam is so that we can talk about how we can prepare the way for (2). I think that there has been criminally little of that preparation, to date. Virtually everyone in the broader environmental movement has been fixated on the third option, unwilling to consider anything less. I strongly believe now that that stance is no longer viable. And, encouragingly, I am not quite alone in that belief.

The first option might soon be as likely as the second. It leaves little to talk about.

Any of these three
options will involve a transformation of such extreme magnitude that what
emerges will no longer in any meaningful sense be this civilisation: the
change will be the kind of extreme conceptual and existential magnitude that
Thomas Kuhn, the philosopher of ‘paradigm-shifts’, calls ‘revolutionary’. Thus,
one way or another, this civilisation is finished. It may well run in
the air, suspended over the edge of a cliff, for a while longer. But it will
then either crash to complete chaos and catastrophe (Option 1); or seed
something radically different from itself from within its dying body (Option
2); or somehow get back to safety on the cliff-edge (Option 3). Managing to do that
miraculous thing would involve such extraordinary and utterly unprecedented
change, that what came back to safety would still no longer in any
meaningful sense be
this civilisation.

That, in short, is
what I mean by saying that this civilisation is finished.

Extinction Rebellion
is key to transforming the civilisation we have into something that will allow
us to maintain human life either in the third option or in arming our global
consciousness with the understanding of the need for deep adaptation in the
face of the second option.

If not, we are left
only with terminal collapse.

I hope that this
book, in which I discuss XR at some length, will help us in these difficult and
necessary thought-and-feeling—processes.

Extinction or business as usual? Hmm – that’s a difficult choice.

Published by:

Bill McGuire’s Climate Bombshells

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.

Well, it is if you are the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond. Dead and buried PM, Theresa May seems keen to sign up to the government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommendation, which advocates a zero-carbon UK by 2050 – so as to leave something of a legacy other than a cocked-up Brexit. Her chancellor, however, has other ideas. In a speech a couple of weeks ago, he warned that achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century would cost ‘well in excess’ of £1 trillion; a vast sum of money that would take funding away from essentials such as schools, hospitals and the police and make our economy uncompetitive. Extraordinarily, the point he seemed to be making was that we couldn’t afford to cut emissions to zero. What an astonishing point of view – even for a Tory minister. Does he not understand that there is no choice here? It is something we can’t afford not to do. Without transitioning as fast as we can to become carbon-free, there won’t be any schools or hospitals, or an economy or society to speak of – for that matter.

His figures are a nonsense too. According to the CCC, the cost of a net zero 2050 target would be nothing like £1 trillion. In fact, the cost would fall within existing spending plans. There is no arguing with the fact that such a change will cost money, but – in addition to slashing emissions – it will be beneficial in all sorts of other ways. A wholesale switch to electric cars powered by renewable electricity, and a refocus on clean public transport, cycling and walking, would clean up our air and massively reduce the health impacts associated with atmospheric pollution and sedentary lifestyles. A mass programme to insulate new buildings and retrofit existing ones, would help older and vulnerable people stay warm and cut their energy bills. Such initiatives would be part of a Green New Deal aimed at transforming economy and society. Rather than making the UK economy uncompetitive, such a deal would drive the economy forward through investing in the low-carbon technologies and skills of the future. The result would be an economy that is sustainable and which improves society rather than destroys it. A Green New Deal is so beneficial, in fact, that there is simply no excuse for not launching it now – today. If we start now, then there is no reason why we can’t achieve net-zero emissions well before 2050, and the latest news on carbon levels in the atmosphere show why we need to do this.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere last month reached a whisker below 415 parts per million(ppm); a rise of 3.5ppm on the previous May. At this rate, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will break through the 450ppm barrier in May 2029 – a little less than a decade hence. Why is this important? Because keeping carbon dioxides levels below this figure provides our only chance of keeping the global average temperature rise (since pre-industrial times)below 2°C, above which all-pervasive catastrophic climate change will prevail. And even then, it is possible – perhaps even likely – that feedback effects will still result in the 2°C guardrail being smashed.

These new data throw a spanner in the works of the idea that we can still keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5°C. They also mean that net zero emissions by 2050 – in the UK and, in fact, right across the planet – is simply not sufficient to prevent devastating climate breakdown. We need massive emissions cuts far sooner, which is why Extinction Rebellion is still calling for net zero emissions in 2025. We can do it – we can’t afford not to.

Drones, Heathrow and non-violence

Published by:

By Zeeshan Hasan

A few days ago, XR made the headlines for planning to stop Heathrow with drones.

I am finding it difficult to express how disappointed I was by this, especially after having spent a significant amount of time and effort editing the XR blog for the last few months. Like many others, I was drawn to XR precisely because it promised to be a non-violent movement to prevent climate breakdown.

Saying that drones will be flown in a busy airport implicitly threatens violence, just like a mugger who says “hand me your wallet or I will shoot”. There may well be no explicit violence, if the mugged person hands over their wallet; but there is obviously an implicit threat of violence which brought about the action of handing over the wallet. That’s why mugging cannot be called non-violent, and is both immoral and a crime. By the same logic, if airport authorities cancel or postpone flights because of threats of flying drones, they are acting under a threat of violence which is simply immoral and unacceptable on the part of an organisation like XR.

XR should be always claiming the moral high ground of saving all life on earth; it simply cannot threaten violence and maintain this moral high ground. This Heathrow strategy to me is simply the undoing of all that XR stands for.

I hope that XR people reconsider this strategy. For my part, I have to say that I can no longer be associated with a group that would entertain such violent and immoral strategies. This will be my last blog post.

Spring 2012

Published by:

By James Turner
In this street nothing grew at all
where pavement meets with churchyard wall,
but while financial markets crash,
here weeds can make a coloured splash.
They root and photosynthesise and cling
where stone and asphalt once were king.
This gum-bespattered world has mellowed,
primrosed, oxford-ragwort-yellowed.
For, since corruption bit the banks,
no men have passed with plastic tanks
of herbicide to spray the weeds
before they bloom and shed their seeds.
More weeds means insects, means more birds—
I’d paint the future green with words!—
but when the money flows again,
they’ll soon return, those dogged men,
with tanks of poison on their backs,
to mount their chemical attacks
on cheekily invasive plants.
Those primroses won’t stand a chance.

What just happened?

Published by:

By Chris Neill

A psychosocial perspective on the April 2019 Rebellion

two years ago I was a hard-working psychotherapist whose mind was
mostly preoccupied with looking underneath the surface of events for
an understanding of what they actually meant. I retired for a quiet
life in the garden (although now I seem to have become a hard-working
environmental activist instead). Letting go of the professional
duties doesn’t mean you stop thinking like a psychotherapist and
I found, anyway, that the powerful significance and intensity of the
Rebellion brought an automatic re-connection – emotionally,
spiritually and mentally – to that way of experiencing and relating
to things.

very many of us, I’m sure, I found myself drawing on old skills as
well as learning many new ones during the frenetic build-up to April
15th and the tumultuous unfolding of the 11 days afterwards. A key
thing in psychotherapy is self-reflection and as the pace of things
slackened in the final couple of days, as we all began, however
reluctantly, the heartfelt process of withdrawal and dis-engagement,
turning our attention again to the concerns and demands of the ‘real’
outside world (which now seemed less real than it ever had) I found
myself wondering how to understand the narrative of what had

using the word ‘narrative’ I mean deliberately to suggest that a
sequence of events tells more than just its own story. Most often, it
also tells us something deeper about ourselves. There is a tradition
of thought running through most of the the central theories and
philosophies used by psychotherapists – whether they be Freudian
analysts, Jungians, Gestalt humanists or transpersonal psychologists
– which says that the things we do, individually and together,
ranging from brief personal actions and simple physical gestures
through to extended periods of complex social interaction – can be
understood as enactments and re-enactments of deeper unconscious
realities. These things – from simple ‘Freudian slips’ to the
repetitions of history with global impact talked abut by people like
the contemporary communist psychoanalyst Slavo Zizek – reveal ideas
and truths that are not yet fully conscious. By studying the
narrative, then, we may be able to see something which is trying to

as I found time for pause and reflection while shuffling between the
tea tent, the people’s assemblies and the drumming bands at Marble
Arch on the penultimate day of the London rebellion, I found myself
wondering about this story that we seemed to have just told ourselves
about ourselves. Other than the fact that we had made a tremendous,
incredible collective effort which had brought about a radical change
in public consciousness, what else did the narrative tell us?

thought which impressed itself upon me most strongly, and which I had
already found myself mentioning to many people I spoke to, was that
this was a story about collaboration and determination, goodwill,,
kindness and creativity. Even though parts of the media were still
trying to run a story which was about police inefficiency or
collusion or about work-shy dreamers who had no idea about reality,
the obvious truth was emerging for all to see if they wanted to: when
people act together and are connected to a worthwhile sense of
purpose, and when they do so whilst seeking to stay connected to
higher values like Truth, Beauty, Will, Love and Wisdom, astonishing
things can be achieved. This, perhaps, is how we will address the
huge global problem of climate change. We will consider and plan
carefully and we will act decisively with urgency and discipline. We
will dedicate ourselves to this cause, acting without self-interest,
sharing generously of ourselves and our resources. We will care for
each other and ourselves, making sacrifices to the greater good
without losing sight of of our own rights and dignity. The idea that
everyone is responsible will spread like a wildfire and become the
new ’normal’. We will climb with exhilaration a steep learning
curve in which a process of creative collaboration feeds upon and
nourishes itself. We will rapidly develop new skills, exchange
knowledge and information at breakneck speed in order to meet the
escalating challenges which present themselves to us. In doing so we
will amaze others and ourselves with the truth of the proposition
that a small group of people can change the world.

as I considered the evident and inspiring truth of this, however, I
could not escape another truth – which is that we had, ultimately,
failed. We had not continued “until we win” as the mantra had
been Yes, I know we are not in the least finished, and the rebellion
is only paused, it is is only the beginning, etc. And I truly believe
all that. But the narrative of April 15th-25th does also have less
cheerful things to tell us. It tells us that that, notwithstanding
our Herculean efforts and all the marvellous variations of Love and
Will which were expressed, we were in the end defeated. Our
roadblocks were taken down. The glorious symbols of our defiant
audacity, the pink boat, the lorries, the trees, the solar panels,
were removed. Our people, one by one, were carried away. In the last
days , there had been plentiful evidence of our weakening. Resources
ran low. People got dirty and tired and ill. Some looked skeletal. It
was harder to think and make decisions and communicate effectively.
There was more evidence of fracture and discord in relationships. On
Waterloo Bridge we ate bread and jam instead of delicious vegan
stews. Drinking water became scarce. As we abandoned one site after
another, Marble Arch became too overcrowded, too noisy. People lost
valuable possessions and lost track of each other. Even as we
continued to assert our triumph, we could not deny that we were all
exhausted, completely done in. This, of course, is what may happen in
the story of the battle against climate change. We will make
wonderful, unbelievable progress and it will be a heart-opening and
joyful experience, but in the end we will fail.

i thought about this, I began to consider more specifically the role
of the police in this narrative. What had they been doing and what
did that mean or represent? We all kept saying how good they had been
and how kind and non-judgemental, how they were ‘“just doing
their job”. How might this be understood? It struck me that the
police in this narrative might best be seen as the forces of nature –
not unkind, nor intolerant nor even indifferent, but implacable
nonetheless. In the end, if a few thousand people come to occupy
London, to erect roadblocks and kitchens and performance spaces and
toilets and yoga spaces and meditation tents and gardens and tree
houses and skate ramps in the streets of the capital, the police will
marshal their forces and dismantle them and arrest the people who put
them there however much they sing and dance in defiance. This is as
much the ‘law of nature’ as is the fact that if we keep pumping
carbon into the atmosphere, cutting down forests and destroying
wildlife then the oceans will rise, the icecaps will melt, the land
will become desert and we will all die. The police were just doing
what the police do. It is as foolish to complain about supposedly
‘unfair’ tactics like issuing Section 14 notices or publicising
the details of people charged with offences or cordoning off
demonstration spaces as it would be to complain about average global
temperature rising. Nature, like the police, is not unkind nor
inflexible but it has its limits, If we push it far enough it will
destroy us. In the last days we became simply unable to combat the
rising power of the police, just as we may be unable to keep up with
the escalating challenges with which nature presents us. Torn between
responding to one emergency or another – do I rush to reinforce
Parliament Square, or Waterloo Bridge or Oxford Circus? – undermined
by emotional stress and depleted by a lack of rest and nurture, we
will be simply overwhelmed.

even if that it is an accurate understanding of the narrative, this
should not be depressing; because it is
only a narrative. And a narrative, like any myth or fairy-story, does
not tell us what is going to happen but only what will happen under
certain conditions. If. like Icarus, you fly too close to the sun,
you fall. If, like Rapunzel, you cannot free your inner feminine, you
end up locked in a tower. If, like two of the Three Little Pigs, you
build a house of straw or sticks, it will get blown away and you will
be at the mercy of the wolf.

condition we need to pay attention to in our story, I think, is
simply to do with numbers. This narrative of the April 2019 Rebellion
shows us what will happen if we do not have enough people on our
side. Fortunately, we have some time; not much, but enough to have
another go, another practice, maybe even two, in order to get it
right, so that we tell a different story, one of real triumph which
ends with us living in glorious harmony with nature and in right
relationship with ourselves and each other.

what I saw over the 11 days in London we could not have tried harder
or better. We were really amazing. We were magnificent. But we lost.
Yes, I know we won too and did so much more that any of us dared to
expect but the actual story, within its own frame, is not one of
victory, and it is crucial that we pay attention to that. How we will
win next time or the time after is that there will be a lot more of
us. We must learn from the story that we just told ourselves about
ourselves. We must give ourselves a little time to recuperate and
heal and then we must start to nurture the immense appreciation and
goodwill which our actions have seeded in the general public. Already
many of us are aware of people in our local communities sparked,
stimulated, even clamouring to join us. This must be grown and
protected and harvested so that whatever ‘next time’ looks like
and whenever it happens we will be three times, five times or ten
times bigger and stronger. When we have that many people with us,
working in the same wonderful way, we will be actually unstoppable.
And this amended story, with its happy ending, will, I believe,
inform and inspire a realistic and ultimately successful endeavour in
that ‘real’ life, in which we will come to be at last in harmony
with ourselves, each other and the natural world.

Focus Greenland – Wildfires, record ‘melts’ and boggy permafrost

Published by:

By Kate Goldstone


**  us-all-82675


“In some places climate change is an undeniable fact of everyday life. One of these places is Greenland.” – Visit Greenland.  (link to )

Greenland is the world’s biggest island. It’s a Danish territory that enjoys limited self-government and has its own parliament. In 2018 just 56,000 people lived there*, not a lot. So does it really matter if climate change melts the ice that smothers this extraordinarily wild, remote place? As it turns out, a fast-melting Greenland will have a dramatic effect on the rest of the world. Here’s a quick look at the potential damage caused by global warming in Greenland.

Climate change – Greenland in context**

Greenland’s vast ice sheet covers 80% of the island, acting like an enormous mirror reflecting the sun’s heat back out into space. The resulting ‘Albedo effect’ cools the earth’s surface. When there’s no snow, there’s no Albedo effect and the surface of the earth warms faster.

Greenland’s position on the globe, in the North Atlantic, matters as well, since the meltwater affects the normal circulation of the ocean currents. And it matters even more when you consider most of the island’s ice is more than a kilometre deep. That’s an awful lot of water. As Wikipedia says***, if the entire 2,850,000 cubic kilometres of Greenland’s ice were to melt, global sea levels would rise 7.2m (24 feet), leaving many of the world’s greatest coastal cities, including London and New York, underwater.

Greenland is particularly vulnerable to climate change. In fact temperatures in the Arctic are rising at twice the rate of the global average, and not a month seems to go by without some weather record or another being broken. One of the most recent was a proper shocker, a highly unusual and very large wildfire whose cause has been laid at the feet of global warming. The drier the land gets, the more runaway wildfires we’ll see in Greenland.

It looks like some frightening climate-led trends are emerging in Greenland. Take the fourteen years between 2002 and 2016, when Greenland lost around 269 gigatonnes of ice every year, one gigatonne being a billion tonnes. In 2012 they saw an exceptionally severe melting season, with 97% of ice surfaces melting at one time or another through the year. When the snow actually melted on top of the 3km high summit of the island, scientists were astonished.

The big warm-up carries on. April 2016 delivered abnormally high temperatures and the island’s earliest ever ‘melt’, a day when more than 10% of the ice sheet’s entire surface turned to water. While early melts like this aren’t catastrophic, they do reveal how very quickly and dramatically the ice sheet responds to temperature hikes.

Iceland’s permafrost is thawing at its top level, leaving more and more of the island boggy, damp, and perfect for disease-carrying mosquitoes.  The underlying permafrost reaches as deep as 100m and while it’s permanently frozen right now, there’s no reason to believe it’ll stay that way. The molten ‘active’ layer of permafrost is currently growing by around one and a half centimetres a year, a trend that’ll continue unless we start to reverse climate change.

Experts predict Arctic air temperatures will rise by anything from two degrees Centigrade and seven and a half Centigrade by the end of the century, revealing more than 1,500 billion tonnes of organic matter that has remained frozen solid for many thousands of years… until now. Melting it means the CO2 and methane it contains will be released into the atmosphere to cause yet more global warming.

Glaciers tell us a lot. Following their movement is a reliable way to spot climate change in action.  The magnificent Ilulissat Glacier, in West Greenland, is the world’s fastest moving glacier and Greenland’s biggest contributor to worldwide sea level rise.  May 2008 saw it ‘calve’ the biggest chunk of ice ever recorded on film, an event lasting more than an hour that left a vast three-mile-wide scar. Early 2019 saw even worse news emerge, with a study showing that the biggest ice losses between 2003 and 2013 happening in the south west of the island, hinting that ice is melting directly into the sea, via rivers, avoiding becoming part of the glacier altogether.   

Last but never least, polar bears. Since 1979 the sea ice around Greenland has decreased by just under seven and a half percent, which is already badly affecting polar bears. Scientists predict a 30% drop in polar bear numbers over the next few decades, leaving us with fewer than 9,000 of these precious creatures left on earth.

We’ll leave the last word to the Visit Greenland website: “The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, and is experiencing some of the most intense effects of climate change, with southwest Greenland seeing the most rapid warming (about 3°C during the past 7 years). In July 2013, the temperature at Maniitsoq airport, just beneath the Arctic Circle in west Greenland, was recorded at 25.9°C. This is the highest temperature ever recorded in Greenland.”

Greenland might be home to fewer than 60,000 people. But the effects of climate change on the island will have an impact on us all, wherever on our lovely blue planet we happen to live. Politicians have failed miserably. Now it’s down to us to bring global warming to an end.

For the love of Earth

Published by:

By Lee Burton

Scientific theories can be approached with skepticism, in fact there isn’t anyone more sceptic than a scientist. The scientific process involves testing against a prediction, practically and mathematically, and siding with whatever the results that arise, even if they’re against individual interest.

When it comes to the causes of climate change the theory here is that mankind is contributing to global rise in temperature through fossil fuel and agricultural industries releasing carbon dioxide and methane gasses. This is a theory that is pretty water tight through the evidence of our existence; without the greenhouse gasses emitted naturally by plants, animals and evaporation then all of the infrared rays radiated from the sun would escape into space making it too cold for life to exist.

On a much smaller scale scientific experiments can replicate the greenhouse gas effect. A common test followed in schools involves two plastic bottles filled with soil, a thermometer in each bottle both next to a light source that is at the same wattage. Filling just one of the bottles with carbon dioxide and then heating both the bottles for 20 minutes at the same distance you’ll find that the bottle with carbon dioxide will be at a slightly higher temperature. We’re currently recreating this experiment on a global scale.

It is not just coincidence that with the industrial revolution in the mid 1800’s that carbon dioxide has risen substantially, and although it is true that carbon dioxide is released naturally through volcanoes and the clashing of tectonic plates, these changes happen over millions of years and not decades.

With the above in mind it is quite hard to contemplate why the term ‘climate change denier’ even exists.

It has been mentioned, often by those in positions of power, that we should be sceptic about the predictions of climate change. The most concerning prediction is that the average global temperature will be 1.5 degrees centigrade by the year 2030, that’s just over 10 years from the time of writing this. If you were skeptical of this the best that can be said is that this is too soon, that could be true, but the most important question to ask with the existing evidence is is it worth the risk? Quite simply no, and the IPCC have been clear; we must drop our carbon emissions by 35% within that 10-year time span.

Even the most irrational among us should support climate change laws and live a life that consists of consuming less red meat and dairy, purchasing of less plastics and cutting down our drive time commutes. The worrying point to make though is that this alone won’t be enough.

Two out of three of the above is much easier said than done. Not eating red meat and dairy should be relatively simple, for the sake of our diet we shouldn’t be eating too much of it anyway; according to the WHO (World Health Organisation) 50g a day of red meat can increase your risk of cancer. The amount of plastics you purchase and your drivetime commutes are mostly determined by your location, e.g. if you live rurally, lack public transport options, have financial difficulties and/or only have a supermarket as a shopping source. Some of these restrictions sound like feeble excuses, but unfortunately private businesses and governments are not providing enough free plastic alternatives and are cutting back on council funds. The predominant problem lies within the economy as it shouldn’t be this hard to fulfill what should be seen as the basics.

Over 40% of our electricity generation is still reliant on fossil fuels and over 40% of all plastic waste is packaging, the banks measure our progress on GDP with all this at our source. In essence, you can buy an electric car but the car is still provided by a power station run on fossil fuels, it’s the source that needs to be replaced.

So, what can we do? As the great David Attenborough has recently said ‘there is still hope’, we’re not yet at 1.5 degrees centigrade. On top of our lifestyle changes we need to be communally active. Get involved in local environmental charities who are everywhere providing plastic-free shops, planting trees, building eco bricks and protesting peacefully against a government muddling through Brexit and living in the short term. Continued pressure from these groups coinciding with changing our commercial habits (as much as we can) will force supermarkets to use recyclable materials and pressure governments to invest money into renewable energy sources. Because if we can’t change our political system, we can at the very least play it at its own game by making environmentalism popular and commercial.

All of this might sound ambitious and/or idealist, but it’s the spark for a much bigger challenge. If you live in the UK you have a privileged opportunity to make a change, most of the world needs to make similar economic upheavals but are not necessarily in the same position to do so. For example, it’s ill advised to protest in the People’s Republic of China, a communist country and the biggest plastic exporter in the world. You wouldn’t protest at all in Saudi Arabia as it is illegal, and they’re one of the biggest oil producers in the world.
It’s also worth noting that putting the United Kingdom in context with the rest of the planet its pollution looks rather tame, so climate change must be looked at as a world-wide problem.

Climate change is not an insurmountable issue yet, it’s a matter of opportunity and influence. The UK might seem small in terms of contributing to pollution, but it also has the commonwealth, Royal Family and trading relationships that have a huge effect on the countries around it. It wouldn’t be so unrealistic that in a country where the industrial revolution began for it to be a leading example with an economic revolution. Community organisations and charities leveraging the advantages of free speech and democracy can sway politicians with green energy investment and maybe even remove the narrow monetary measurements of growth, but it’s imperative that it starts now before it’s too late.