The Evolution Of Language

This was going to be a fairly straightforward re-post of a story in Cambridge about a new word. Then it started to get more complicated and to go beyond a single word. The use of language to explain why the system needs to change and the motives and reasoning to underpin that change are evolving.

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.

This is a reprint, published on 1st February, 2019, by Mike Scialom mike.scialom@iliffemedia.co.uk:

‘Nepocide’ coined by Cambridge Professor

https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/nepocide-coined-by-cambridge-professor-9060783/


Extinction Rebellion on Parker's Piece. Picture: Finlay Cox
Extinction Rebellion on Parker’s Piece. Picture: Finlay Cox

A new word to describe the willingness of the current generation to sacrifice the wellbeing and even survival of future generations has been coined by Professor Tony Booth, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Commonwealth Education at the University of Cambridge.

“Nepocide” takes the word “nepotism”, which is defined as “any favour granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities” and splices it with genocide, which is described in Article Two of the UN Convention on Genocide as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.

“Nepocide is the conscious willingness to sacrifice future generations for current convenience.”

“I originally started thinking about the dynamics of cross-generational responsibility during the Thatcher era. Back then I called it ‘grandchild murder’ – the conscious willingness to sacrifice future generations to poverty, but with climate change it’s become literally a reality for everyone, so I coined a name for it.”

Professor Tony Booth, speaking at an Extinction Rebellion event outside Parkside police station on January 31st, 2019

Extinction Rebellion is a movement which began in October, 2018. Its aim is to galvanise governments and councils to declare a climate emergency. Some UK councils have already done so, including Cornwall.

A petition to request that Cambridge City Council declares a state of climate emergency is due to be handed in this month.

The protest at Parkside police station centred on campaigner Ms Angela Ditchfield (twitter @GreenKingsHedgs), who belongs to King’s Hedges Green Party. Ms Ditchfield was requested to attend Parkside in connection with events at Shire Hall last month when graffiti was sprayed on a wall.

“They watched while the spray painting happened and didn’t arrest me. They then contacted me a couple of days later to ask me in for a chat and I had an interview under caution. Accepting a caution means accepting criminal guilt and that didn’t happen. They’ve called me back in to charge me.”

Ms Ditchfield, speaking to the Cambridge Independent before entering the police station.
Angela Ditchfield of King's Hedges Green Party with Professor Tony Booth. Picture: Mike Scialom
Angela Ditchfield of King’s Hedges Green Party with Professor Tony Booth. Picture: Mike Scialom

“Criminal damage against property is a crime, but what about criminal damage against the planet – who can I talk to about that?”

Ms Ditchfield spoke to the Police Officier on the front desk, accompanied by a group of campaigners who also enquired as to who else would be arrested for criminal damage.

The officer replied: “I agree with a lot of what you’re saying but this isn’t the platform to express those views.”

“We would like to plead guilty to criminally damaging the world by living a privileged western lifestyle involving flying and driving, eating the products of the meat and diary industry, using plastic products and consumer electronics and buying unsustainable supermarket products.

All of these practices have caused irreparable damage to the world’s ecology. The glittering wealth grown in Britain’s economy is built on the extraction and theft of resources from countries in the global south.

It is built on the endless extraction of fossil fuels, a resource for which we have hideously violated human rights, started brutal wars, and killed millions.

The wealth and privilege has caused loss of life and irreparable damage to the world’s ecology, and we have benefited from it. We have enjoyed the fruits of the destruction of others.

Charge us with all of that.”

Read out to the Police Officer by one of the group

The officer explained that there would be no charges. “We’ve just taken in a lot of people and it’s full now.”

Extinction Rebellion campaigner reads statement at Parkside police station. Picture: Finlay Cox
Extinction Rebellion campaigner reads statement at Parkside police station. Picture: Finlay Cox

“Can we come back later?” the spokesperson asked.

“No.”

Another officer then asked: “Why don’t I just have a chat with two of you?”

“Well we’re all guilty,” was the response.

“OK,” the officer replied, “but if there’s two of you who you trust I can listen to them.”

Two campaigners then stepped forward and were taken through.

The officer later reported that the chat went “very well”

“I thought they were going to charge me but they’re doing it in a different way. Technically I’ve not been charged yet but I’ve just been notified that I’ve been reported to be charged.”

Ms Angela Ditchfield

Ms Ditchfield awaits postal confirmation of the next stage of the case.

Angela Ditchfield's homemade armband. Picture: Mike Scialom
Ms Angela Ditchfield’s homemade armband. Picture: Mike Scialom

You can find a personal account by one of those attending the police station here.

Evolution, as one by one everyone in the country turns up at their local Police Station to hand themselves in like good citizens.


Scotland Needs System Change, Not Climate Change, by Ian Paterson

We are a proud people, in Scotland. To what extend varies from person to person, but it’s a common Scottish characteristic and one that, at times, is a hindrance when addressing political issues.

There are sections of Scottish society who will not accept any criticism of the Scottish Government and this prevents a healthy level of scrutiny over much of its policy.

We have developed a narrative that plays into our desire to be seen as a modern and progressive nation, but we need comprehensive political system change badly in Scotland, of the type described by XR Founding member, Stuart Basden recently.

After staging our mock Citizens Assembly and occupying the Scottish Parliament, the BBC sought comment from a Scottish Government source and true to form the response came back that:

“The UN has praised the Scottish Government for our progress in dealing with Climate Change”.

Let’s just take an unbiased look at that record.

The fairest measurement is CO2 per capita – this way small countries can be compared to large ones, in a robust and fair way.

Scots output net 4.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person, per year, according to the cited data sheet (one page) from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2016).

So, is Scotland in the top-ten least polluting countries per capita?

No.

Is it in the top 100?

No.

Scotland lies at 147th out of 217 bespoke countries or territories.

The UK as a whole is 170th

If Scotland is in the worst third of countries for CO2 pollution, why does it get so much praise?

It is true that Scotland’s pollution levels used to be higher and it has reduced somewhat over the past two decades.

In doing so however, the Scottish Government have adopted an approach of providing much of our energy needs from green sources, whilst still supporting tax-subsidised North Sea oil drilling and sale of oil to foreign countries, so the pollution is attributed elsewhere, when the oil is burned.

We live in a relatively unpopulated country, meaning we have large swathes of natural land that contribute to CO2 mitigation and reduce our figures in a net carbon model.

In Scotland’s plan for Independence, prepared for the 2014 referendum, known as the ‘White Paper’, written by the Scottish Government, the document mentions oil 80 times. It was made clear that oil was central to any plan for Independence.

The plan was narrowly rejected 45% to 55% because it wasn’t comprehensively convincing, not because it was based on the destruction of our environment.

Whilst the SNP are the party of government in Scotland currently, it has to be said that if either of the two potential alternatives were in power – the Scottish Conservatives or Scottish Labour – that any deviation from a pro-oil stance would be highly unlikely.

The tone might differ, with the SNP claiming oil is vital to Scottish autonomy, the Tories voicing their support for oil business and Labour stating their support for oil-sector workers and jobs – but support would remain.

It is currently the policy of the Scottish Government to abolish Air Passenger Duty. This policy will make it cheaper for airlines to fly in and out of Scotland, and will reduce demand for greener forms of transport, along with reducing motivation for airlines to use less-polluting aircraft.

This is a clear statement of intent, to put the Scottish economy before environmental concerns.

It begs the question, does the Scottish Government value money above all else?

After reviewing how many lobbyist meetings have taken place in recent years, I would challenge every MSP to address their clear and obvious corruption.

Value does not come from how we are viewed on the world stage or by others but how we evaluate ourselves. For that reason, we cannot accept false praise, generated because we are gaming the system. We must not defend our government blindly, when it is not working in the interests of its people, but for commerce.

This is why a Citizens Assembly in Scotland is an imperative, to discuss climate inaction (and indeed to fairly tackle lingering questions of Independence and devolution too).

Holyrood must become the people’s parliament, which it emphatically is not, right now.

We must challenge our rose-tinted view, for our own health as much as for the sake of others. We are already beginning to see huge devastation in Global South countries, which are less polluting but more vulnerable than we are.

That’s on us.

To deny it is to condemn huge swathes of the global population to perish, at our expense.

For more information on the latest published statistics (38 pages), from 2016, please see here.

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:

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DONATE NOW!

 

Extinction Rebellion WorldWide Map

Find an Extinction Rebellion group near you.

Don’t use f***book? Tweet @ExtinctionR and use #XRlinkup to be put in touch via email, or contact: extinctionrebellion@risingup.org.uk

White XR symbols indicate regional pages, which you can contact for more details of local groups.

If this embed isn’t working on your browser, you can also view the map by clicking here.

Thanks to the rebels who created and are maintaining this map, and of course to everybody mobilising for the international rebellion.

 

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