My Rebellion

I was one of the first to be arrested

Over on Southwark the cuffs fit snugly

Into my assessment of events

We unfurled the banner, hitchless, crispy

Moments after Larch, at the fountain

Laid out a plan for a smart block –

We strode past the coppers

Staked our territory

Held the banner in unicity

With the other four bridges

The bright yellow jackets

Cameras on, batons low slung

Walked us down, we edged back

I shouted to the stragglers

To get behind us –

‘We’ve taken the bridge’

Larch said.

In the cop van with the Teign Valley crooks

About as crooked as the fact that we’re hot

As a planet, a movement -XR prevailing

Van banter, talk of favourite arrests

The Arsenal fan with the flare

(Don’t bring rockets to the stadium

Unless the stadium is television

The rocket, demand for global change)

Someone in the van with a subtle pronoun

The cop self-corrected, kindly chuckling

Before the driver stepped on it

And I enjoyed our public askance

Looking mean at us from London –

Held in a cage at Charing Cross

With a rude drunk who lost a million

Now homeless and glad to get

Bed and food from the Met –

At the custody desk I stood for

The questions, for Rising Up! stood

Gently, firm, so the other sergeant

At the next desk said ‘I agree

But getting arrested is not the way’

No time to argue, led to my cell

An interesting place, no sink for the loo

No dimmer for the light

No rest for the morally correct

But plenty of wall-tiles to while away my thoughts on

And touch with my toes in a workout routine

(This is just the bare account

But I know the hours spent there were

Strengthening in myriad subtle ways)

As for the food, ‘no comment’ –

They tried me with some books

Then pen and paper, nice of them

– Nice of me to them –

Where I wrote my thoughts for spiritual rebirth

For Extinction Rebellion unicity

The mental health nurse

Obliged to see me; my history

Said I should back-pat myself

Achieving my goal of arrest –

Walked down the corridor for release

The third cop of the day agreed with XR

And then there were cheers as I emerged

Into the foyer, disorientating, Woodstock

Had set up camp there

I headed down the stair

Some good hugs and a party declined

(I realised I had just missed it)

Walked to the Underground then

Discussing how to make The Message tight

With my temporary carer

Then in East London

Due to crossed wires

(No fault of my hosts)

Slept rough for the night

Musing on the homeless drunk

Who would also sleep rough on his release

Then in the morning took the Tube

To North Harrow where my mum grew up

Saw a house like my grandparents used to have there

Via Baker Street,  a romantic place that drew me

Into thoughts of not avoiding London afterall –

A couple of days later in my flat

In the rural Westcountry

Watching the bridge blocks on YouTube

Kicking myself that I missed the speakers and

The festival but proud I helped enable it

 

 

 

What the f*** are you waiting for?

What the fuck are you waiting for?

More golden arrows shot at Hydra’s heads?

What the fuck are you waiting for?

Trump and Bolsonaro to bring back the fleece?

Don’t let Medusa turn you to stone

Mesmerising spell of greed

The oil slick behind her eyes

With Bolsonaro elected

The Amazon will disappear

Hambach times one thousand

Arise with Kali, Brigid, Morrigan

The heroine quest is Extinction Rebellion

Arise, arise, no conclusion is foregone

The hero quest is Extinction Rebellion

 

by Matthew Tehanu who blogs at http://www.epictomorrows.com

The only answer to the latest IPCC report is mass civil disobedience.

The IPCC report of a few days ago recommends that governments follow paths to ‘keep global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels’, if we want a high chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

The quoted text below is taken from The Guardian -Bob Ward’s article of the 8th October: The IPCC global warming report spares politicians the worst details

‘the policymakers, or at least their aides, should make the effort to read the whole report. Incredibly, the stark summary is still a relatively conservative assessment of the consequences we might face if global warming does exceed 1.5C. [The summary] is written in matter-of-fact language, but it omits some of the biggest risks of climate change, which are described in the full text.

For instance, the summary indicates that warming of 2C would have very damaging impacts on many parts of the world. But it does not mention the potential for human populations to migrate and be displaced as a result, leading to the possibility of war.

The summary also leaves out important information about so-called “tipping points” in the climate system, beyond which impacts become unstoppable, irreversible or accelerate.

It is not clear why such crucial information has been left out of the summary. Perhaps the authors felt that there are too many uncertainties in our knowledge to be definitive. But the danger is that policymakers will assume the absence of these very significant risks from the summary means that researchers have assessed them to be unimportant or impossible.’

In this initial response to the IPCC report by the paleoclimatologist Paul Beckwith (more from him will follow in the coming days), Beckwith notes that current warming is given by the IPCC as ‘1 degree above pre-industrial levels’ where the period 1850-1900 is given as the pre-industrial baseline. This is misleading, he says, as the original pre-industrial baseline date used in the first ever IPCC report was 1750 -surely a more correct definition of a ‘pre-industrial’ date. The difference in warming between 1750 and 1850 is given variously as somewhere between 0 and 0.3 degrees, according to different estimates (outside this report). The implication is that it is not unlikely that we are at 1.2 to 1.3 degrees above the true pre-industrial baseline, not 1 degree. That the report is founded on misleading figures does not bode well for the rest of the report.

The second main failing of the IPCC report, defined by this initial assessment by Paul Beckwith, is that it is claimed that methane will not play any significant role in global warming at least until 2100. Beckwith draws attention to recent observed methane leakages from the permafrost thawing in the Arctic circle. He also alludes to the fracking boom in the USA, asserting that methane leakages from fracking infrastructures are significant. As America is planning on increasing fracking up till 2025, the omission of atmospheric methane releases from the IPCC report is troubling.

In the UK, Wales and Scotland have banned fracking. In England it has been left up to direct action activists to stop fracking from taking off. Thankfully this effort gained some publicity recently with the so-called Frack Free Four, whose several month sentences for obstructing fracking operations were widely condemned, and with a little luck will be overturned at appeal.

Meanwhile, after a lull of a few years, in 2017 (the year after the Paris Accord) global coal production and consumption began to increase again.

In spite of successive IPCC reports since 1990 and non-binding international agreements (the Paris Accord of which is the latest), the global economy is not kicking its addiction to fossil fuels. Without sufficient political will from governments to rapidly accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables within the next five years, as is necessary even by the IPCC’s conservative standards, there is only one sensible option left. The one sensible option for us billions of human beings who would be affected by catastrophic climate breakdown, is to practice mass civil disobedience, to force our governments to change.

It is time to rebel.

 

 

 

 

This Great Force For Change

By Matthew Tehanu

I feel despair daily. Across from my flat, a new row of flats is being built. The workmen are at it from early in the morning. I will glad when it’s done for then the lorry depot will be hidden from view. If I make millions I will buy that lorry depot and end its life in this village. On the other side, through my back windows I can see crumbling old mill buildings half overgrown with ivy. Let them be that way till Nature takes them back.

I feel despair because of the various catch-22’s and hypocrisies I find myself in. I’m too intelligent and too unqualified to find suitable regular paid work, yet too privileged for that to matter. I am very well connected online, yet lonely as soon as I turn off the computer. I am full of love yet often painfully unable to express it, or find people who can receive it without attaching to me or misunderstanding the nature of my gift.

I am sexually liberated and yet celibate, because society in general is not refined enough for my sexual fulfilment, and would sooner ‘slut-shame’ me. Those rare individuals who ‘get me’ sexually, I very rarely encounter, and then don’t have more than a couple of minutes to practice my social skills with them.

I also feel despair because there is so much ignorance in the world, especially ignorance amongst so-called authorities -authorities on mental health, the environment, politics, economics, and so little readiness or opportunity for me to offer my knowledge and healing to so many people that could do with it.

I am isolated, but there is an advantage to leading this lonely life. It gives me perspective. Perspective on myself, on this country I live in, on Earth. With this perspective, carefully supplemented by reading and studying, I have come to the same old conclusion that many others have come to: the collapse of contemporary globalised industrial capitalist civilisation is inevitable, probably this century. It is up to us whether or not we choose to make this collapse more, or less, painful.

Human-caused climate breakdown has become the linchpin issue of the collapse, or ‘The Event’ as the world’s wealthy elites call it. Climate breakdown is the linchpin issue for two reasons. Firstly, it is a matter of timescale. There are many ecological catastrophes afflicting this Earth, but in the case of the climate, we are obliged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to near zero within ten years to avoid a high probability of disastrous climate change, meaning the loss of billions of human lives within decades.

The necessary scaling back and re-designing of industrial civilisation (more is required than just the simple ‘conversion’ to renewable energies) will also have great potential to address the other ecological pressures that we are putting upon this Earth, in terms of for instance, pollution, soil exhaustion, deforestation and biodiversity loss.

The second main reason, as I see it, that climate breakdown can be seen as a linchpin issue for global civilisation collapse and / or transformation (if we’re careful and lucky), is that a change in our political and economic orders will be necessary in order to reduce carbon emissions to zero and kick our global addiction to fossil fuels. The necessity of global collapse or transition to a different form of civilisation (or more realistically, a different ‘civilisation mesh’ demonstrating various political and economic local alternatives) is driven by the finiteness of natural resources being fundamentally at odds with the perpetual economic growth that is demanded to keep the current economic system from crashing.

Economic growth is a function of the system, not just a desirable outcome for people who want to make money. The global economic-political system itself depends upon economic growth. It’s like a balloon that you can’t stop blowing up, or it will deflate entirely.

Governments have shown that they are consistently not powerful enough to challenge large fossil fuel companies. These companies have between them pledged to burn five times more fossil fuels than the planet’s atmosphere can handle. Five times more than would keep us safely below 2 degrees of global warming above pre-industrial levels. The only way to respond to this reality is to change our economic and political systems to make them more accountable to the planet and the billions of people that may otherwise die.

This means complete ‘system change’. Either this will happen in a very painful, destructive way, pressured by failing stock markets, failing crops and billions of climate refugees, or it can happen by ‘controlled revolution’, employing the mass civil disobedience, from now onwards, that leading social scientists say is vital for us to ‘save civilisation’ in any recognisable form i.e. to save the globe from runaway climate breakdown. Our governments have failed us.

This is why I have whole-heartedly joined Extinction Rebellion. Ironically enough, XR has given me a renewed passion for life. If I can survive on government benefits for now, so much the better. I am learning just as many work skills, if not more, as part of XR than I have done in any paid job. These include founding and developing a local branch of the campaign, conference calling, mentoring newcomers to the campaign, delivering the XR talk, organising and promoting talks, general marketing skills, innovating subcampaigns and subgroups, time management, and making links with others nationally and internationally who share the Extinction Rebellion campaign aims and values.

As for my loneliness, the online connections I am making with many XR members are starting to be reflected in face to face meetings and gatherings. Everyone is worthy of love, although it is not always easy to give. But in XR I may have found some people who I can show my love and friendship to more freely than the average. When catastrophe comes, as it must to some degree, if I am still alive at that point I hope I can count amongst my Tribe, many members of this great force for change that is Rising Up! and Extinction Rebellion.

All my virile energy is channelled into this great force for change.

For more of my writing, feel free to visit my blog: www.epictomorrows.com

Square in The Face and The Voice in The Night

Square in The Face

Rise For Climate is an international movement that today will see over 850 rallies happening around the world to demand climate justice from governments and corporations.

This is a great initiative, but will it be enough? Extinction Rebellion goes one step further. As members of XR we are employing mass civil disobedience (for instance, road blocks) to demand action NOW.

Sometimes I get accused of being miserable, of not knowing how to have fun, even of being ‘square’. But these people don’t see when I’m dancing around my flat or in a trance playing jazz dance on my electric piano. I may be square to some, if square means wanting to live meticulously in a way which improves the suffering lot of the species -including humans- on this planet. A lot which it is very reasonable to project will worsen due to climate breakdown in the coming decades.

I only appear square at face value because I am looking civilisation square in the face. You don’t face me by calling me names. If you dare face me, look at the dying civilisation reflected in my eyes.

 

The Voice in The Night

A few nights ago, in the middle of the night, a man’s voice stated to me plainly,

‘I didn’t know about it. Nobody told me.’

He was referring to climate breakdown and he was referring to the Extinction Rebellion.

I think this man has a job which involves some manual work. I think he works in engineering, but in some kind of assistant capacity. He is fairly switched on about trends in society and politics, but he knows next to nothing about climate breakdown (or what he would call ‘climate change’).

This man is indicative of the massive problem we have around climate breakdown -that most of even the most intelligent people in society are not aware of it.

This man’s voice was a warning to me. He was calling to me from the future. He was asking me to try my hardest to get through to him now, even though the whole machine of industrial civilisation wants to prevent our meeting and our communicating.

So It Has Come To This

Extinction Rebellion Diary #1:

Written by Roger Hallam

Content editor: Matthew Tehanu: epictomorrows.com

Copy-editor: Julian Langer: ecorevoltblog.wordpress.com feralculture.blog

[Originally this was sent to The Ecologist. Without permission, The Ecologist changed key elements ending up with a diluted message. Visit here to see the toxic media version.]

The forests are burning, the temperatures are soaring and people are dying. And this is just the beginning. The silence on the climate crisis has become deafening this summer as temperature records are again broken all around the globe. In complexity theory as a system comes under increasing pressure there is often a period of calm before a “phase transition” – when the system breaks down into new state. This calm is about to break.

In the UK the conventional campaigning revealed yet again this June its abject failure to influence the political establishment. Thirty years since scientists told us that we are heading for ecological collapse, if we do not act, a majority of Labour and Tory MPs voted through the UK’s biggest carbon intensive infrastructure project – the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport. Once completed it will produce more carbon emissions than entire countries – Portugal or Chile. No act confirms more clearly the pathological criminality of our political class.

So it has come to this: rebellion!

This November we will rebel against the genocide our rulers have planned for us. We will go to London and block transport and government infrastructure. We will be arrested. Once released we will do it again. To stop us they will have to imprison us. We will appeal to people to rise up and join us. But whether they do so is not important. What is important now is for us to make a stand – to engage in a direct political struggle, which is appropriate to the crisis we face. We must speak the blunt truth – we are heading for extinction. We must act as if that truth is real – to rebel.

This to many of us this is already a liberation. Finally after decades of emailing, donating, marching: after years of growing depression, desperation, and despair we have reached this point. We will no longer tolerate the destruction of this beautiful planet – the humiliation of seeing this crime of all crimes take place year in and year out throughout our whole lives. We have decided crying alone in the dark is no way to deal with our piercing grief at this horror. We are going act and action is the antidote to despair. When the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto finally accepted reality – that they would all die in the concentration camps – only then did they rebel. Almost all of them were killed, but they died as they put it – “with honour” rather than as sheep to the slaughter.

This is our choice today. For those with eyes to see and the brains to do basic maths we know the game is up. Not so long ago we were told by scientists in no uncertain terms that we should not go over 350 part per million of CO2 in the atmosphere otherwise we would face catastrophe. We are now at 410. The increase used to be 1ppm a year, then it rose to 2ppm, we are now approaching 3ppm. In a decade or so we will be crossing 450ppm – the equivalent of the Paris limit of 2C. At 500ppm “all bets our off” in the words of Professor Peter Ward. He means we will have triggered the geo physical feedbacks which will lead to our extinction. After years of denial we finally have to accept the terrible truth – those in authority are going to kill us – the infliction of unimaginable suffering on billions of innocent people. This is what is planned – openly and wilfully. There is no greater crime.

So the time for facts and figures is over – the speculations, the distractions – the talks that lead to more talks. All we face is “blood sweet and tears”. We are adults and no longer children. Citizens, as John Locke, our most important political philosopher, declared have both a right and a duty to rebel against tyranny – governments which plan the deaths of their peoples. The British people have a history of not taking bullshit from their rulers. We did not do so in the past and we will do it no longer in the present. Live free or die. We have made our choice.

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

Extinction Rebellion (XR) needs you! We are calling for a national mobilisation on the scale of WWII. We demand that carbon emissions be reduced to zero by 2025, a task only as ‘impossible’ as war-time mobilisation in 1939. This aim is in line with The Climate Mobilisation (TCM) in the USA. We can do this, but we need your help. Please ‘like’ our Facebook page @ExtinctionRebellion and message the page to offer support. Connect with us on Twitter @ExtinctionR. As well as the civilly disobedient on the frontline, we seek media specialists, writers, editors, public speakers, software designers, performers and artists of all kinds to help spread the XR campaign.

Email the author of this article, organic farmer, public speaker and successful carbon divestment campaigner Roger Hallam, on organics2go@googlemail.com

So It Has Come To This?: Rebelling Against Toxic Climate Media

TOXIC CLIMATE MEDIA #1
Here is the original article as published by The Ecologist.
Below is the same article copied and pasted, with The Ecologist’s mistakes noted as comments in bold.
Here is the original article that was sent to The Ecologist.
We do not wish this to be an attack on the editor of The Ecologist personally, but have no qualms in holding this incident up as an example of how the liberal climate in the environmentalist media refuses to allow the honest and mobilising environmental writing that is called for in these increasingly desperate times. In short, neo-liberal economic values, negating the need for deep systemic change in our society, have infected the environmentalist media, even on the supposed political left.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

‘So It Has Come To This?

[Question mark was added by The Ecologist. Takes away urgency and arguably changes whole tone of article. When asked to change it back, The Ecologist said they couldn’t ‘because of backlinks’]

[Photograph of a protest march is inserted here in The Ecologist article, with no consent. the protest march is misleading as Extinction Rebellion believes marches will get us nowhere.]

Extinction Rebellion is a new group [Extinction Rebellion is a campaign, not a group. Rising Up! is the parent organisation] advocating for direct action to confront climate change.
ROGER HALLAM reports: [Matthew Tehanu and Julian Langer as content and copy-editors were ommitted, with no explanation, along with links to their blogs which are possibly seen as too radical i.e. truthful, to the liberal Ecologist.]

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

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

Rebellious struggle [this subheading, added by The Ecologist, arguably fossilises Extinction Rebellion as an object of intellectual enquiry, breaking the momentum of the original piece which has an urgent, motivating tone.]

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

So it has come to this: rebellion! 

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

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

Climate catastrophe [same criticism as for subheading above]

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

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

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

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

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

Rights and duties [same criticism as for subheading above]

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

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

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

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

[a very significant section here about our duty to rebel against the government was cut out]

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

Get involved

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

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

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

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

[final thoughts: the main crimes are the header image of the march, and the question mark in the title. A lot of content has been cut out, which is standard editorial practice for many publications. However, we feel that the cut content included some of the more radical phrasing, which was integral to the overall tone of the original piece.]