Extinction Rebellion Diary #1:
Written by Roger Hallam
Content editor: Matthew Tehanu: epictomorrows.com
[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 firstname.lastname@example.org