Newsletter #17 – Paint the Streets

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Welcome to the 17th Extinction Rebellion Newsletter!

As we approach the 1st of April, we’re deadly serious about the need for rebellion.

It’s with regret, therefore, that we must first announce a postponement of the planned Dover Blockade action: organisers have decided to focus their resources on the many other actions coming up.

Our main focus right now is International Rebellion. Those rebelling in London can use this new form to either request or offer accommodation (email for queries), and coming to London just got a whole lot easier with the option of XR coaches. Unless you’d rather walk!

Before then, we’re asking rebels across the globe to join us in Painting the Streets. We’ve painted the town red in London and painted Glasgow blue. Next is covering the world in a green message. And with the Letters to the Earth campaign starting soon after (with the submissions deadline on March 29th), we’ll be spreading this message through airwaves and public spaces.

Elsewhere, XR has seen some exciting international developments. In  Belgium, XR and Greenpeace members have joined forces to pressure their government towards legislation on climate. Not far away, French rebels gathered in Paris for a phenomenal declaration of rébellion. There have been yet more actions in Spain, Australia and India. See below for details!

And before the International Rebellion gets going, we need training. See our Announcements for opportunities to get trained in First Aid and in speaking to the media, and check out our events page to find a Non-Violent Direct Action training near you.

If you’d like to get more involved with XR, please check out our volunteers page. To help out in your area, get in touch with your nearest XR group. If you can’t spare time, but can donate money instead, please see our fundraiser page.

You can check out local upcoming events on our website at Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form! If you’re new, or haven’t already seen it, remember to check out our Campaign Overview Document.


  • Recent Activity
  • Upcoming Activity
  • Act now
  • International Highlights
  • Announcements
  • News & Recommended Content

Recent Activity

Earth March


Our rebellious Earth Marchers continue to make speedy ground as they make there way progress through the country to arrive in London for International Rebellion Week on 15th April. The Cornwall group recently reached Exeter in Devon, while the Cardiff rebels arrived in Cardiff on Monday. Others  are joining the march for different legs of the journey. The recent blog post from Jackie Dash tells us a bit more about how they’re getting on:

“We gradually found ourselves back in narrow winding lanes with sheep held in their enclosures, hedgerows and woodland defining our way. As we took another break, lolling on a roadside embankment next to a small holding, a woman in a pink top leaned from a bedroom window offering support in the form of a tray of tea, Jaffa Cakes and a most welcome ‘gardener’s toilet’…Wonderful. Of course, she was wholeheartedly supportive of our commitment to Rebellion and wished us well.

On towards Moretonhampstead, where some some local people had come out to meet us and guide us into town. At the Parish Hall we were greeted with more tea, before we were provided with an array of curries, cakes and cream teas!! What an amazing community!! Rachel, who has worked as liaison with me around Earth March had brought all of this together with many wonderful people in the town and from what I gather, this endeavour is now steadily progressing towards establishing a local XR Group here.

We were taken home by Kate and John, Quaker Friends, who lavished us with bottles of wine, cheese and biscuits and all the home comforts one needs at the end of a really good day. Thank you Moretonhampstead, One and All!!”

You can read the full post here. If you’re interested in joining the Earth March for part  of the journey, please look at their Facebook page and use their search function to find specific legs.

Sheffield XR block traffic

19 MAR

50 ordinary folk from Sheffield’s Extinction Rebellion blocked the inner ring road in this major city for 60 minutes in the morning rush hour. Sheffield station is one of the top 10 most polluted places in the UK. The Sheffield rebels “facilitated pedestrians getting past the cars” to the station – a  service to the community! School kids and rail travellers joined in. The Police were marvellous, supportive and protective.  

Traffic was backed up right round the ring road and miles out of the city towards the M1. The classic swarming technique worked perfectly. We had wide coverage on local radio, press and TV. On BBC Look North (9 mins 30 secs into clip), two out of three drivers interviewed were positive:

“….I don’t mind being late for work… Brilliant that people are trying to make a difference. So important!”

Our first road blocking action. We feel energised.

Scotland XR painting Glasgow blue

21 MAR

Rebels in Glasgow covered George Square in blue footprints, symbolising the threat of sea-level rise to the city’s streets and squares, and swarmed the streets. The action follows a week of peaceful lunch time sit-ins at the Glasgow Council City Chambers to call on the council to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action after 30 years of delays.

Funeral processions in Brighton & Northampton

24 MAR

Human activity is the cause of the greatest extinction in history of a huge number of species. This week we held funeral processions  In Brighton and Northampton to mourn all the life that has been lost because of our inaction. Rebels held silent funeral marches complete with bagpipes, gravestones and flowers. Watch this video of the action in Brighton. Find out more about how global warming will lead to mass extinction of life on earth: read our blog.

Send in your stories

Decentralisation is a key element of XR’s ethos so while high-profile actions will often take place in the big cities, every week we’re eager to celebrate all the amazing actions across the country and the world. If you’re involved in your local XR scene, in whatever part of the world, and if you’ve got a story to share, please email with ‘Story Contribution’ in the subject line. For major bonus points, it’d also be really helpful if you could write the story as you’d like it to appear in the newsletter!

Upcoming Activity

Check out what’s on near you with our full list of upcoming events, available to view on our website Or create your own event by filling in our talks and trainings form.

Dover Blockade


It is with regret that we are postponing the Dover action until later in the year. In light of logistical concerns about our ability to definitely ensure participants’ safety, and within the context of concerns raised around the timing of the action, we are choosing to focus our energies on the International Rebellion beginning April 15.

Sincere apologies to all those who were looking forward to participating and particularly to anybody who had changed  personal plans in order to be there..

Culture Declares Emergency: Letters to the Earth

12 APR – 28 APR | Worldwide

Last week, a group of arts and culture organisations and individuals called ‘Culture Declares Emergency’ officially launched ‘Letters to the Earth’. The campaign is asking for people to write and submit letters in response to the climate and ecological emergency. Some of the UK’s leading art institutions – including the Royal Court and Shakespeare’s Globe – have joined in the callout and will be hosting a day of action on 12th April where the  letters will be read/performed in public.

The pieces will then be made rights free and available for anyone to download and present anywhere in the world from 15th – 28th April, coinciding with the International Extinction Rebellion and School Strike For Climate. These pieces  can be presented and performed globally when hundreds of thousands of people will be taking to the streets worldwide to demand that governments tell the truth about climate collapse and act accordingly.

Deadline for submissions is on 29th March. Please visit their website at to find out more.

Critical Mass

29 MAR | 18:30 – 21:00 | Waterloo Bridge, London

29 MAR | 18:45 – 20:15 | The Forum, Norwich

XR groups are taking over the streets by bicycle. We’ll cycle together as a group, asserting our right to be on the road. This is not illegal. We have the same right to the road as cars. We’re not blocking traffic. We ARE traffic. We’ll go as slow or fast as we want, and won’t leave anyone behind.

29 MAR – XR London will gather at 18:30 on Waterloo Bridge, leaving around 19:00.

29 MAR – XR Norwich will meet at 18:45 in front of The Forum, leaving around 19:00.

This will be an opportunity to practice an action, build existing relationships, and make new ones.

XR Paint the Streets Worldwide

30 MAR | Worldwide

Starting in just a few days’ time, XR groups around the world will take part in Paint the Streets – a week of breaking laws and social norms by using creative artwork and street performance to tell the truth about  the environmental and the democratic crisis. It’s a wake-up for fellow citizens and a call to arms for the International Rebellion beginning on April 15th.

Is your affinity group clued up yet? To help groups with planning and preparing for the action, the London team have written an Advice and Guidelines document which we’ll continue to update throughout the week. We hope you’re inspired to get creative and go even further! Be sure to hashtag your social media posts with #ExtinctionRebellion and #PaintTheStreets. We’ll be looking out for your fine work.

In this action, anyone can join at any level of commitment, and everyone can play their part –

  • From handing out flyers on street corners,
  • To slapping a few stickers on your way into work every day,
  • To standing up on the bus and speaking the truth to fellow passengers,
  • To replacing the adverts on train carriages and bus stops,
  • To performing in high streets and squares
  • ….and so on!

Please see our Facebook event to find out more.

Sound the Alarm – XRyouth

28 MAR | 10:00 – 16:00 | Bristol, Leeds, Manchester & more

Following the inspiration of Ghanaian students who have been using whistles to disrupt classes during the school strike, students will be sounding the alarm everywhere. Set off alarms in institutions to alert everyone of government inaction on the sixth mass extinction.

Email if you want to get involved:

Actions are already planned in Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.  See facebook page

In the spirit of open, disruptive action- we will be informing the emergency services beforehand.   

XR Street Party – Manchester

31 MAR | 11:00 | Oxford Road, Manchester

To celebrate our future and bring together those who are prepared to stand up in its defence, a street party is in order!! We are going to host a family friendly event to reclaim the streets of our city.

We are in open, peaceful rebellion against the UK Government and Manchester City Council must declare a climate emergency and follow this with concrete action.Manchester airport must not expand, doing so is a foolish and dangerous decision. We also demand a full review of the 2038 decarbonisation targets to bring them in line with IPCC and other independent bodies findings to avert the worst of climate breakdown.

This action is to help set the stage for our International Rebellion starting April where thousands will occupy the streets of London. Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page

Act Now

1. Ask your MP to sign Caroline Lucas’ climate emergency early day motion. . After the failure of most MPs to attend the climate debate last month, will any more show they will take action in line with the science? Or will we hear  yet more excuses? Or a deadly silence? Currently the motion has collected only 37 signatures. Pathetic!

Contact your MP ( or )

2. Contact your local XR branch and ask for a roll of stickers or a bunch of flyers.

Our Paint the Streets guide has some amazing, imaginative and ambitious ideas but there’s loads of room for simple involvement by individuals or  groups. On your commute, a few well placed stickers will help to build our message for International Rebellion.

3. Message 50 friends and invite  them to join the International Rebellion.

It could be the most important thing you ever do on social media. To be heard by those in power,  we need a multitude of people to join us in rebellion from April 15. We can probably offer accommodation to those who need it. Please fill in this form to request or offer accommodation in London and/or  email for queries. We’ve booked coaches from all over the country. Every single one of you  counts.

International Highlights


15 MAR

Extinction Rebellion is gradually gaining traction in India with rebels using the international student strike as an opportunity to organise their first events. In two major cities, Delhi and Gurugram, XR helped students manage their protests. These events were a huge success, attracting attention from hundreds of enthusiastic students and local and international media. Indian rebels tell us that social and cultural factors, which vary regionally, make rebellion challengingut they are committed to the cause and will keep working. They hope to have their next action in April. We will keep you updated on their progress.


21 MAR

Rebels gathered in Barcelona, at the headquarters of Radio Catalonia, to hand-deliver an open letter to mainstream media. The letter requests coverage of the climate crisis be given the prominence and consistency it deserves. It  points out that this crisis is no longer an inconvenient truth but an unavoidable reality and that to respond appropriately, citizens need accurate information. The letter was signed by over 200 notable people including scientists, economists and representatives of social movements. You can read the full letter (in Spanish) here, and watch a video of the event here.


22 MAR

Australia’s Declaration of Emergency day saw rebels in four cities deliver their message to government officials in four buildings. In Melbourne, rebels with angel costumes, representing climate guardians, led the march to the Prime Minister’s office where they were  shut out and ignored by government officials. Their thoughtful words raised up en masse would undoubtedly have been heard though, and a security guard accepted their written declaration. All of this and some of the preceding action is in this extended video. Rebels in Adelaide sang songs of peace as they delivered their declaration to the State Administration Centre. Similar actions took place in Sydney and Brisbane. And the pressure it working; Adelaide council will vote this week on declaring a climate emergency!


22 + 23 MAR

In Berlin, rebels held a protest to disrupt a meeting of the of coalition leading party CDU’s Council of Economic Affairs. The following day they staged a die-in at Berlin’s Tegel airport to highlight the extreme climate damage caused by aeroplanes.


24 MAR

France declared their rebellion, marking the beginning of non-violent civil disobedience there. The  Paris event opened with a concert and included speeches from scientists, authors and activists, and offered creative workshops for all ages. There was extensive media coverage including (in French) here, here, and here. Simultaneously, rebels performed a die-in at the Natural History Museum, Paris. French rebels are now busy planning their next actions.


24 – 26 MAR

Extinction Rebellion Belgium and Greenpeace Belgium jointly organised Occupy For Climate in Brussels. Joined by hundreds of people, many of them members of various other environmental groups, they occupied the area in front of the Parliament building in Brussels. After camping there on Sunday night, and after discussions with police, they moved to nearby Troonplein where they spent Monday night. They were pressuring legislators to make constitutional amendments that would allow a law to be passed binding the government to commitments already made under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their persistence paid off The Constitutional Review Committee voted on Tuesday to make the necessary amendment. Now it must be put to a plenary vote on Thursday. Most rebels have left, but a small hardcore team is camping out until then. You can follow their progress on their facebook page.


Travelling to the Rebellion


International Rebellion is coming. We have Earth Marchers and Rebel Riders coming from across the country to arrive in London in time for the 15th. For those of you unable to join these inspiring pilgrimages, we have organised coaches from multiple cities across the UK.

These will be arriving in London from the 14th April, and throughout the week to accommodate the various needs of Rebels across the UK wanting to join the Rebellion

Please follow this link to see the coach tickets we have available.

After arriving in London, you’ll find  a range of accommodation options for the days following April 15th. We recommend requesting a space in good time to ensure that you are placed with a host. Please follow this link to book a place, or offer a space for fellow Rebels.

First Aid Training in London

13 APR | 09:15 – 16:30 First Aid Training   | Kings Cross, London

14 APR | 09:30 – 16:30 First Aid Revision  | Kings Cross, London

We are pleased to announce our First Aid training session. Everyone partaking will receive a certificate from First Aid for Life. We have limited space available but we are eager to get people trained up with a decent FA provider like First Aid for Life (approved by the HSE).

XR is funding this training, but would appreciate  a donation towards this properly accredited certificate, as well as a small commitment to help out during our weeks of International Rebellion starting on the 15th April.

Please bring an ID, some comfy clothes and arrive 15 minutes early.

We will need to confirm the FULL cohort by March 30th by the latest, so please don’t delay!

First Aid Revision will be taught by Jill Bartlett and is happening on the 14th April. There is no certificate for this event but r it may be useful for existing practitioners, or  those who have existing training and would like a refresher. If you have a general interest in FA and wish to come, then you are welcome, but those with prior experience or wish to revise their skills will take priority for spaces.

Jill was previously an ambulance IHCD and  a trainer for the British Red Cross. She is passionate about empowering people to support  one other in emergency situations. The Regen Team are grateful for her valued input.

If either event is something that interests you, then please get in touch!


VENUE: 184 – 192 Drummond Street, 4th Floor, Kings Cross, London

Spokespeople Callout

Could you be a spokesperson for the rebellion? Media interest will be high around April 15th and we’re looking for people from all walks of life who are ready to have a voice and make a difference. Everybody welcome – no need to be a climate scientist or a super smooth talker. Ordinary, informed folk are very welcome.. You’ll be representing yourself, not XR as an organisation, and we’re extra keen to hear from people who are trying activism for the first time. Contact Nuala Gathercole Lam at, and inckude some details about yourself. Training available on and off-line.

Faith and Extinction: holding the world in our hearts

We live in a secular society where, for the last few hundred years, affairs of the heart and spirit have been firmly kept separate from the “worldly” affairs of power and politics. And yet many are longing for a deeper connection to one another and enlisting in actions of civil disobedience. This demonstrates that the craft of civil disobedience as a powerful force for societal transformation when held from the heart and with the intention of non-violence (see in particular Mark & Paul Engel’s book “This is an Uprising”).

Creating “sacred space” may be no more than just telling people to put a hand on one another’s shoulder as we gather together, a remembrance of touch and togetherness uncommon in our atomised culture, the “sacredness” coming through an alignment of intentions through an action that, in its own small way, opens the heart.

We now have an online “intention field” Facebook group, “Holding the World in our Hearts”, which we invite you to join. Together we hold the intention to move through our planetary crisis with “love in action” and “love in stillness”. We lean into the riches of our imagination and curiosity and through our hearts into leadership. Please join us and dedicate your sacred practices to this vision. We are planning regular ‘virtual meetups’ where we can contribute our love, our intentions and our spiritual and heart-led capacities for creating a more beautiful world. Please join us!

Internal newsletter

Want to get the inside track on developments in XR UK? If you’d like to be added to the internal newsletter, please email with ‘Internal subscribe’ in the subject line.

XR Blog

XR Blog seeks submissions on an ongoing basis, from rebels from all walks of life. Minimal writing experience is required. If you’re stuck for content we can provide a variety of writing briefs. Please contact us on

News & Recommended Content

1. Good News | David Attenborough to Present New BBC Film on Climate Change

BBC presenter David Attenborough is to host a one-off documentary about climate change, which last year he called “humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years”. Attenborough says that conditions have changed far faster than he could have imagined only a few decades ago, and the BBC says that the film will offer “an unflinching explanation of what dangerous levels of climate change could mean for human populations”.

2. Good News | US Judge Blocks Hundreds of Drilling Projects on Public Land

In a decision hailed by campaigners as a “triumph for our climate,” a US federal judge has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management must take greenhouse gas emissions into account when making decisions about leasing public lands. As a result, drilling for oil and gas has been halted on more than 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming with lawsuits to follow in other states.

“With the science mounting that we need to aggressively rein in greenhouse gases, this ruling is monumental,” said Kyle Tisdel, attorney and energy and communities program director for the Western Environmental Law Center. “Every acre of our public land sold to the oil and gas industry is another blow to the climate, making this ruling a powerful reality check on the Trump administration and a potent tool for reining in climate pollution.”

3. Latest News |  Global Honours for Two South African Climate Scientists

Two South Africans have been recognised for their behind-the-scenes work mitigating climate change. Dr. Debra Roberts was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people on climate policy by the public servants’ networking group Apolitical, and Dr. Jackie King was awarded the prestigious 2019 Stockholm Water Prize for her research on rivers which “has helped decision-makers understand that healthy river ecosystems are not a luxury, but the basis for sustainable development”.

4. Latest News |  Uganda’s Young Climate Activists Go on Strike

As a developing nation, Uganda experiences some of the worst effects of climate change while contributing little to its causes. But Ugandan students are fighting back. One of their leaders is Vanessa Nakate who decided to act after learning about Uganda’s changing rainfall and temperature patterns. Nakate couldn’t find a local group of activists to join, so she started striking as an individual, sharing her story on social media and inspiring other students around the country.

5. Latest News| Top oil firms spending millions lobbying to block climate change policies, says report

A new report details how top fossil fuel firms are paying lip service to low carbon projects while at the same time spending vast sums on lobbying to block climate legislation.

6. Extreme weather | 90% of Mozambican city of Beira destroyed by Cyclone Idai

‘The city was cut off from due to the effect of strong winds and rains that continued across the week according to reports. Most communities were submerged with all communication lines cut off. Deaths have been reported along with massive human displacement and destruction of buildings in Beira.’ This Grist article provides extra context.

7. Extreme weather | Flooding in America’s Midwest and Twin cyclones batter Australia

Farmers in America’s Midwest face decades of recovery from the recent catastrophic flooding. Towns, farms and infrastructure are still under flood water which will take months to fully drain away. The task of restoring the soil imay take decades. And the risk of flooding is still present, with areas along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers facing major flooding through May. Meanwhile, Cyclones Trevor and Veronica hit Northern and Western Australia in quick succession.

(image source)

8. Recommended Content | Podcast & Video

The XR Podcast Team have released their second episode, XR Podcast Episode 2 – Nonviolent Rebellion looking at one of the Rebellion’s core values and strategies: nonviolence. Featuring interviews with XR members. Be inspired by spoken word poet, Magero’s, beautiful new video about our personal responsibility to fight climate change. Climate Change Need Not Become the Legacy We Leave

9. Recommended content | A view from the Isle of Wight

I loved this compilation of photos and words by photographer, Lucy Boyton. They show a relatively small XR event on the Isle of Wight but  the sentiments of not blaming each other, and tackling climate change as an act of love, is particularly moving.

10. Recommended content | Electric cars, vegan food & recycled trolls

Looking back to the dieselgate scandal and forward to electric cars, this long read piece in The Guardian is a sweeping look at the failures of many governments across Europe regarding diesel regulations and a possible future with electric cars with the ominous banner of fossil fuel companies flying overhead.

Fancy trying a new vegan restaurant? This article in The Guardian reviews several restaurants across the UK specialising in vegan chow.

Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, has created over 40 giant troll sculptures across the world with more  planned. Thomas believes that these sculptures, all made from locally sourced discarded wood, will help teach people to recycle more of their rubbish and “to think of our trash as something beautiful instead of something disgusting.”

Thank you

Thank you for reading. There’s so much exciting stuff going on that we barely have time to write this sign-off. Keep up the good work! If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch at

This newsletter was written collaboratively by a hivemind of 12 rebels.

As we enter this crucial phase in human history, our Rebellion  needs money to make sure our message is heard. Any amount is much appreciated. Please visit our Fundrazr page.

Alternatively, standing orders or money transfers  can be made to our Triodos Bank Account (Sort code: 16-58-10 Account No: 20737912) in the name of Compassionate Revolution Ltd  – the holding company for Rising Up!.

Alternatively, if you’re a PayPal user, PayPal payments can be made to

For queries contact Dave Nicks (

The Captain-less Raft: a poem

Published by:

By Liz Darcy Jones

‘Who are
your leaders?’ curious shouts
‘We don’t have leaders, so every one counts’
‘But when you cock up, who is to blame?’

‘We are all human, we don’t play the game
of naming, wronging or indulging in shame –

nor do we promise position or fame.

This means we build a raft which is flat

we dismantle hierarchy, slim the fat cat

(that 1% creaming the best out of greed):

we’re creating a platform to meet our earth’s

Our power is love which honours the world –
so whether you’re blond, or have hair tightly curled

or feathers, or fur, or are frail and bald –
come and join in, whatever you’re called!
this is fierce love and this our power

an unstoppable force at hand ever hour…

but creating it can’t just rely on a few

because at its heart it IS me and you.’

Burning coal, oil and gas may cause sudden, extreme climate change

Published by:

By Zeeshan Hasan

It is scientifically established that our burning of fossil fuels and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions will result in global warming, and ultimately may cause dangerous climate change. But how fast can that happen? The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change And Our Future by climatologist Richard B. Alley, explores climate scientists’ answers to these questions. The author is Professor of Geo-sciences at the Pennsylvania State University in the USA.

Alley is one of the climate scientists who has spent years collecting and analysing ice cores; these are long samples of ancient ice which have been extracted from the two mile thick Greenland ice cap. This massive layer of ice has been forming for over 100,000 years, and is an repository of historical evidence to climate scientists. The snow deposited each year is still visible as layers in the ice, and these annual layers preserve much chemical information from which scientists can extract a record of past snowfall and temperature. Of particular importance is what the ice cores have revealed of the end of the “Younger Dryas” ice age.

‘At the beginning of this book, we met the Younger Dryas, the last cold gasp of the ice age between about 12,800 and 11,500 years ago… Standing in the science trench in Greenland, I measured how thick the annual layers were in the [ice] core across the end of the Younger Dryas. I found that… many thick layers were followed by one slightly thinner layer, one scarcely more than half as thick, one scarcely more than half as thick, another slightly thinner than that, then a lot of similarly thin ones grouped around a spike of thicker ones. This is most directly explained as a twofold change in three years, with most of that change in one year… So I cannot insist that the climate changed in one year, but it certainly looks that way.’ (pages 110-111).

So science tells us that very significant climate change can occur in just a handful of years. Similar warming may well be in store for us, given that our carbon emissions are changing the atmosphere far more rapidly than any natural process has in the past. Alley proceeds to give details of the sudden, extreme temperature change that occurred at the end of Younger Dryas ice age:

The most direct interpretation… is that the surface of Greenland warmed by about 15 F (8 degrees Celsius) in a decade or less. (page 112)

This should frighten us. This sort of warming today would mean the end of the world as we know it. Climatologists estimate global warming of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius today would render most of the world too hot for agriculture (except a narrow northern band comprising Canada, northern Europe, Russia and Siberia). Widespread famine, starvation and war would be the norm. The vast majority of humanity would almost certainly perish.

Alley’s conclusions regarding the climate change which ended the Younger Dryas ice age should serve as a wake-up call. The reason that no action has been taken by governments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and stop global warming is that climate change is assumed to be something that will happen very slowly, and thus only impact the distant future. However, this assumption is questionable given the findings of the 2018 UN IPCC report, which said that there was only 12 years left to drastically reduce fossil fuel use to prevent global warming of more than 1.5C. The scientific record of the Greenland ice cores shows that when climate change does occur, it can be both quick and extreme. In that case it is not just nameless future generations that our carbon emissions endanger. Rather, our addiction to fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas may well sacrifice the lives of our own children and grandchildren. All of us who wish for a better future than this need to start lobbying our governments and continuously demanding that elected officials quickly replace fossil fuels with solar and wind power.

Standing with Youth for Climate Justice

Published by:

By Janet Weil

“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.” – Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate activist

In all my years of activism, I had never heard anything like it. A shiver of nervous excitement ran through me.
The high, piercing voice of a girl on a megaphone demanded: “Tell me what democracy looks like!” A chorus of mostly teen girls shouted back: “This is what democracy looks like!”
A boisterous crowd of a few hundred self-led youth and children, with a handful of adults, we marched uphill in downtown Los Angeles. We were adding our small part to the worldwide Student Strike for Climate Action, in which 1.6 million participated in over 125 countries.
The march was more like a trot, and I was having a bit of a sweaty struggle to keep up. I was relieved when the march stopped briefly near the iconic Disney Concert Hall. A group of Latina high school students formed a line for photos and chants.

Some students’ colorful signs reflected grim humor: “If you fail our planet/ good luck/ getting elected on Mars” and “Sunscreen won’t save you forever”. Some were nature-centered: “Plant Trees/ Save Bees/ Clean Seas.” Much love of the natural world and artistic flourishes had gone into the making of their messages.
As we trooped past the huge, fortress-like headquarters of the LA Police Department, a song familiar from my high school days burst out: “Everywhere we go/ people wanna know/ who we are/ so we tell them/ mighty, mighty students/ fighting for justice…” The “fighting for justice” part was different. These kids weren’t yelling for their basketball team. I thought back to the desperate anger I had felt as a teen during the Vietnam War.
The crisis that threatens this generation of youth dwarfs even a decades-long war. As both the U.S. government’s National Climate Assessment and the UN’s IPCC report documented in late 2018, we are in a national and a global emergency. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the highest in 800,000 years. Emissions are rising, not decreasing. We – in California, but also all over the world — are already suffering the effects of a rise of just over 1 degree Celsius: harsher and more frequent storms, wildfires, droughts, crop failures, unpredictable weather.

The march looped back to LA City Hall. I complimented a boy on his large sign, and we exchanged info on our home towns; his, Venice Beach and mine, Palm Springs. We gave each other a small nod of approval and a “thanks for being here.” After talking to Alissa, an adult activist at the Extinction Rebellion table, and getting a sticker from the Center for Biological Diversity folks, I took a seat in a grassy area above the small stage to listen to the rally.
An indigenous woman led us in a heart-opening ritual to the seven directions: east, south, west, north, above, below, inside. Scientist Peter Kalmus, whose two sons have been climate striking on Fridays at Pasadena’s City Hall, spoke briefly, followed by his son Zack: “I strike because the Earth is so beautiful…” A hush fell on the crowd at his words.

A Chicana high school student cried out: “We are more than a hashtag! We are the generation who will have to deal with this! I would rather be in school.” Another girl spoke of her terror during the wildfires last November, and her feeling of dread at the approach of summer.
‎From Boulder, Colorado, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an environmental justice activist since age 6 (he’s now 18), performed his spoken word piece, then changed to “rally speech.” He observed, “It used to be me and a bunch of old white people, talking about climate change. And shout out to all the old white people” – I grinned – “but now is OUR time!”
In the wave of applause that followed, I didn’t clap or cheer, because a huge lump rose in my throat and grief overwhelmed me. Why should these young people have to face such a bleak future?
So what is left for us, their elders, to do?
Educate ourselves on both the crisis and the solutions; I recommend the book “Drawdown” for starters. Decrease our own emissions by flying and driving less. Speak up in public and private — but don’t waste time on the deniers. Support young activists, and take up some share of the burden. This fight for climate justice has the potential to draw humanity, and the generations, together in the face of a shared existential threat.

I am grateful to the young people I shared an afternoon with. They could have spurned me or asked me to leave. Instead, there was a shared feeling of concern and trust that I will cherish. My feet were sore, and my heart was full.

Janet Weil is a longtime activist for peace and justice. She lives in the California desert town of Palm Springs with her husband and many hummingbirds. You can find her on Twitter: @JanetRWeil.

Inside XR #4

Published by:

Web version here

The last few weeks have been frantic, frenetic and fabulous. The groundswell of awareness and support for XR continues to grow exponentially. Well done, Team XR!

XR is full of admiration and respect for the children and young people who skipped school to make their voices heard across the globe on Friday, March 15th. They are so right and so justified to shout about the state of the planet they will inherit. The numbers who turned out were staggering. We salute and support you! More in the main newsletter.

And so we move towards the upcoming Dover blockade on 30th March, described in the main newsletter as ‘one of their most turbulent actions to date to highlight the extreme vulnerability of the British people to our food insecurity.’ Climate change will without doubt induce famine – something barely touched on in the mainstream media.

To more practical matters… we have a useful new form – Integration’s latest way for working groups to ask for more volunteers (replacing the old method which involved writing a role description) which will be put on this page.

There are also rumours that the tech team, after weeks of hard work, will be unveiling a new XR website in the near future.

Online Meetings

Does your working group use online meetings?

Do you sometimes struggle to find room for a meeting-slot in the Goto calendar?

Have you ever had your meeting cancelled by another group who wants your slot?

If you’ve experienced any of these problems, please be aware that as well as the Goto Meeting account, XR also has 4 separate Zoom accounts which can be used for working group meetings. If you’d like to have the login details for one of these accounts, please email

The legal team has spent quite some time producing this; a document that contains valuable expert advice and information about your legal rights if you are arrested. Do read it if you are thinking of direct action and are wondering what to do – and what you need to know – if you are arrested.

From Lynn Michell:

I’m the enthusiastic novice now in charge of this newsletter, replacing the overworked Doug. I’d love each group to nominate someone to be responsible for communicating with me and for getting reports and longer pieces in. Some photos and artwork to go with your pieces would be very welcome to make the newsletter as buzzy as your real life activity.

My sincere thanks to all who’ve found time between the planning and the plotting and the protests to send in reports for Inside XR #4, even as we move with passion toward April’s momentous events. It’s important we all keep in touch.

Thank you for reading this.

Internal news

Actions, Art and Logistics



This is what we’ve been up to:

  • Rolling out a very serious flag manufacturing program and new patches
  • Producing 100s of thousands of beautiful new poster and flyer designs for promotion of April’s rebellion!
  • Finishing the new website – almost there!
  • Arts and cultural groups are expanding, putting pressure on institutions to declare emergency and hosting workshops to train ready for a performative rebellon.


Social media

  • We’ve passed 70k followers onFacebook, and over 55k onTwitter – thanks for your support! We’ve also shot up to over 40k onInstagram, partly thanks to interest from the schoolstrikes and a shoutout from Jack Harries, a filmmaker and influencer who was arrested with the #Petroleum9 for blockading International Petroleum Week in London.
  • NEW EVENT UP! We’re kick-starting the callout for aworldwide week of MASS FLYPOSTING to tell the truth on the climate emergency and ecological collapse, starting from March 30th in the lead up to International Rebellion.
  • Over 10,000 Rebels are already listed as Going or Interested to the Facebook event forInternational Rebellion event starting April 15th – but we want MORE, so invite all your friends! This takes two minutes, but it could be the most important thing you ever do on social media, so please do it. Together we change the world!


The press team is working hard to keep up with covering the many events now happening and upcoming. Alongside the usual writing of press releases and liaising with journalists, we’re also looking to place features in publications outside of our normal audience, so that we can reach out to and bring as many people on-side as possible before we get into April.


Calling Affinity Groups to share their stories for the international XR Blog and beyond.

Are you part of an affinity group that has participated in direct action? We ask for your stories of courage, struggle, compassion and collaboration, of whatever you have experienced together, from when you first formed to where you are now. This is an offshoot of the #HumansofXR project, to show the world that this movement is their moment too, and demystify NVDA to encourage more to get involved. Creative writing and mixed media all considered. Please email with your A.G. name in the subject line.

If you are interested in being a photographer/videographer of your affinity group’s ongoing story, particularly in April, please email

Please get permission from all AG members before printing names publicly, or choose pseudonyms.

Additional blog news: we are considering expanding our remit to cover more than just XR, to be a blog space that brings together all radical nonviolent civil disobedience movements that are happening internationally, to promote greater solidarity and revolutionary cohesion moving forward. Get in touch to give your views on this either way, as we are yet undecided.

Note that the international blog is separate from the main XR websites, so we have a lot of freedom and tactical manoeuvrability. (What a great word!)


Through the amazing work of those who’ve joined us, the external newsletter team is excited to be on the very cusp of regular weekly output. We’re also really happy with our new International Highlights section which showcases the sometimes under-appreciated global magnitude of XR. Going forward, we’re hoping to grow the team to include a role focussing on readership growth. If you’d like to include an announcement in the next newsletter, please email


A sanctuary space is now ready in our London offices, hosting regenerative workshops, massages and healing sessions. Our kitchen is also opening up on Wednesday with an inaugural pot of soup! Any London-based healers/space holders/therapists/masseuses/cooks wanting to get involved, please contact Iain on

Land and Respite

The UK network of respite hosts continues to grow. We continue to receive enquiries from individuals, places and organisations who want to support Rebels. It is also nice to see more requests for respite coming in. Please keep them coming. Look after yourselves! Please get in touch at if you know anyone/where that would be interested in growing this network, or if you would like some respite time in an XR person’s house, resting up and being fed. We have hosts all over the country, including near London.

In preparation for April and all future Actions/Work, the team is building a new database of Land Support around London. This will include all common land, parks, open spaces, land squats (or potential), farms and private holdings where Rebels are free to roam, organise, take respite and engage in civil disobedience. Longer-term into the autumn and into 2020, this City Support Belt could potentially provide a larger strategic role. This is just our intuition, so it’s up to all of you, especially strategy people, to think of how this could be useful, if we’re right!

We are also exploring which sites around the city could welcome Earth Marchers on their way into the centre.

Watch this space as we develop a Land Support map for London for all Rebels to use.

We are reaching out to the horse-drawn community, to see if any would join the Earth Marches to provide support (carry bags/food/tents/people) and perhaps join us in the middle of London mid-April. We have put a call out, but if any of you have direct links, please get in touch. Wouldn’t you like to see a bunch of horses and wagons in London? And a big pile of horse-shit in Parliament Square? Help us make it happen!

Finally, we urgently seek a techy person to maintain our Land and Respite map of the UK, and to begin and maintain a Land Support map for London. This is a new volunteer role. Please get in touch if you can help.


Please come to our Arrest Watch Training this Sunday 24th March

It will give you the skills to prepare you and your group for arrests at actions. It will be a day of skilling up so that the next time you are out on the streets and someone gets arrested next to you, you’ll be able to support them. It’s also about skills for the action day so that there’s a framework in place to support arrestees on the day itself and to get ready for post arrest. Please send 1-2 representative(s) from your local XR group down to this training so they can skill their local rebels up in how to watch arrests. There is a lot we need to get through so prepare yourselves for a full-day training.

Bring some food so we can have a shared lunch together – we’re looking forward to training with you!

Talks and Trainings

In February, Events Organisation has helped to set up 36 talks and 22 NVDAs. In March they organised 41 talks and 20 NVDAs. And these are only the ones we know about… which is pretty amazing!

If anyone else is organising speaker trainings or NVDA Train the Trainers, please do get in touch with so that we can put them into our calendar and get as many attendees as possible.

Festivals group has confirmed 8 festivals over this summer. We’ll be there with our Rebel Rebel tent including Noisily, Shindig, Glastonbury, Byline, BlueDot, Wilderness, and Boomtown!

We are looking for more volunteers to join our Events Organisation team from different regions.

Other than that, we’ve finalised our new talks and workshop scripts in time for April, and now we’re ready to go on all fronts! We are looking to decentralise even more by helping to support more Talks & Trainings working groups of Local groups, all thanks to Robin’s new Local Links idea.


Regional Development

The regional development is pleased to welcome aboard a raft of new super proactive regional coordinators in the South East, South West and the North! We are now setting up regional art factories across the UK to ensure that the rebellion is fully equipped and colourful in April. Local groups are now preparing themselves for April by gearing up with more talks and NVDA trainings. We are still looking for regional coordinators in the Midlands so if you are keen and prepared to give just a few hours a week then please contact us at


The main priority within Integration is bringing in committed volunteers with regular availability into key organising roles for the International Rebellion. We’ve advertised loudly for new volunteers and are inviting working group coordinators to update us on current requirements using THIS online form.


The Tech group has been working on a number of projects including bringing a new ticketing system online for tech support requests at, bringing our Basecamp system more in line with the Self-Organising System structure, getting our new website up to production standard, and increasing security and data protection across the XR organism. Talk about a busy month for Tech!

International Support

The International Support team has been working on facilitating conversations among different national XR teams in different countries and to build more connections across the international network. We’re working on twinning city/local groups and bringing representatives from specific work areas such as Media and Messaging together with similar national working groups in other countries to make sure that folks internationally are as up to date as possible with one another.

A European gathering has been organised for the 30-31st March in Brussels, bringing several national teams from across Europe together for the first time in the same space to meet face-to-face.

Finance and Fundraising

“Calling All Rebels” at the beginning of March gave a huge boost to our Crowdfunding campaign: an extra £40,000 in 10 days. But we are not there yet. Tell people around you that we have a rebellion to fund!

For donations,  click here

This is an extract of what donors wrote:
Extinction Rebellion is the Earth’s last best chance – so there’s just no choice – we’re donating what we can afford and will be in London for the 2 weeks” – Jenny

“inspirational work – gives us all hope! Thank you to everyone who puts themselves out there to change hearts and minds” – Margaret

Self Organising System

We have a wonderful new, visual version of the XR Organism which shows who is a coordinator in different working groups. Check it out here.

Recently our recommendations for an XR Constitution were approved by the Anchor Circle. An exciting step towards a functioning Self Organising System! Curious about what the Anchor Circle is? Check out our explanation post here.  

We are delighted to have a few new members on the team who will be looking at how we can share the SOS system with local groups, general trainings and to structure our debrief/feedback systems.

Please make sure you send us all the key documents and videos for your group to add to this spreadsheet. Info on how to do this here.

If you need help setting up the SOS system in your group please get in touch with

SOS out!

Briefing: What’s faith got to do with Extinction? Learning to hold the world in our hearts


We live in a secular society where, for the last few hundred years, affairs of the heart and spirit have been firmly kept separate from the “worldly” affairs of power and politics. And yet many are longing for a deeper connection to one another and enlisting in actions of civil disobedience. This demonstrates that the craft of civil disobedience as a powerful force for societal transformation when held from the heart and with the intention of non-violence (see in particular Mark & Paul Engel’s book “This is an Uprising”).

We’re a group of people who practice our faith in many different ways: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, shamanic, healing practices, meditation, humanist and ‘nothing in particular’, to name a few. We have already developed several strands of action. Our first activity was to support a civil disobedience action, the ‘Blood of our Children’ on 9 March when some of our group held space at the beginning of the procession and helped hold the “field of intention” as we all gathered to hear the children and youth speak their truth.

One comment on the event: “This was an extremely moving event – more than I imagined, to be honest. And in part to this holding of sacred space.”

Creating “sacred space” may be no more than just telling people to put a hand on one another’s shoulder as we gather together, a remembrance of touch and togetherness uncommon in our atomised culture, the “sacredness” coming through an alignment of intentions through an action that, in its own small way, opens the heart.

We also now have an online “intention field” Facebook group, “Holding the World in our Hearts”, which we invite you to join. Together we hold the intention to move through our planetary crisis with “love in action” and “love in stillness”. We lean into the riches of our imagination and curiosity and through our hearts into leadership. Please join us and dedicate your sacred practices to this vision. We are planning regular ‘virtual meetups’ where we can contribute our love, our intentions and our spiritual and heart-led capacities for creating a more beautiful world. Please join us!

As we move towards International Rebellion, we intend to build our supportive capacities for working with civil disobedience action. We are also reaching out to faith communities in their churches, synagogues, mosques and other spiritual centres to invite them to the International Rebellion, to demonstrate “love in action” from each of their perspectives and help XR become a fractal pattern of the dynamic diversity we need to be. We are also supporting XR through creating materials to help in the transmission of “XR’s DNA”. We gave a taster of what we hope to bring to such DNA transmission training at the Spring Rebellion. There are plans for this to be rolled out as a “train the trainer” set of materials.  

One member of our group is a professional who is not of any particular faith and said he felt a little bit excluded by many in our group who are on “journeys” of spiritual transformation.  When he heard the statement below he felt it spoke to him, an ordinary guy in a job he liked and wanted to keep, but who felt fear at what he was hearing, wanted to protect his children and wanted to be reminded of what was important in life as it was easy to forget in a busy and stressed life. So finally, we would like to hear your thoughts on this: Does this speak to you, would you like to hear it read out at the beginning of the Regen Statement for XR meetings?  

If you could please take 1 minute to answer “yes/no/yes with minor amendments” in this poll that would be AMAZING:

A Collective Intention:

Let us take a moment, this moment, to consider why we are here.

Let’s recall our love for the whole of humanity, in all corners of the world.

Let’s remember our love for this beautiful planet that feeds, nourishes and sustains us.

Let’s recollect our sincere desire to protect all this, for ourselves, for all living beings and for generations to come.

As we act today, may we find the courage to bring this sense of peace and appreciation to everyone we encounter, to every word we speak and to every action we make.

Thank you for turning up.

If you would like to be involved in this group’s activities please contact one of the coordinators, Mothiur or Skeena, or join the Basecamp group click here.

A Poem for the Bellingham Climate Strikers

Published by:

By Rob Lewis

Bellngham City Hall, 3/15/19

Where the sun meets the earth

your education begins.

Where the gold light meets the green striving

the lesson plan is all laid out.

Your teachers sing from the branches.

Stored knowledge shines in the leaves.

Study closely this living encyclopedia.

Become friends with things

and they will reward you with their meanings.

Though the adult world seems to have abandoned you

The earth is behind you every step of the way.

You have on your side all flowers and all rivers,

mountains and sand grains and the universes

inside those sand grains.

You have the oceans around you and the one inside you,

which occasionally appears on the lip of your eyelid

in the brief relief of a tear.

You didn’t come across waves of time

to fulfill the educational metrics of the state.

You are not given sight, and hearing and imagination

just to elbow past the others

in an economy that’s liquidating the world.

Out of the earth you came.

You hold in your eyes

the sun’s own candles

Don’t be afraid to burn

a few bad ideas down.

Don’t be afraid to dazzle us

with your fire.

An Alarmist’s Guide To Climate Change

Published by:

By Bill McGuire

First posted on Scientists for Global Responsibility

you noticed how the term ‘alarmist’ has been high-jacked? In the
context of climate breakdown, habitat and wildlife loss and other
environmental issues, it has become synonymous with scaremongering;
with the voice of doom. In certain circles it is frowned upon and
judged to be a hindrance to getting the global heating argument
across. Iconic broadcaster David Attenborough is the latest to
express the view that ‘alarmism’ in the context of the environment
can be a ‘turn-off’ rather than a call to action. But are such
viewpoints justified, especially when our world and our society
teeter on the edge of catastrophe? After all, the simplest, most
straightforward, meaning of an ‘alarmist’ is someone who raises the
alarm. Is this not what we need now more than ever; to be told the
whole story – warts and all? The alternative, it seems to me, is to
play down the seriousness of our predicament; to send a message that
is incomplete, and to conveniently avoid or marginalise predictions
and forecasts that paint a picture regarded as too bleak for general
consumption. Surely, this is the last thing we need at this critical

could ever accuse the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate
Change) of being alarmist. Because every sentence of IPCC report
drafts is pored over by representatives of national governments –
some of whom are luke-warm or even antagonistic to the whole idea of
climate change – the final versions are inevitably conservative.
The closest the IPCC has come to sounding an alarm bell can be found
in its latest report Global Warming of 1.5ºC,
published last month. Here it warns that emissions must be slashed
within 12 years (by 2030) if there is to be any chance whatsoever of
keeping the global average temperature rise (since pre-industrial
times) below 1.5ºC, and fall to zero by 2050.

Notwithstanding the unlikelihood of achieving net zero global emissions in a little more than three decades, the pace and degree of climate change are about more than just anthropogenic emissions. They are also influenced by tipping points and positive feedback loops; sudden changes in the behaviour of ice sheets, carbon sources and sinks, and ocean currents, which can accelerate warming and its consequences way beyond the expected. Depressingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the latest IPCC report’sSummary for Policymakers1 – let’s face it, the only bit likely to be read by the movers and shakers – includes just one brief mention of feedbacks and has nothing at all to say about tipping points. The justification for this appears to be that because it is not possible to assign levels of confidence to such known unknowns, they cannot be included. But it is difficult not to conclude that the real reason is to tone down the threat in order to appease those governments that view climate change as a nuisance that they would like to go away.

decision to bury concerns over tipping points and feedbacks in the
depths of the full report rather than flagging them in the Summary is
nonsensical. Touting the critical importance of drastic action while
at the same time soft peddling the threat has the potential to
backfire, providing the obvious get out: well, if the situation is
not so bad, maybe the response doesn’t need to be that urgent. If
drastic, life-changing, action is being mooted, people need to know –
have a right to know – why. They need to be presented with a complete
picture showing how bad things might get – however scary or poorly

Bringing the potential consequences of tipping points and feedbacks into the equation inevitably transforms perceptions of the dangers we face. Suddenly, climate change ceases to be something vaguely inconvenient that we can leave future generations to deal with. Instead, it becomes far more of an immediate threat capable of tearing our world apart. Take sea level, for example. The IPCC’s 5thAssessment Report, published in 2013 and 2014, predicts – for a worst case scenario – that global mean sea level could be about a metre higher by the end of the century. Bad enough for millions of coastal dwellers, but nothing compared to what our descendants might experience if a tipping point is crossed that sees the Greenland and/or West Antarctic ice sheets start to disintegrate in earnest. Models that incorporate this point to sea level rising far more rapidly. One suggests that the ice loss in Antarctica could occur at a much faster rate than expected, leading to global average sea level being more than 3 metres higher at the end of the century (Le Bars, D. et al. 2017 A high-end sea-level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss. Environmental Research Letters 12). Another, based upon correlations between temperature and sea levels during the last interglacial, which ended around 115,000 years ago, proposes that sea level – in theory at least – could climb by as much as 5m by 2100 (Hansen, J. et al. 2016 Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming could be dangerous. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3761-3812).

Worrying evidence that we might be at a tipping point in Antarctica comes from a very recent study on the rate of ice loss from 2012 to 2017. During this five-year period, Antarctic ice loss shot up threefold, from 76 billion tonnes annually, to a colossal 219 billion tonnes (The IMBIE Team 2018 Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet 1992 – 2017. Nature, 558, 219-222). In total, more than 2.7 trillion tonnes of Antarctic ice has melted in the last quarter century, adding three quarters of a centimetre to global sea level. At the new rate, the contribution over the next 25 years would be 1.5cm. Not enough to worry about in its own right. If, however, the rate of increase is maintained over this period, then the annual rise by 2043 would be close to a catastrophic five centimetres a year. And this is without the growing contribution from Greenland and from the increasing expansion of sea water as the oceans warm.

And there are other causes for serious concern too. None more so than the behaviour of the Gulf Stream and associated currents (together making up the AMOC – Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) that warm north-west Europe and also have a big influence on global weather patterns. In the distant past, surges of meltwater from shrinking ice sheets have caused the Gulf Stream to shut down. Now, it looks as if it might be in danger of doing so again as huge volumes of freshwater from the crumbling Greenland Ice Sheet pour into the North Atlantic, forming a so-called ‘cold blob’. The IPCC’s official line is that another complete shutdown is ‘very unlikely’, but this is not the same as ruling it out. And there are certainly some worrying signs. The Gulf Stream has slowed by 15 – 20 percent since the middle of the 20th century and is now at its weakest for at least 1600 years (Caesar, L. et al. 2018 Observed fingerprint of a weakening Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation. Nature 556, 191 – 196). The Gulf Stream has a tipping point, and – evidence from the past shows – can shut down in just a few years when this is crossed. The problem is that no-one knows when – or even if – this will happen. If it does, the ramifications will be sudden and widespread. The North Atlantic region will cool dramatically, particularly across the UK, Iceland and North West Europe, while sea ice will expand southwards. Sea-levels along the eastern seaboard of North America could rise at three to four times the global average rate. Further afield, changes to weather patterns are forecast to include a weakening of Indian and east Asian monsoons, which could have devastating consequences for crop yields. No-one is saying that the Gulf Stream is in imminent danger of collapse. Nonetheless, the threat is not insignificant, and as such should be soberly touted, not wilfully ignored.

Of the many and varied feedback loops and tipping points linked with rapid anthropogenic warming, perhaps the most disquieting involves the vast tracts of permafrost at high latitudes – both on land and beneath the sea. Trapped beneath this frozen crust are colossal quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas that has a warming effect 86 times greater than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, methane has a relatively short residence time in the atmosphere and breaks down to carbon dioxide within a few decades. Nonetheless, major outbursts of methane from the rapidly thawing permafrost are capable of causing climate mayhem with little or no warning. The geographic region of most concern is probably the submarine permafrost that floors the East Siberian Continental Shelf, where an estimated 1400 billion tonnes of carbon, in the form of methane, is lurking beneath a frozen carapace that is thawing rapidly. According to Natalia Shakhova and colleagues (Shakhova N. E. 2008 Anomalies of methane in the atmosphere over the East Siberian shelf. Geophysical Research Abstracts10, EGU2008-A-01526. Abstract), as much as 50 billion tonnes of this is available for sudden release at any time, which would – at a stroke – hike the methane content of the atmosphere 12 times. According to a study published in 2013 (Whiteman, G., Hope, C. and Peter Wadhams. 2013 Vast costs of Arctic change. Nature499, 401–403), a discrete methane ‘burp’ on this scale, could advance global warming by 30 years and cost the global economy USD60 trillion – a figure close to four times the US national debt. Once again, the occurrence of such an outburst is far from a certainty and there are other issues to consider, including how much methane is absorbed by the ocean as it bubbles upwards. Notwithstanding this, there is a potential danger here that needs to be promulgated rather than hidden away, so that the scale of the climate change threat is clear to everyone.

– to conclude – be alarmed; be very alarmed. But don’t let alarm
feed inertia. Use it instead to galvanise action. For your children’s
and their children’s sake, stand up and do something about it.
Drastically change your life style; become an activist; vote into
power a government that will walk the walk on climate change, not
just talk the talk. Or – preferably – all three.

“Who is Extinction Rebellion for” Ditty

Published by:

By Liz Darcy Jones

I was challenged this week by an acquaintance as to who the leaders of XR are and who it’s for… Very serendipitous timing as I’d reached Principle and Value No 6 ‘We welcome everyone and every part of everyone’!

And after joining members of the Green Party, other environmental groups and fellow XR rebels in Newbury in pouring rain to remind the Council that the climate emergency will have an impact on their spending (it was their annual Budgetary meeting) the ditty below emerged. We were a diverse group and my imagination lit up…

is XR for?’

general, it can’t be done! Nah!’
It’s something I muse
upon. And now I’ll hazard a try
to tell you why…’

XR is you

passionate, secret tree-hugger

to start a chant (she’s eighty-two)

XR is me

child of three

doesn’t understand but likes to bang

tambourine and make a noise indefinitely!

XR is her

and studious academic

prepared to make a stir

XR is him

doesn’t agree entirely with the strategy

whose sight is getting dim

feels valued (and the endless marching

him trim)

XR is he/she/neither and LGBT

all labels and yet recognises

for who they are – safe and heard in a holacracy*

XR is multi-sized

every part of you –

the bits you conveniently forget

the lovely parts you’ve not yet met

XR is me

of solitude, pacing my supplies of energy

could be each and every one of us

passengers and driver of the bus

could be mankind – man kind – transformed into one ginormous
will you join up and help that come to be?!

holacracy is a decentralised nimble form of organisation, flat in
structure leveraging autonomy, see

The Barrier

Published by:

By Andy Matthews, Isle of Wight XR

UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “we are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change.” And that, “It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation…we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.” This statement came alongside the news that emissions had risen to a new high in 2018 after 30 years of supposedly attempting to cut them.

we adapt to the inevitable effects of “catastrophic
climate disruption” under the capitalist system Or, is it a
barrier to a sustainable future-fit for the good of all?

need three basic elements to sustain life: food, water and shelter.
When our species emerged some 40-60,000 years ago we maintained
ourselves as hunter-gatherers. This period lasted for 90% of human
history. Cooperation was crucial for our survival.

slavery and the concept of private property emerged before written
history with basic agriculture and the production of surpluses.
People became property, and the state evolved to defend property
rights through the use of coercion. Between the 9th and 15th century
in medieval Europe, the shackles of slavery gave way to feudal
society and the legalised bondage of serfdom wherein the three basics
for life were exchanged for service and labour on the land.

dates from the 16th century and flourished at the expense of
feudalisms inability to adapt. The central characteristics of
capitalism are: private ownership of the means of production, profit,
waged labour, the accumulation of capital, prices, and competitive

elites arose in slavery and feudalism, so too did the unequal
of food, water, and shelter for the vast majority of its people.

has mirrored that as Oxfam reports that the, “World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%.”
Whereas, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation revealed that the
food system fails to properly nourish billions of people. More than 820 million people went hungry last year,
while a third of all people did not get enough vitamins.
Approximately 9 million people die of hunger globally each year.” 

water? “At
least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with
faeces…Nearly two million children a year die
for want of clean water and proper sanitation…The UN Development
Programme, argues that 1.1 billion people do not have safe water and
2.6 billion suffer from inadequate sewerage. This is not because of
water scarcity but poverty, inequality and government failure.”

shelter? Globally, ” one in eight people
live in slums. In total, around a billion people live in slum
conditions today”. In 2005, the last time a global survey was
attempted by the UN, “an estimated 100 million people were
homeless worldwide.
As many as 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing”.

are symptoms of a cancer called poverty. A sickness intrinsic to

question to ask yourself here is: are these people likely to be
joined by millions more given what we know, at present, about the
effects of “catastrophic
climate disruption” under capitalism?

the media, and entrepreneurs scrabble around for quick fixes. All of
them involve market solutions. But the logic of the capitalist market
is to make money. Thus, catastrophe
can also be seen as an opportunity to turn a profit.

reports that, ” A top JP Morgan Asset investment strategist
advised clients that sea-level rise was so inevitable that there was
likely a lot of opportunity for investing in sea-wall construction.”
And speculating on insurance policies, Barney Schauble, of Nephila
Advisors LLC believes that, “the broader public’s failure to
appreciate the risks of climate change is part of what makes it such
a good area for investing.” Moreover, “there is evidence
that many players in the corporate-military-security industrial nexus
are already seeing climate change not just as a threat but an opportunity…
climate change promises another financial boon to add to the ongoing
War on Terror.”

we are told will eventually provide solutions to climate change. This
is a crude phantasm of an ideology that seeks to forego any
alternative thinking and to “kick the can down the road.”

“green new deal” appears in several shades of grey.
Whether the so-called, “war-time mobilisation” some people
call for could be realised in one country is debatable. But globally?
That would take cooperation on a scale inconceivable given that in
the 20th century The League of Nations, and later
the UN were implemented to maintain peace. Nevertheless, countless
millions were slaughtered in capitalisms’ wars.

now? Consider the debacle that is Brexit. And the farce of climate
change conferences.

and similar types of enterprises are argued for as solutions. But as
long as markets exist they too have to conform to its iron laws.
Cooperatives will have to compete with each other to buy raw
materials and inputs, and then sell its commodities on the market
with every other seller of an equal product. Thus, if a cooperative
produces goods to sell on the market, to obtain money, to pay wages
via profit, then it has to conform to all of the economic laws of

is capitalism’s raison
d’être, and growth
its imperative.

quote, “it is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism,”
becomes credible with the knowledge that, “just 100 companies
are responsible for 71% of global emissions,
” many of which are state entities and the residue potent
friends of state actors. Likewise, “the U.S. Military
is the World’s Biggest Polluter .” All powerful adversaries of
anyone who wants to oppose the status quo.

But, for those who think this barrier can be overcome have one great advantage. Imagination. The ability to envision a different world. One fit for the good of all. To imagine it, clarify it, and start to build it. And those that believe the barrier could be breached should begin by inscribing on their banners the dictum -“Toward One World.”