Roger Hallam giving a talk in Penzance, Cornwall, speaking about Extinction Rebellion, the climate emergency and the ecological crisis all around the world. Let’s stop pretending and ACT NOW. If you believe we need to do something about the climate crisis join us in October for the international Rebellion. In October 2018, we declared The Rebellion. In April 2019, we declared The Emergency. In October 2019, we will declare The Truth. Starting on Monday 7 October, we are joining together as global family in an International Rebellion as we grieve the suffering and destruction of our beautiful homeworld. We will gather with our communities across cities, countries, and continents, to rise up and rebel for our deep love of life and the need to protect it.
We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis, and we need to call it what it is—an emergency. We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control, and that we don’t have all the solutions yet; unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things. We must admit that we are losing this battle. We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed, but Homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands, but unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance. We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people, and now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly. Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it: we have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases, and either we do that, or we don’t. You say that nothing in life is black or white, but that is a lie—a very dangerous lie—either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t; either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t; either we choose to go on as a civilisation, or we don’t—that is as black or white as it gets; because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival. Now we all have a choice: we can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me. And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change, but you cannot have one without the other. If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level—people like you and me. So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible. Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that; there are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed—everything needs to change, and it has to start today. So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.
We touched on the work of Jem Bendell in one of the earlier BRACE meetings, his words here frame what we should be thinking about going forward. As much as we need to be mitigating the on set of climate breakdown, that is continuing to reduce emissions we also need to focus on adaption.
We must now recognise the significant change is locked in and whatever we do we are still facing the likely collapse of the systems on which we depend. Grain based agriculture, the very thing that propelled us forward at the dawn of our agrarian civilization will not survive, indeed it will be one of the first staples of our current world to fall.
I suggest at BRACE we begin to look at local adaption strategies and as a focus of the work we are doing. Prof Bendal suggests we look at these 3 hard truths:
- Collapse is coming: think of impacts on food and finance
- Denial works! A renaissance of community support is essential but alone will not be enough. Geo-engineering will not save us, there are no established technologies available to us
- We have to let go. Collapse is already underway, we cant maintain many of the systems we have in place, we have to prioritize where we invest our energies.