August 22, 2021
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

The XR Bristol account just tweeted that ‘THE REBELLION HAS BEGUN’ as a banner drop at the Guildhall in the City of London happens:

This article takes a look at the issue that XR was founded to take on; Climate Change. Sadly, the news about the ability of our planetary systems to sustain any reasonable form of human life is pretty terrifying now; The smoke from the wildfires in Siberia has reached the North Pole in a historic ‘first’. In the US, the first-ever Colorado River water shortage declared amid record drought – another historic ‘first’. Plus rain also falls on peak of Greenland ice cap for first time on record. Oh and also scientists have spotted the warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse;

Such an event would have catastrophic consequences around the world, severely disrupting the rains that billions of people depend on for food in India, South America and West Africa; increasing storms and lowering temperatures in Europe; and pushing up the sea level off eastern North America. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets.

All of these are ‘tipping point amplifiers’ – so for example; higher global temperatures mean more aggressive wildfires, which means more burning forests, which means more CO2 into the air, which means higher global temperatures and so the consequences of climate change amplify the conditions for more climate change. It is pretty fucking terrifying stuff, to be honest. This podcast on the ‘crumbling’ of human systems in the face of climate change lays out the narrative of what is and will happen in sober detail. It really is worth a listen to understand how things are going to go down.

So what to do? Should we stop flying? Ethically shop? Get focused on food miles? Apart from the fact that the idea of a ‘carbon footprint’ and that personal choices can help the situation, is a devious publicity trick by oil companies, no amount of personal choices is going to change the fact that the emissions of CO2 are mostly by institutions outside any consumer control. For example;

afghanistan and the climate crisis trended today but were discussed separately. the us military is the largest institutional emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and between 2001-2019, emitted 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases in afghanistan. they’re not discrete disasters

This means that the only climate action that means anything is political action. Action that is needed urgently and now. The situation is so urgent that people nickpicking at what others are trying to do in order to move the political window into a space where action happens, are sadly part of the problem of predatory delay. Either join an existing group, action, party or whatever. Shout, agitate, march for political action. The only action that can salvage a liveable climate is political action. That’s it. That’s the message we need to ingest.

Because even in the face of a burning planet, the existing political system can’t help but go from denying the problem, to deciding that the cost of resolving it is now, because of their predatory delay, much too expensive.

PS. Some more articles on action we need to take is here and here. Plus, this is a good read.