Last night’s talk from Extinction Rebellion was never going to be an easy ride. Part two in Frome’s trio of uprising events to try and raise the stakes a bit in climate awareness. Extinction Rebellion’s presentation is based on research which shows that telling the climate truth will indeed alienate some people (why the Green Party hangs back from this), but it also brings some to a much more active and engaged position.
And the truth is not good. In fact it’s deeply shocking. I’ve said before that Brexit is a picnic compared to the changes, actions and decisions that need to be made around climate action – and of course Brexit is a massive distraction in that respect. So Extinction Rebellion plan mass non-violent protest later this year against what effectively amounts to the premeditated extinction of…. well, everything. Their case is that once we know and don’t do enough, we are complicit in the continued act of poisoning our planet.
In the context of these short blogs, I was especially interested in the second of their demands (the first is actions to reach zero carbon by 2025). In order to arrive at decisions which meet the needs of life on earth – rather than those of the paymasters of the Political system – they want to see a People’s Assembly. This would involve sortition to ensure something close to actual democracy and a body capable of making decisions and recommendations based on evidence. This is the first time I’ve seen climate activism looking at links changes in decision making systems and I agree, the two must meet.
Will all this work? Roger Hallam’s view is ‘it’s the only thing that might’ and I’m strongly inclined to agree.