Climate’s last stand: Why Extinction Rebellion protesters are breaking the law (commentary)

Climate’s last stand: Why Extinction Rebellion protesters are breaking the law (commentary)

“A 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community,” climate and energy professor Kevin Anderson once told Grist. Even if we cut emissions by 3.5 percent a year after 2020, we’ll hit 4 degrees Celsius warming by the end of this century. Just let that sink in for a minute. When babies born now are in their 80s, there could be no human civilization left to speak of. The Amazon rainforest is likely to die at 3-4°C of warming. And the corals? They’ll be long gone, dying out at 2°C. Currently, perversely, terrifyingly, global emissions are still rising. If that is what we are facing, why are we all carrying on as normal? Well, some people aren’t. Extinction Rebellion is a UK-born group committing civil disobedience to protest catastrophic climate breakdown and species extinctions. Springing apparently from nowhere, in November 2018 the group mobilized thousands of people to block bridges, roads, and government departments in London — trying to cause enough disruption to make the British government act on climate. Extinction Rebellion demands that the UK government declare a climate emergency, that the UK go carbon neutral by 2025, and that the decisions on how to go carbon neutral are taken by a citizen’s assembly. With their use of stark hourglass and human skull imagery, their emotive wording, strong demands, and tactics of civil disobedience, Extinction Rebellion activists have raised hackles in many quarters. Here I explore some of the reasons why this group has taken the…

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