Will disruptive actions help save the planet? | Robert Reed and Nellie Ramblo

No: If you don’t like shock tricks, the answer is simple. Join us, be the moderate wing

Nothing works. To put it more diplomatically: Nothing has yet worked as quickly as it should. Is it any wonder that despair is increasing?

The closest thing to action was the Extinction Rebellion in April 2019. The radical wing of the environmental movement created a chasm through complacency, denial, and permanently raising climate awareness. But it has not succeeded in its ultimate goal of triggering meaningful climate action by the UK government.

Governments around the world simply do not take the findings of climate science seriously. In parallel, the same governments are resisting the frank and shocking fact that the world can no longer stay below the “safe” 1.5°C heating limit. It is unlikely that this year’s UN climate summit, which begins a week later in Egypt, will acknowledge this failure. However, deep down, everyone who pays any attention to the climate controversy knows.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if academics, environmental leaders, and business – even committed politicians, not to mention activists – admitted that nothing had worked yet? I think the public is waiting for those brave enough to say these facts and call for a broad and popular response. But nothing will happen fast enough if the public continues to mistrust the full reality of our position.

This is the tragedy of the moment. Because it’s frustrating to show the full of so much energy and effort that will become, in my opinion, a new moderate wing – it’s all about you: it’s all about where you work or the communities you live in, and act collectively on the day today to get around the legacy of failure outlined above.

For example: Lawyers can express their professional agency by choosing clients and the work they do. The same goes for insurance companies who can disclose what they know about the growing threat we face. For academics and educators, it is about transforming what teaching and research is about. And for those with access to the land, it’s about building resilience and inviting the community as a whole, including those you might not agree with politically, to join in.

It is about facing the reality of the situation, being fully involved and acting upon it. This is the opposite of the recipe for doom. Rather than anything even like proper plans from our “leaders,” we need to embody an exit strategy from fossil fuels or we will be pushed out in the fossil record.

So it’s clear that the next big step forward in climate action has to bring the public with us. Together, we need to move beyond the temptations of polarization, roll up our sleeves and get down to business by identifying (and changing) the reasons behind past failures.

My challenge to every reader who doesn’t want to throw soup on anything… Join us. Make it so. Make your new moderate wing a reality. It’s too late to keep us safe, but it’s not too late to save ourselves from widespread climate collapse.

Dr. Robert Reed helped launch the Extinction Rebellion. He is now involved in managing the moderate wing incubator. His latest book is Why does climate breakdown matter

Yes: half-hearted tactics cannot reach people at the visceral level. So let’s get back to before

You ask about tactics – which ones work and which ones don’t. First, let me ask the readers a question: Why is this what your newspaper wants you to think? Why would they want you to incite people to take action against each other? Since they pitted me against Robert, read here? Why would they want you to care who’s right and who’s wrong when climate breakdown looms over us all?

The division is clear – between those who are ready to accept the reality of this defining moment in human history and work and those who are not.

Let’s face it: climate breakdown is shattering the deepest bonds that hold us together: our families, our health, and our communities.

In Pakistan, 33 million people have been forced to leave their homes. 146 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have enough access to food. Thousands of lives were lost due to the summer heat wave we experienced here.

And that’s just a tiny hint of the disaster coming down the road. Everything in this situation is broken.

We cannot awaken our world to this reality without disrupting our daily lives ourselves. Blocking roads, throwing soup and painting fancy shops orange is nothing compared to the turmoil already affecting millions of people around the world.

Our government needs to wake up – and that’s exactly what the turmoil brings. It is an electric shock that invites people to see the horror of what unfolds before us and join us in facing the evil of the fossil economy to save humanity before it is too late. When we take action, we call on people to break the fear of oppression and join us in civil resistance.

Moderate tactics cannot reach people at this visceral level. So it can and will be ignored. A million people demonstrated to try to stop the 2003 Iraq war. They did nothing. How many tweets, speeches, petitions, and marches since we learned that oil is killing us? And carbon has not stopped rising, and the number of deaths has not stopped rising.

Honestly, answer me this question: If our government is willing to destroy humanity in the race for oil profits, why listen to the tweet?

Historical precedent tells us that only in extreme situations can disruption occur. So we trace our lineage back to suffrage, to Rosa Parks and the Freedom Knights and to the struggle for LGBTQ liberation. These are our inspirations – they show us that civil resistance works.

Finally, a question for you, dear reader. In order to protect your freedoms, rights and everything you love, will you stand with us?

Indigo Rumbelow, just stop the oil

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 250 words for consideration for publication, email it to us at Observer.letters@observer.co.uk

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