Join Extinction Rebellion Now
Disclaimer: I only speak for myself in this entry. I do not speak for Extinction Rebellion.
We are currently experiencing a climate and ecological emergency brought on by human activity. We are now at the point where there is a significant probability that billions of people will die or have a quality of life that’s hardly worth living, within my lifetime. That’s the hard truth and if we pretend it isn’t happening and continue with business as usual, the situation will continue to worsen until we go extinct.
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this. You already know it on some level. All of us have firsthand experience with the climate crisis or we at least know somebody who does. All of us who are paying any attention can see the way things are going and it does not look good.
The good news about the climate crisis is that it is solvable. The problem is that governments aren’t taking on the challenge. In order to avert the worst of the climate crisis at this stage of the game, drastic global changes need to happen at breakneck speed. The only entities capable of organizing such large-scale changes are governments. Politicians have shown us that they aren’t going to lift a finger until they’re forced. Sending letters to them doesn’t work, holding signs doesn’t work, marching doesn’t work, and people aren’t desperate enough to engage in violence.
The only option left is disruptive non-violent direct action to force governments to act. Extinction Rebellion seems to be the only group that’s serious about doing this:
“Extinction Rebellion is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.”
You can find a list of Extinction Rebellion’s principles and demands on one of their websites. There’s also a Wikipedia page listing past actions performed using the name of Extinction Rebellion.
Given the severity of the climate crisis and what will happen if we do nothing, I support any action that garners more rebels for Extinction Rebellion, including blocking roads and shutting down airports. The only valid criticism of such actions, in my mind, is that they might turn some people off from the movement. However, I think a case can be made that those who are turned off by even the most milquetoast disruption are probably disinclined to help the movement anyways.
The question of which tactics to use definitely warrants more discussion. I certainly don’t feel like I’m in a position to blame rebels for trying different strategies (within reason). I think there’s a balance between disruption and attendance, but I’m obviously not the final word on it. The group seems to have the right idea overall, so please consider joining them to save the human race before it’s too late.
If you join, educate yourself about the movement. In order to maintain group integrity going forward, it’s vital for new members to be educated on the demands being made, the primary tactics being employed and the ideas behind them, what citizens’ assemblies are, what it means for a movement to be decentralized, and other basic foundational principles that Extinction Rebellion is supposed to embody.
If you already have a social cause you’re fighting for, I’m not saying you should just abandon it to fight against existential threats like the climate crisis. I understand that people are typically only motivated to fight for causes close to their heart. I also recognize that certain social causes are interrelated and your cause may further the goal of preventing climate mayhem.
With that said, we need to have our priorities in order. So keep in mind how your cause fits into the bigger picture and how it could synergize with Extinction Rebellion.