My husband, Mike Crosse, was a church member here until he died last December.
In subsequent conversations with Will Lamb, I learnt that many in this church are concerned about the 6th mass extinction and global warming. Will learnt that I was a member of Extinction Rebellion [XR for short] and offered XR the exhibition space to allow us to say why we feel obliged to take Non-Violent Direct Action to ‘wake up’ people to our planet’s plight. Put simply, we’re compelled by the science and government inaction.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide was last at its current level about 3-5 million years ago. We’ve created this problem using fossil fuels that have benefited us in the last 200 years. Sadly, irreversible climate warming feedback loops are starting sooner than the IPCC predicted, and countries are not sticking to the Paris Climate Change agreement of 2015. “Our house is on fire” and we need to get to ’zero carbon’ sooner than we thought.
Noticing changes on a planetary scale is difficult. We forget the warnings that come with coral reefs dying, droughts, floods, typhoons, forest fires or a February heat wave. Years of traditional campaigning on environmental issues have been largely ignored by those in power. To paraphrase John Locke, “When our Government is not looking after its citizens, we have the right to rebel”, to upset the money changers’ tables in the temple, as it were.
Beyond the words ‘climate emergency’, we need action. Changes in lifestyle required to tackle the ‘climate emergency’ feel ‘inconvenient’. Some media and greedy vested interests struggle to tell the truth. Transitioning our economy fairly from fossil-fuel dependent industries to green energy is difficult. But not to do so will cost the earth. Politicians often kick inconvenient truths and difficult actions into the long grass. So XR thinks they need our help with Citizens’ Assemblies, more democracy not less. Oxford City Council has just run its first Citizens’ Assembly. Solutions generated are more likely to be acceptable to all sections of society. Popular buy-in helps politicians act. I enjoy belonging to an XR Art Group. The flags of endangered animals displayed here were made for the recent XR/Oxford Natural History Museum collaboration.
XR hopes the exhibition clarifies the need to pull together across communities as never before and the need for Government help.
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