Extinction Rebellion

Posted on
Page
of 39
  • I guess it depends if their sole intention is to draw attention to the problem without caring about how they do that. If so then that's probably achieving the aim.

    If the intention is to get people onside and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly then blocking a junction that's only open to buses and bikes seems a good way of annoying those who are more likely to be onside and gives out a fairly confusing message of "even if you travel in a more environmentally friendly way we're still going to specifically disrupt that mode of transport".

    I'd have thought that blocking major intersections to private traffic was the kind of aim that XR would have and support. Maybe I've misunderstood that.

  • As @eejit says, the point of the protest was not about sustainable transport or air pollution.

    The point of XR is that we have spent the last 30 years signing petitions, writing to MPs and changing our personal lifestyles. Planetary destruction is still accelerating. Politicians are saying, 'we know theres a problem but what you are doing isn't the way to tackle it'. The science is undisputed, so we are on the streets to demand action because not enough is being taken on a high level.

    So the point of this protest is about creating chaos and disruption until the government acts. It isn't about affirming personal green transport options, as great as they are, its about forcing change on a higher level because theres no other options

  • Big assumption, but I assume that most people on here believe the scientific consensus and realise that we need to act quickly and decisively to avert catastrophe in 30 - 50 years time. I’m guessing that we are all hoping for the same results.

    So assuming that inaction is just not an option, what would you do differently? How would you try to start massive structural and institutional change around the world?

    I guess my point is that at least XR are doing something, and actually doing it amazingly effectively, considering they have brought the climate change debate into the mainstream consciousness in the space of a year.

  • I think it is characteristically arrogant of movements like XR that they claim to have mainstreamed climate concerns. Greta Thunberg has done more and in a way that doesn’t alienate so many people.

    Edit to add - and that’s just people protesting. There are countless people working very hard to transition the economy away from fossil fuels in useful, tangible ways - like helping to bring down the costs of solar, wind and battery technology to the point where we have been using more renewable than fossil energy over the last quarter.

    XR is to me the SWP of the climate movement - aggressive, alienating, trying to co-opt everything else, and ultimately sabotaging a lot of good incremental work by making unrealistic demands for total system change.

  • The thing is that maybe the demands are 'unrealistic' but it's not something that XR have made up.
    The demands are from the indisputable scientific evidence saying that we have about 12 years to make widespread systemic change.

    If you have better ideas of how to get power to react to this Crisis then let us know. We just cannot carry on like we are currently

  • XR are doing exactly the right thing. The effects of climate change will mess everyone up - that will be real disruption to everyone's lives. if someone has to wait on a bus for an hour to understand that a bit more, so be it.
    The reality is we can all do more - even if you're a cycling vegan that lives in a tent - everyone needs to more.

  • Surely XR's point is that it's too late for individual action, only rapid action at a governmental level across the world has any hope of addressing climate change.
    Some of them believe we've probably already reached the point of no return.
    Whatever you think of their methods there is a lot of thought behind it.
    They are trying to enact rapid social change through non-violent means.
    (And there is a lot of thought over how they define non-violent)
    They are trying to get around 3.5% of the population on their side/mobilised because they think that's the tipping point towards achieving their goals.

  • yeah but XR themselves can't cause governments to change. They need to persuade the rest of the population (or enough) to make the government listen.

  • So the point of this protest is about creating chaos and disruption until the government acts.

    Yes, my issue is that there seems to be no causal chain there. I'm all for protests etc., but in the end, we all know that the government will not do anything unless forced to, which means a significant number of the constituents of the party / parties in power putting it as a high priority. And I don't see how exactly protests that just block everything are going to achieve that.

    Usually, the argument is that you want to be big enough that you can't be ignored, so that your issue gets press coverage. And once that happens, enough people will eventually side with your issue for things to change - be it conditions in fur farms, animal testing, or children working to produce footballs in Nepal. Well, I think most people are already aware of the climate issue, how ever little they might realise the urgency. So that spike of extra awareness you can usually get by achieving wide-spread press coverage is attenuated quite a bit.

  • They are hardly 'blocking everything'. It's a well publicised 2 week protest at a few sites in the centre of London.

    But again, if you think they have got it wrong, what would you do differently? It's a genuine question, as I don't think it's a perfect response to the crisis we are in, but they are the only ones that seem to be doing anything useful.

  • Why are they alienating you? Because they blocked a few intersections?
    Aggressive? They are a non-violent protest. They were even singing 'We love you' to the police as they were being arrested.

    If you've even briefly glanced at last years IPCC report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/
    you would know that we have around 10 years to drastically cut our CO2 emissions or we pass the point of no return. Do you really think that slowly bringing down the cost of wind power and letting the market decide will get us there? If not, then what do we do?

  • ^And the IPCC is at the conservative end of the estimates on Climate Change.
    That's why some of the XR lot feel it's already too late, the point of no return has been passed and the extinction of the human race is inevitable.

  • They are a non-violent protest. They were even singing 'We love you' to the police as they were being arrested.

    This is impossibly fucked and the absolute peak of privilege

  • They are hardly 'blocking everything'.

    Blocking 'everything' as in all kinds of transport, rather than e.g. only motorised private transport. With regards to what would I do differently - I would target things like the financial sector more, and common people trying to get to work in a crammed bus less. It'll get them attention, but it will also put a lot of people off. If I'm someone just about making ends meet in a busy and expensive place like London, the way to get my sympathy is not to block my bus.

  • Agree with @SwissChap re tactics.

    @Lebowski

    If you've even briefly glanced at last years IPCC report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/
    you would know that we have around 10 years to drastically cut our CO2 emissions or we pass the point of no return. Do you really think that slowly bringing down the cost of wind power and letting the market decide will get us there? If not, then what do we do?

    Look at your tone. ‘If you’ve even glanced briefly at’ - do you realise how condescending you’re being?

    For the record, I’ve been working on energy issues for the last 15 years. I think that a lot more needs to be done. But without people who were well aware of the climate issue putting all their efforts over the last 20-30 years into developing technologies that will enable a transition to a low-carbon economy, we wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting to carbon neutrality in the next 10-12 years. Thanks to them, wind and solar are right now cost competitive with fossil fuel power plants, which means one of the biggest political impediments to massive deployment has been overcome. Point being that the people who I’ve seen make the biggest difference so far are the ones who have gotten stuck into making changes within the desperately imperfect system that we have.

    Samba drummers on bridges in central London are IMHO counter productive because, like the SWP, they enable the recasting of the issue as part of the culture wars, instead of transcending political fault lines to try to make change happen in the time we have. And frankly, the assumption that none of us were engaged or aware before XR started doing their very performative thing is insulting.

  • Agree that it shows the privilege of those being arrested. The point was that the protest is hardly aggressive, which @h2o was suggesting.

  • Aggressive ideologically. I didn’t say violent.

  • Apologies if the tone was condescending.

    So as someone who has worked on energy issues for the last 15 years, do you think we are on track to reduce our global emissions by 50% of 2010 levels by 2030? If not, what do we do?

  • As I said, I think a lot more needs to be done.

    I think the most important thing right now is to build a non-partisan consensus around the need for much stronger policies than are the current EU norm. The UK is actually quite far advanced - we’re on the cusp of phasing out coal entirely; renewable generation overtook fossil generation over the last quarter - and we’ve done it in a way that hasn’t broken the bank (Spain has struggled to pay for its renewable roll-out). But it could do a lot more, and something like the Green New Deal would, I think, help to put us on the right path, while managing to bring a lot of the public onside. And if we can make it work here then it becomes much harder for places like Poland to continue to defend their coal industries in the name of jobs.

  • Oh, and their 3 demands are:

    1. Tell the truth and declare a climate emergency
    2. Reduce emissions to net zero by 2025
    3. Create and be led by a citizens assembly on climate and ecological justice

    They just want the government to engage with the climate emergency that we are in. Hardly outrageous demands, considering.

  • Tell the truth and declare a climate emergency

    Performative. What does it achieve exactly?

    Reduce emissions to net zero by 2025

    That timetable is hard. There are technological challenges to be overcome, eg for space heating. 2030 might be more realistic.

    Create and be led by a citizens assembly on climate and ecological justice

    I mean, why confuse it all by demanding soviets?

  • They (the Home Office/Police) would like to prompt criminal damage, violence, relative disorganisation, bad press etc. I think this is the reason for the ban happening now.

  • You think XR are aggressive?

  • Ideologically aggressive, yes. Not violent.

  • Could you unpack that?

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview
About

Extinction Rebellion

Posted by Avatar for Lebowski @Lebowski

Actions