Extinction Rebellion

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  • While I remember, the other main thing that I noticed was that the only nations who took a hardliner approach to protecting the environment and calling out bullshit from other member nations were the countries who are at the most immediate risk of climate change.

    We're talking about the island regions with low coast lines such as Micronesia and Polynesia. Those guys are heroes in the way they are trying to make a stand. They're fighting for their very existence.


    As an example, the USA and various other western nations obstructed this legislation for about 15 years and it was the dogged determination of the small island nations that got it across the line. http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTop­ics/Pages/Sulphur-2020.aspx

  • Working in a sector related to sustainability also, I can see scope for XR to have a positive impact, even if just raising awareness as (in my sector) consumer sentiment does also drive decision making toward sustainable practices.

    You need many things from market intensives, strong voices and good policy makers. XR will have some influences on a few of those. Without them I'd imagine the news and politics would be all Brexit and Trump dominated (i've not read the news in years, can only guess).

    edit: sorry missed a whole page of chat!

  • consumer sentiment does also drive decision making toward sustainable practices.

    This. The two approaches most likely to work are:

    1) Scrap capitalism (snigger).
    2) Find a way for business to make money out of doing the right thing.

  • I have a lot of time for Greta, the school strikers, and for lots of other forms of protest/campaigning, for the reasons you give. I think XR goes too far, though.

  • If, as some people believe, nothing short of net 0 emmisions in the next 10 years is enough to stave off the worst of the coming catastrophe, why on earth would they accept "We might do something about it in the 20-30 years" as a valid or useful response?

    Which is not to say that activists are unimpeachable, but it seems unfair to lay the blame entirely at their feet, when the capitalist system is clearly uninterested in changing

  • I'm not laying the blame at any one group's feet.

    I'm not saying that "We might do something about it in the 20-30 years" is a valid or useful response either.

    I suppose my point is that "Pull the plug on your multi billion dollar company and cease to exist" is probably the least constructive position of all, given the factors that compel companies to prioritise profits over environmental responsibility haven't changed in living memory. Especially as a lot of the worst offending companies are ploughing huge amounts of money and time into adapting and want to work with environmental groups to do it.

    Sure, it's probably too much too late.

  • Just as an example of how political a lot of the environmental campaigns are, just compare the publicity around BP Deepwater Horizon and the Taylor Energy oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Taylor Energy have been leaking 70,000 gallons of crude PER DAY into the GoM for over 14 years, more than Deepwater Horizon. The spill is still underway, and TE are under minimal pressure to cap it. Why don't TE get the same heat as BP do?


  • Taylor Energy

    Maybe I'm exposing my extreme ignorance here, but if I'm honest, I did not even know of the existence of this company.

  • You're not being ignorant, they closed down in 2008 in an attempt to avoid financial responsibility for the spill.

    Anyway, I don't think I'm making my point very well here. I guess I'm just trying to demonstrate the level of futility of the whole situation. Until such time as environmental responsibility is more profitable than the current state of affairs and such time that environmental issues are not politicised for nationalistic purposes (Would the fine for Deepwater Horizon been so huge if it had been an American company?), not much is going to change.

    Individual responsibility hasn't made a dent. Collective responsibility is too contentious, plenty of people out there in denial. The only way things are going to change is if you follow the money.

  • I absolutely agree, it's extremely frustrating and the task is enormous. That's why I do like the fact movements like XR exist, even though I don't think their approach is really going to be as helpful as they themselves think. In the end, I think a vast majority of the people in this thread really are on the same side and agree with each other, just maybe not about how to best go about making any changes implemented more urgently.

  • Honestly I just want to be able to look my nieces and nephews in the eye when I'm on my death bed and be able to say that in some small way I tried something.

  • Full on tin hat time now.

    I suspect that there will be a point where the oligarchs of the world do make changes that slow or mitigate some of the effects of climate change. Perhaps it'll be too late, many think it will be. The only thing is that I suspect that in exchange we'll see some sort of return to feudalism in the long term.

    Water running out? That's ok, Apple Water Inc will supply you, if you submit to them.

  • Typical centerist dad response. /S

    Fwiw I agree with a lot of what you've said. And some of H2o's points.

    What I really like about XR are their 3pts. And I don't think @h2o you should underestimate the importance of targets. All the EU nation's subsidies and ramp up in renewable energy production over the lAst 10yrs have coincided with the setting of clear targets.

    However, as I think many posts in this thread demonstrate, the movement is under constant pulls in different political directions. This then feeds into a culture-war narrative. I see this with my colleagues who are opposed to XR on a political ideological level and on a policy level... even though we work in renewables.

  • Oh, I’m happy with targets. I think I probably share some views with your colleagues - we want to get to the same place but disagree with XR.

  • yeah... maybe... but I doubt it. There's a lot of pretty basic; they're disruptive communists who don't want the developing world to have anything while they use iPhones...etc.

    As I said the 3pts - in particular "Tell the truth" seem like a good frame work. And the quick reversal of the govt's renewable subsidy programme shows that without real constant pressure the support to push energy in a new direction can slip. The fact that we ended up allowing shale exploration at a point when it was no longer really necessary is a perfect e.g. of how fickle govt can be.

    The fearmongering element I'm torn on. XR's message often seems to intrench peoples views - or even shift them for the worse. However, I genuinely don't think people have grasped, or to some extent can grasp, the enormity of this.

    I'm really hesitant to give this comparison for obvious reasons; but I heard a US guy of Jewish origin give the example of when information about the concentration camps and death camps was given to staff in the US DOS.

    The response was basically; I don't think you're lying, but I don't believe it. That seems to neatly sum up where we are. People don't think the science is lying, but they don't believe it.

  • Eek! Okay, I take that back, they sound obnoxious.

    I don’t have a massive issue with point 1 (I think declaring an emergency is a bit pointless if there aren’t policies attached, though). Point 2 I just think is 5 years too quick to be achievable. Point 3 feels way too much like ‘oh and by the way overthrow capitalism’ - I don’t really see that working in the time we have available.

    But as for the stuff about the enormity of the problem - yes, it’s important people get that message more clearly. And I support activists like Greta Thunberg and scientists like James Hansen who are trying to get that message out.

  • I’m not talking about PR firms.

    I was referring to your assertion (correct me if I’m wrong) that XR are bad PR for green policy.

  • Taylor Energy have been leaking

    How is this an example of how political environmental campaigns are? Unless you mean selective = political.

  • The only way things are going to change is if you follow the money.

    And make ecocide a crime?

    Have you heard about this group of uncooperative crusties that have similar ideas .....


  • They’re counterproductive in terms of building a coalition in favour of the action required, IMHO. I don’t trust that you’re phrasing it that way in good faith, though.

  • BBC just showed Canning Town commuters pulling ER protestors off the roof of the tube train.

  • The more they bother people and disrupt their day-to-day the less likely people are to investigate and support their cause if they don't know already, IMO of course.

    I also think it is extremely naive to expect things to change when we receive news about the likes of Saudi Aramco planning a market float and every big bank in the world is scrambling to finance them. None of these enormous companies could give less of a stuff if 50% of the world joined XR.

    To think even the government can make a difference is hopeful thinking. The trouble is when you start talking about how money runs everything it becomes easy to dismiss it as starts to dip into conspiracy territory.

  • The comments and reaction are pretty shocking - and somewhat seem to support h2o's argument (as I've understood it) in that people are getting polarised in their view of the protest, if not missing the point entirely.

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Extinction Rebellion

Posted by Avatar for Lebowski @Lebowski