• ecoactivists.journey@gmail.com

Extinction Rebellion Strikes: Is non-violent civil disobedience the only way forward?

For decades, people have been discussing climate change. We have known for a long time about the looming crisis. It is not a new issue and almost every measure taken to push for action has proven to be insufficient. Over the last 20 years: how many climate demonstrations have happened? How many petitions have been signed? How many global conferences have taken place? What has been done as a result of it?

The signs of climate change are becoming more intense all around us. Temperatures are increasing. Coral reefs are bleaching. Extinction rates are skyrocketing. Natural disasters are destroying cities and livelihoods. Glaciers are melting. Weather is fluctuating between extreme colds and extreme heat. For anyone who cares enough it is clear that we are a tipping point in Earth’s history. The time to act is being cut extremely short. Whatever will happen next it will drastically change the world we live in. For the worse or the better.

Children are missing school in order to protest for their future. Citizens are blocking roads with peaceful protest parades. There are people willing to get arrested in order to stand up for our future. Peaceful people who have done nothing wrong other than to stand up for a habitable planet are being put into prison. How far has this world got? How far will it have to get for action to happen? How long have voices been silent and ignored for such measures to be taken? How has democracy been failing us? How have our leader been failing us?

Inaction on climate change is so much more criminal than blocking a road or causing disruption. A large majority of people still act as if climate change lies in the distant future and as if humans are just visitors on planet Earth. Yes, I very much wish that school children and student would not have to miss classes. I wish no-one would have to get arrested. I wish roads would not have to be blocked. I wish that change would happen naturally. But it has not, and it is has become clear that it will not unless all of us become the agents of that change. Unless we become climate champions and use our voices.

Yes, I believe in individual action and taking responsibility to live more sustainably. It is important to remain as truthful as possible to the change that is necessary and demanded. However, we have gotten to a point were system change is absolutely critical to the future survival on Earth. We all contribute to Climate Change which is why we are all responsible for finding sustainable solutions. Climate Change needs to be at the top of the agenda for any government. Looking at the way forward and seeing what a motion the climate strikes have already put into place I am inclined to believe that civil disobedience really is the last option and hope for the future. This changing world is demanding much of us but if we want to continue surviving on Earth we need to rise up to that challenge. This is not just a movement of environmentalists. It is a movement for anyone who cares about our future life on Earth. To end of with a quote by Ghandi: “First they ignore you. Then they fight you. And then you win.” Whether we like it or not – the winds of change are blowing. Which side of history are you standing on?