UK scientists join the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests


Lillian Anekwe for New Scientist

Hundreds of climate change activists took to the streets of London this morning for a deliberate two-week protest organised by the marketing campaign group Extinction Rebellion. New Scientist spoke to a number of scientists who’re members of the group and might be collaborating in the protests to seek out out what prompted them to take course motion.

Charlie Gardner, a conservation scientist at the University of Kent, says he joined the organisation as a result of he felt that his skilled accountability prolonged past “just studying and describing” the affect of climate change on biodiversity.

“We know what to do to save species, but the UK government is not giving us the funding to do it. I’ve done everything I possibly can professionally and personally, but none of that has worked, it’s all been a drop in the ocean. For me as a scientist this is necessary – and it is going to work.”


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Gardner is encouraging different scientists who aren’t capable of join the protests to help the motion by writing in scientific publications, beginning native activism teams and lobbying their establishments and employers to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

Extinction Rebellion’s newest transfer is a deliberate marketing campaign of civil disobedience throughout London, taking motion together with blocking main streets and bridges in the metropolis centre, occupying authorities division buildings, and holding a mass sit-in at London’s City Airport. The group say that there may even be simultaneous protests in 60 cities round the world.

Extinction Rebellion declare the motion might be on a a lot bigger scale than its protests in central London in April, when 11 days of protests introduced components of the capital to a standstill and led to greater than a thousand arrests.

Jennifer Rudd, a scientist at a UK college, says she had no alternative however to join Extinction Rebellion “given everything I know about climate change”.

She has since made modifications in her profession to align with the motion’s values, together with stopping flying to scale back her carbon footprint, which she says “has had an effect on my international collaborations and reputation”.

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Lee, who didn’t want to give his full identify, says he labored for a decade in climate science, however “we are now reaching the tipping point that we’ve always been fearful of”.

“It’s almost to the point when we can’t reverse it. This is our last chance. The social contract with the government has been broken and now there’s nothing left to do but rebel.”

Extinction Rebellion has three calls for for the UK. It desires the authorities to “tell the truth” about climate change, create a residents’ meeting to resolve on motion, and set a goal of decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions to internet zero by 2025.

The UK has dedicated to a legally-binding purpose of slashing its greenhouse fuel emissions to internet zero by 2050, and laid the laws to make this legislation earlier than parliament in June.

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