Nigel Harvey joins Extinction Rebellion protests
I am joining the Extinction Rebellion protests in London. I do this because all other approaches have failed. Signing petitions, lobbying MPs, changing my behaviour and encouraging others to do likewise, have all failed. The emissions keep rising. What we need is decisive Government action. And while they have set some ambitious goals, our Government is not putting the plans in place to deliver those goals. In fact, in many cases they are doing the opposite. Three examples:
- They are close to approving the huge new Cambo oil field in Shetland.
- They have launched the biggest ever road building programme, at £27Bn. Even with EVs, we need far fewer private cars and roads, not more.
- Their 2021 “transport decarbonisation plan” makes no attempt to tackle growth in air travel and airport expansion.
Yes, Extinction Rebellion are disruptive. That is one of the reasons they have been so effective in raising awareness of the climate emergency. But that disruption is nothing compared to a flooded underground transport system, spiraling food prices as crop yields plummet, and mass migration as parts of the planet become effectively “unliveable”.
I don’t want to be arrested. It is not pleasant. But the consequences for us all of inaction on the climate are truly appalling. Governments and institutions that finance new fossil fuel projects must act now. And given that the UK has the COP presidency this year, we are in a unique position to set an example for other governments to follow.
History tells us that disruptive civil disobedience works: think of the US civil rights movement, Indian independence, and the suffragettes. Ordinary people who achieve extraordinary change. That is what Extinction Rebellion are: normal people, terrified by the floods, deadly heatwaves, and wildfires, wanting to see our Government act with real urgency.