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IETLS Environmental Vocabulary: Extinction Rebellion

Exam English



Today's article is about all things environmental and we are going to be using a presentation from an organisation and movement we support here at ELTS to help you develop and improve your environmental vocabulary for your IELTS exam. As you know, the environment and pollution are very typical topics which can come up in part 3 of the IELTS speaking exam, as well as the the part 2 IELTS essay. The Youtube video, which has English subtitles, is split into two halves. The first part of the presentation discusses the current situation we find ourselves in regarding climate change and environmental disaster, whereas the second half of the video outlines the sort of things we can do to reverse the challenges we face. There is a lot of vocabulary to take in, so we have added much of the transcript below in order that you can follow along and absorb some of the key points and ideas,which you can use when undertaking your IELTS speaking and writing exams.

                                                                 "Heading for Extinction and what to do about it"

SLIDES

1.  Heading for Extinction and What to do about it

Rising Up

2.  My name is …. And I’m part of Rising Up who are organising the Extinction Rebellion (say a bit more about yourself and from the slide about Rising Up)

3.  We will cover two main things

The ecological crisis- the latest science on what risks there are and our current trajectory which includes the possibility of abrupt (ie near term dramatic climate change) and human extinction

We will then talking about Understanding our emotional response and about appropriate responses.

The talk will take about an hour, there will be time for questions at the end and space to stay behind afterwards to discuss or share more

The basic premise of this talk is to tell the truth and ask us all to act accordingly  and consistently with the information, including our understanding of what actually enables change to happen in the world.

4.  Grief – its welcome here, what we are sharing here is hard to hear, thanks for coming and being willing to face this. Whilst this isn’t a grief workshop you are welcome to shed tears, hang on to your neighbour, with their permission and so on, at the end people can stay to share feelings.

5.  Usefulness of sources of information & the precautionary principle

The precautionary principle says that when there are extremely severe risks we should not take the risks. We should err on the side of caution. However science reporting is naturally quite conservative in order to be rigorous. A scientist “down the pub” will say more about what they believe the risks are than they may state in a paper, where they only want to report what they definitely know. A single paper can be wrong. Reviews of different papers about the same thing tends to lead to more accuracy. However it takes longer to get reviews of many papers. The IPCC has been built around consensus and  there are lengthy processes to reach consensus (some feel to deliberately hamstrung it). So it is useful to quote from this spectrum, not just what is seen as main-stream / fully “acceptable”.

In this talk we attempt to give you useful information by moving beyond just IPCC reports –useful though much of their outputs are. We need to hear from the respected scientists who have broken ranks with conservative speech. (Especially since panel 3 of the IPCC contains policy makers and economists is seen as highly politicised). We also don’t need to join so called “alarmists” who are accused of cherry picking data, and might talk about facts when they mean possibilities. That said we are not suggesting the so called alarmists are wrong and alarming messages are making it into the mainstream. So we are aiming to give you the latest thinking from those at the leading edge of climate and ecological science.

6.  Arctic Sea Ice shrinkage: This graph highlights the issue with some IPCC work – the actual data is far worse than the consensus predictions. The graph in  blue shows IPCC models of what is believed will happen to artic ice and the line in red shows what is actually happening(https://skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm)

7.  Read from the slide about the scientist and who he advises. This year a paper was released What Lies Beneath :The Understatement Of Existential Climate Risk the report is about:

- how climate policy-making has become embedded in a culture of failure and scientific reticence.

- it argues for urgent risk reframing of climate research and IPCC reports

-it contains voices of some of the world’s leading scientists.

Read Quote from Prof Schellnhuber

Climate science too cautiously described https://www.climatecodered.org/2018/08/take-unprecedented-action-or-bear.html?m=1

8.  So lets dig more deeply into Temperature, tipping points, feedback loops and impacts

9.  Looking back at the actual data more closely on artic sea ice, we can see the data suggests the artic will be ice free at the end of the summer sometime in the next 5 years or so.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/arctic-sea-ice-what-why-and-what-next/

10.  This melting is creating what is called the Albedo effect – an example of a worrying feedback loop of climate change– when there is a lack of reflective ice and this is replaced by dark ocean which absorbs more heat- this process will have the same effect as releasing one quarter of all the co2 released since 1979 http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/02/13/1318201111

So “Climate change is not simply a matter of cause and effect. It’s more like a vicious circle.”.

11.  A 2018 PNAS paper addressed the threat of so called abrupt climate change – when changes happen very quickly and become essentially irreversible due to runaway effects.

10 positive feedback loops were studied: permafrost thaw, loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, increasing bacterial respiration in the oceans, Amazon rainforest dieback, boreal forest dieback, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice, and reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets.

-Whilst not a certainty, the concern is that earth is heading rapidly into a hothouse state even if temperatures are kept below 2oC which seems unlikely

Read the quote

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. PNAS, 2018 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1810141115

12.   This Met office data on the graph shows increases in global average temperature since 1850: Currently we are around 1°C above pre-industrial baselines and rising at 0.17°C per decade (however rises wont be linear)

A 2017 Nature Climate change paper from the University of Washington shows we have

Only 1% chance of hitting the Paris 1.5oC target

Only 5% chance it temperatures will be less than 2oC

And the Likely range is 2 - 4.9oC - median 3.2oC

So within the lifetime of children today we are heading towards catastrophic temperature rises. This should be on the news every night, with discussions and stories about what is being tried to protect our children, as if we were involved in a world war. In actual fact this is far worse than a world war.

●The Amazon will start to burn down-

●If we increase global temperatures by 3°C, the water in the amazon will start to dry up and the rate of forest fires will increase. Forests will become net carbon producers not the sinks they are today.

http://d2ouvy59p0dg6k.cloudfront.net/downloads/the_future_climate_of_amazonia_report.pdf https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/mar/11/amazon-global-warming-trees

●Global food security will be severely impacted- crops will fail on a more regular basis, many areas will cease to produce food at all due to flooding or desertification. What happens to society when food prices spike?

13. Rising temperatures cause melting of Ice in Greenland and Antarctica – and this is associated with sea level rise. The map shows the populations at risk of the resultant flooding. Many cities are based on rivers or on the coast. Some will be submerged forever, others will sustain vast damage and destruction. Alongside other migratory pressures such as desertification estimates suggest 140million people could be on the move - where will people go? How will countries cope with the possibility of 1 in 9 people on the move? My sons will be my age now. This isn’t a question of shutting borders and letting the brown folks drown in the sea as we are already doing. There will be migration within countries. 10% of the population in the UK will be affected, including these cities and rural areas.

Sea level rises:

its Greenland melting, other glaciers and Antarctic- ice on land that causes sea level rises https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/03/lincolnshires-coast-and-farms-will-sink-with-3c-of-warming

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn363-sea-level-rise.pdf

https://www.c40.org/other/the-future-we-don-t-want-staying-afloat-the-urban-response-to-sea-level-rise

Climate migrants

http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/08/climate-migrants-might-reach-one-billion-by-2050/

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/03/19/climate-change-could-force-over-140-million-to-migrate-within-countries-by-2050-world-bank-report

14.   Then there are a raft of other pressures on the ecology.

Known as the “evil twin” of climate change, ocean acidity has increased by about 30% and if we is set to increase by 150%,  by 2100. 20% of people rely on marine life for nutrition which is under multiple pressures and could collapse with the increasing acidity caused by the formation of carbonic acid when carbon dioxide dissolves in the oceans. Some marine creatures are unable to build their skeletons or shells in an acidic ocean. Oceans like forests are the lungs of the earth, they produce between 50 and 80% of the oxygen and consume more than 25% of carbon dioxide of the planet but this is reliant on a thriving marine ecosystem

READ the other bullets and finish with the quote

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211912415300262

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/341/6145/435

http://www.oceanacidification.org.uk/

https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/article/65/3/414/789605

https://earthjournalism.net/stories/oceans-the-planets-forgotten-lung

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anne_Cohen3/publication/230889275_Marine_calcifiers_exhibit_mixed_responses_to_CO2-induced_ocean_acidification/links/0a85e53516bee7068c000000/Marine-calcifiers-exhibit-mixed-responses-to-CO2-induced-ocean-acidification.pdf

15.  So moving on to the issue of Extinction

There have been 5 mass extinctions that scientists can see in the geological record. The last one involving the dinosaurs was caused by an asteroid strike. The other 5 were caused by rapid increases in atmospheric CO2, for example caused by huge volcanic eruptions. The most devastating extinction event to date was the Permian –triassic extinction in which 97% of all life was lost, due to runaway feedback loop events that led to the gassing of the planet by Hydrogen sulphide. The rate of Co2 emissions mirrors those today. So we know that human extinction is a possibility on our current trajectory.

16.  We have already entered the 6th mass species extinction– scientists are using the phrase “biological annihilation”

Read the facts out on the slide

17.      Remember we said we are heading towards over 3 deg of warming and possibly towards 5. A paper last year in 2017 said that the warming could be sufficient to cause an existential threat and gave these risks categories:

Read from slide and the authors quote

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3352

Some humans are more likely to survive that not, though its far from guaranteed, but the question is then, under what conditions. Remember we are talking about what happens in the lifetime of children today https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/can-humans-survive-mass-extinction/

18.      Jem Bendell has been in the environmental field for many many years and has recently done  paper- Deep Adaptation, where he breaks ranks from academic conservatism. He has done his own review of all the scientific literature as well as having access to the very latest data. READ FROM SLIDE

https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/the-study-on-collapse-they-thought-you-should-not-read-yet/

19.      All these conditions – migrations, crop failure, disasters are perfect breeding ground for fascism and the signs of it are already here

Rob Riemen — the founder and president of the Nexus Institute says that although we are fond of saying “Never Again”? Fascism hijacks democracy over and over

-and that we are ignoring the warnings signs because denial is more comfortable that facing inconvenient truths.

WWII teaches us, within living memory, lessons about what humans are capable of doing to each other under extreme circumstances and the ecological crisis goes off the scale of “extreme circumstances”

·    

Read out quote about soviet prisoners of war in 1941

From “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder:

‘When the German army transported Soviet prisoners of war by train, it used open freight cars, with no protection from the weather. When the trains reached their destinations, hundreds or sometimes even thousands of frozen corpses would tumble from the open doors. Death rates during transport were as high as seventy percent. Perhaps two hundred thousand prisoners died in these death marches and these death transports. (…) On the 21st of October 1941, those who could not work saw their official rations cut by twenty-seven percent. This was for many prisoners a purely theoretical reduction, since in many prisoner-of-war camps no one was fed on a regular basis, and in most the weaker had no regular access to food anyway. A remark of the quartermaster general of the German army made explicit the policy of selection, 'those prisoners who could not work', he said, 'are to be starved'. Across the camps, prisoners ate whatever they could find: grass, bark, pine needles. They had no meat unless a dog was shot. A few prisoners got horsemeat on a few occasions. Prisoners fought to lick utensils, while their German guards laughed at their behaviour. When cannibalism began, the Germans presented it as the result of the low level of Soviet civilization. (…) The Germans shot, on a conservative estimate, half a million Soviet prisoners of war. By way of starvation or mistreatment during transit, they killed about 2.6 million more. All in all, perhaps 3.1 million Soviet prisoners of war were killed.’

·         4 years later, Russians march into Germany & raped 2m German women (“Berlin: The Downfall 1945” by Antony Beevor)

·         Some women were raped between 60 and 70 times

Key Lesson: If a society does something horrendously immoral, then you can expect terrible things to happen in return.

20.      Here’s a 2018 blog: Survival of the richest – read slide then read:

They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers — if that technology could be developed in time.

“the event” is the name that the elite are giving to the breakdown of society – they are anticipating it but even they feel powerless to do anything about it, despite the fact there are many detailed things written about changes that could and need to be made. We are all in some kind of mental herding effect.

21.  So how is our government responding to these threats to our nation? UK Govt policy is utterly terrible for example they have:

·                                  Scrapped support for onshore wind

·                                  Axed Solar subsidies

·                                  Killed off the flagship green homes scheme

·                                  Sold off the green investment bank

·                                  Watered down the incentive to buy a greener car

·                                  Given up on zero carbon homes

·                                  Ditched the green tax target

·                                  And refused Tidal power

And to mention two specific areas (read re heathrow and fracking from the slide)

22.      So we must Face reality- about the lack of concrete action – read from the slide

●In 1990, the UN warned that climate change was happening and stated that if we did not keep global temperature increases below 1°C, then there would be societal collapse across the world.

●Since then, carbon emissions have increased by 60% and we are now at closer to 1.2°C.

→ We conclude that Conventional approaches to dealing with climate change have failed to deal with the problem on two levels …

1) Governments failed to introduce the large scale changes that are only in their power to implement.

2) Environmental organisations failed to put enough pressure on governments to introduce these changes.

23.      How does the international community manage to carry on with business as usual. One aspect is the attachment to the concept of  Carbon Capture and Storage technology –something that has been researched for decades and hasn’t been shown to work at scale plus is extremely expensive (see Aresta, Dibenedetto, & Angelini, 2014, for review). It would be great to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, we aren’t against safe innovative technological solutions, but they need to stand alongside concrete action TODAY based on things that we know will work.

Read from Slide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=776gGbWFLIc

24.  Dr Kate Marvel is from NASA’s Goddard Institute – she researches humanity’s effect on climate and what we can expect in the future READ FROM SLIDE,

Hope is a creature of privilege: we know that things will be lost, but it is comforting to believe that others will bear the brunt of it.

. But the opposite of hope is not despair. It is grief. Even while resolving to limit the damage, we can mourn. And here, the sheer scale of the problem provides a perverse comfort: we are in this together. The swiftness of the change, its scale and inevitability, binds us into one, broken hearts trapped together under a warming atmosphere.

We need courage, not hope. Grief, after all, is the cost of being alive. We are all fated to live lives shot through with sadness, and are not worth less for it. Courage is the resolve to do well without the assurance of a happy ending

25.      Grief slide again for silent break

26.      PART 2 – what to do, responses both emotional and practical. How does this existential threat affect the way you wish to live your life?

27.      Stephen Jenkinson talks about our death phobic culture. My understanding is that our dying times are an opportunity to really live well, if we pay attention to how precious life is. That we come to peace when we understand that life is far bigger than any of us as individuals. We can understand our role as we join a line of worthy ancestors, those that went before us and make our lifes about honouring and protecting those that come after us.

In the age of ecological melt down, when our own childrens future is currently set to an unimaginable catastrophe, it is our job to really allow ourselves to feel the grief and then ask how we intend to act. This is a big shift in our consciousness. It is one that moves away from the narcissistic culture of consumerism, what do I need?, How can I feel better? how do I hang on to privilege for myself and my family? It moves towards accepting that this is a time of grief, but that we can still appreciate beauty, we can still keep ourselves in good shape for the task required of us. It asks us to step into service and be willing to do the things that might just make a difference, it asks us to make sacrifices. This is a big emotional shift. Its actually liberating.

28.      Hope dies action begins

We need a new approach in the face of this failure.

We need the world governments to introduce a WWII-style mobilisation.

  e.g. the American economy was transformed in a matter of a few months to deal with the existential threat for its population brought about by WWII

                   

A WWII-style climate mobilisation would involve:

  a) Reducing carbon emissions to zero within the next decade

  b) Reducing demand through a carbon rationing program

  c) Massive investment in safe ways of taking carbon out of the atmosphere

  d) Rebuild transport - An overhaul of our transport system: high speed electrified railroads, new public transit options, new forms of fuel replacement, and car-free cities.

  e) Transform agriculture - A move from industrial agriculture to localized, regenerative and resilient farming with limits on livestock production and a rapid phase-out of factory farming.

  f) Restore ecosystems - A half-earth conservation and ocean-protection program to halt the ongoing mass extinction of species and turn ecosystems into effective carbon sinks.

This is all Technologically & economically possible and in a short space of time, solutions are there; the absolute KEY ISSUE issue is how to create enough political pressure

It’s up to us to create that political will and there are tried and tested techniques for doing that. So we are talking about the need for civil disobedience that escalates into a rebellion,, an uprising. The good news is it doesn’t need that many people, which gives everyone in this room, everyone who hears this talk an immense opportunity to do something amazing.

29.  The conventional approach to talking about climate change is based on lying. People aren’t told the truth about Climate change because the belief is that telling the truth will create a feeling of powerlessness in people, paralyze them and thus lead to a lack of action. When something frightening happens Bystanders try to find a way to turn away from the thing causing them fear, however upstanders try to address the actual thing causing the fear. So this talk is aiming to find upstanders. You can choose to be an upstander. And our approach is based on the belief that some smaller group of upstanding people will not only be willing to act, they will be willing to do what it takes.

30.  Ethics - some basic principles of wrongdoing in our society:

●If you do a bad thing, you will get punished. If you plan to do a terrible thing, you will get punished. E.g. if you punch someone in the face, you’ll get a fine. If you plan to blow up a building, you will go to prison.

●There is a progression to wrongdoing. For example, Nazi Germany’s use of toxic gas to kill its Jewish population in extermination camps was horrendous. Those Nazis that survived the war then faced the Nuremburg trials in which many of them were sent to prison. However, if they had planned to gas cities across the world, their crime would have been even worse. Or suppose they had wanted to gas an entire country, or even the whole world.

●Well, with high levels of CO2 currently being pumped into our atmosphere, this being done by our governments right now, due to their policies. It is being planned, it is wilful and it will kill millions of people.

→Hence, we claim that climate change is not a political issue – it is an issue of morality. What is happening is bad and it’s evil and has to stopped. Here is why it is not political.

The next point is that when a government does something that is horrendously immoral it must be challenged, regardless of your political choice. Across Political spectrum the idea of rebellion is understood to be important under extreme circumstances Political theorists agree that rebellion is justified once the establishment failed

John Locke, a liberal, termed what political philosophers call the “Right of Revolution” – When a government fails to protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens – as in the case of climate change – the people have a right to rebel

Thomas Hobbes, a conservative, spoke of the Social Contract where the state derives (and loses) its authority based on its willingness and ability to maintain order and security for its people

The second amendment in the US is also based in this principle that the people have the right and duty to rebel against a tyrannical government. Its my view that modern neo-liberal governments have found a way to mask their tyranny but basic logic shows its there.

“Whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, (…) they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. (…) By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.” (Two Treatises of Government)

31.      Act on it as if it is real/ Appropriate response

Conventional approach to tackling issues involve awareness raising (e.g. leafleting), lobbying (e.g. sending e-mails to your MP), building a collective demand (e.g. go on a one-day march or get a petition together)

These approaches are appropriate for relatively small political issues (e.g. an unwanted housing development) and for the initial stages of a campaign to raise a serious issue - we are long past this stage in the ecological crisis

But they are NOT appropriate for issues that are existential and urgent and/or when there are powerful political & economic interests involved that stop necessary change from happening

In this cases, an appropriate response requires high-stake, disruptive civil disobedience & non-violent sacrificial action.

Non-violent action involves the following aspects (this is only a very short summary):

1) Disruptive – it needs disruption of major cities which will get the attention of political decision-makers (eg example of Act-Up – gets people talking even if they don’t like the methods)

2) Sacrificial – makes observers sympathetic to cause & demonstrates to decision-makers how serious you are about the cause

3) Backfiring – the opponents tend to respond to the direct action with repression. This backfires as it shows them in a bad light to observers who are therefore more likely to join in.

4) Respectful – the opponents are treated with respect. In addition to the moral importance of respectfulness, it also makes it more likely that opponents agree to negotiations and to the demands of those engaging in civil disobedience

Non-violence is morally and materially functional.

32.      Non-violent civil disobedience has a strong grounding in history up to the present day and has been extensively studied. Its efficacy is well known. People tend to like it in the past but less so in the present!

33.      The plan!

The Extinction Rebellion is planning in uprising against the British government starting this November, following the declaration on 31st October. We ask the British government to reduce carbon emissions to near zero by 2025, to work with the media to communicate actions people can do and the emergency we are in and to reverse policies that aren’t in accord with this. Furthermore, we aim to set up a national assembly to represent the will of the people for the transition. The national assembly will be based on a sortition system - representatives would be chosen by random and only serve for a short periods.

34.  An immediate need is to shift the “Climate Overton window”

The Overton window is a phrase referring to what is seen as a normal and acceptable part of the mainstream of public discussion of issues. The debate in the popular press about climate change tends to be limited to the fact it will be a ‘substantial cost’. As we have show this doesn’t reflect reality. Disruptive and unexpected behaviour can change the overton window. For example Trump and Brexit have managed to move the Overton window to a place where upfront racism becomes normalised whereas a few years ago we couldn’t have imagined an American President cageing children and talking about banning muslims

So we want the reality of the ecological threat to be a mainstream discussion, for people to know how bad a state we are leaving the world in for our children (not for “future generations which can sound some time away and not so imminent and real). The first step of the rebellion is to shift this overton window. It will probably require something like 100 people to go to Jail and or 1000 arrests in a short space of time. Of course then the intention is to mobilise more people

(Michael Tobis diagrammed this in the climate Overton Window)

Example of overton window: When President Trump puts forward policies like the ban on Muslims to travel and threatens to press ‘the big red button’ when threatening North Korea, he is shifting public discourse towards extremes that were hardly mentioned before. This means that his tax bill, which was highly damaging to the poorest in society and would have been radical to propose 5 years ago, looked fairly reasonable in comparison with his other policies. (VOX Strikethrough: How Trump makes extreme things look normal)

It turns out only about 1-3% of a population is needs to be mobilised to bring about massive social change or the fall of a regime. Erica Chenoworth

E.g. in the Egyptian revolution, only a million people were in Tahrir square although over 20 million people live in the greater Cairo area and the country has a population of around 90m

There is no need for “the people” to rise up but only a small minority

We don’t know the exact figures but we can look to historical examples.

35.      Before Martin Luther King and the American Black civil right movement engaged in civil disobedience conventional political approaches did not bring about any structural change. However, from the mid-1950s the direct action campaigns brought about significant changes in policy through campaigns that involved several hundred people going to prison and several thousand arrests. This and other examples gives us a benchmark.

36.      The Freedom riders, were black and white people, that went on buses into the southern parts of the USA to break the bus station segregation policy. It started with just 25 students and ended with around 300 people in prison by end of the summer. This caused a fundamental change in policy. If it takes 300 people in jail in America what does it take in the UK?

In the Uk we probably need about 2 million people in active support of say 5000 people willing to do civil disobedience, or say 500 people being willing to go to jail for short periods of time at the height of a rebellion. We do know the more high-stake the action is, the fewer people are needed to create the desired change. And to begin is the most important next step!

37.      So Rising Up wants to use this more effective approach. We estimate we need to hold a 100 meetings to get to a critical mass of mobilisation to begin changing government policy. This then shows a credible pathway to create political change on the climate crisis. We have given 30 talks already and have 20 more in the pipeline and more to come!

Can you see the power you actually have here? By being one of 50-500 people willing to go to jail for a short period or 500-5000 people willing to get arrested we can do way more for this issue than millions marching or signing petitions.

37. Finally, To give you more of a feeling then of who we are in Rising up!

37-Toxic bankers, happened during sum of us petition and FOE stalls. Barclays agreed to divest from Third energy fracking company and our decentralised structure meant others could copy autonomously

38-Actions re Heathrow – the judge gave a £25 to a repeat offender who broke conditional discharge – we think she understood the sacrifice and that nothing else was working. “This action involving 5 people got more publicity than a march of 25000 I organised”- said one of the defendents in court

39 -a solidarity action with Disabled people against cuts

40- an example of the investment principle – one action taking 10 minutes got 170,000 views!

41-4 people went to jail and wrote a booklet about it!

42-radical flank to a cleaners strike- Naom Chomsky got involved, 3 white men willing to get jailed, cleaners won their strike

43-normalising civil disobedience- much fun had at the mass trespass for Land Justice

44 This Divestment campaign took 8 weeks!

45- And was copied in other locations successfully

46. Motivation

 

●         In the beginning of this talk, we outlined dire future prospects - is there any hope? Is it even worth trying to counteract immense economic & political power?

●Firstly, yes - we showed you that there are solutions; ambitious but feasible

●Secondly, question wrong - this has become a habit in many Western countries

●         History of Ethics: Two influential schools

●Utilitarianism - maximise positive outcome, minimise harm

○very common in countries with strong neoliberal tradition, has become very intuitive in our minds - I do something because I want to reach a positive outcome, I want to improve the situation

○Leading questions: What is needed? How do I achieve it?

●Virtue Ethics - what is more important is the virtue that makes the good person

○Leading questions: Who am I? How can I be a good human? What does it mean to be living a good life in these times?

○in this tradition, it is practical wisdom that precedes actions & decisions

⇒ Answer: It is always worth doing something if it is morally good and the right thing to do, no matter how successful you will be. To quote Dr Kate Marvel again: “Courage is the resolve to do well without the assurance of a happy ending”

We are talking about traditional virtues here, orientated towards service to community (duty, responsibility, honour) and a desire to be a worthy ancestor. In full understanding that we will die one day, it could be soon, wishing to fully live a meaning life. In facing the risk of life on earth dying – to step forwards and be willing to offer our service to something bigger than ourselves, to life itself. For some this is a basic orientation of their spiritual expression- the part of ourselves that understands what is sacred.

●therefore, I ask you to take one minute to ask ourselves in silence: “Given what I just heard, …

1.  What does it mean for me to be a good human?

2.  What does it mean to die without regrets?

3.  Will you be able to look your grandchildren in the eye and say you did what you could?

So we can’t do this on our own - please join us! No matter whether you’re ready to get arrested or not - there are lots of different roles in every uprising. Play your role in the Extinction Rebellion!

47. Questions and answers/ Group Discussion

Hand out forms and highlight that ‘obviously there is no pressure, it’s your life, do whatever you want’.

Extra slide

Concentric circles- based on idea that some are more willing to do organising but it needs a number to join in by participating. That civil disobedience isn’t someone elses job because youre focussed on something else which might also be useful.

Civil disobedience needs you! I might be shopping at your shop, using your therapy option, trying to implement the parenting you recommend. In the same way civil disobedience needs as many of us behind it as possible in whatever way we can manage. You can help us organise if you feel the call and we are asking for people who are willing to be arrested and who are willing to go to jail (Full information on legals will be given)

Other papers

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/earth-permian-mass-extinction-apocalypse-warning-climate-change-frozen-methane-a7648006.html

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114

https://today.duke.edu/2006/07/nobirds.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wildlife-extinct-revolutionise-food-farming-species-declines-wiped-out-a8233511.html

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/earth-s-sixth-mass-extinction-has-begun-new-study-confirms/&ved=2ahUKEwjVj4DhuZfcAhUJ6xQKHX1YCggQFjApegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw2u8qyraMEgNHQuyJp8GR1V

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/amp/6-things-to-know-about-earths-6th-mass-extinction&ved=2ahUKEwjVj4DhuZfcAhUJ6xQKHX1YCggQFjAbegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw2tYWbOcH5JWDrS4NDPHWFd&cf=1

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study&ved=0ahUKEwii3JSwppncAhUUdcAKHeH5Cr04KBCpAggtKAEwAQ&usg=AOvVaw3q9mFMka767CP91xw6IOp9

https://m.news24.com/Green/News/sixth-extinction-of-wildlife-faster-than-feared-20170713