Extinction Rebellion, XR est October 31, 2019, has become a powerful force across the globe, almost overnight! It is the fastest-growing environmental movement ever.
As such, it is only too obvious that “people get it” when it comes to climate change/global warming because they’re jumping aboard like swarms of locusts. In fact, XR’s truthful exposure of the climate crisis/global warming is single-handedly turning average citizens of the world into fighting mad radicalized eco-warriors. People who ordinarily do not get involved in politics or advocacy of any kind are suddenly eco-warriors.
XR’s swagger is similar to the San-Culottes of 18th century France. At the time, the French common people (Sans-Culottes) were radicalized by their poor quality of life under the Ancien Régime. They rebelled; they changed history in the face of the most powerful monarchy in all of Europe, as their revolutionary motto Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, introduced via Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract (1762), remains to this day.
XR has 485 groups in 72 countries. Its demands are simple and straightforward; however, the challenge of meeting their targets requires a WWII Marshall Plan worldwide coordinated effort:
1) Tell the Truth – governments must start leveling with the public about the scale of the ecological crisis by declaring a climate emergency; 2) Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025; and 3) Citizens’ Assembly – governments must create citizens’ assemblies to hear the evidence and help devise policy.
Their demand of net zero emissions means a complete overhaul of how the world is organized as a society. Everything changes from transport to domestic and industrial energy systems, to food production, to overall levels of consumption. It’s revolutionary in every respect, but in that regard, climate change itself sets one horrendous record after another as the biosphere itself experiences revolutionary changes, in some instances 10x faster than the paleoclimate record.
XR has pledged to shut down 60 cities, including London, NY, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Cape T0wn, and Mumbai, government buildings, airports, and financial districts during this month of their genesis. They teach maximum disruption to provoke political action, gluing themselves to airplanes and the gates of Buckingham Palace and obstructing major highways and governmental offices. They peacefully disrupt society at its central core and consider arrests and jail time as merit badges.
According to the Financial Times, XR has seen a surge of donations, including celebrities and big names in finance like Sir Christopher Hohn, head of TCI hedge fund who donated £500,000, commenting: “I made the donation because humanity is aggressively destroying the world through climate change and there is an urgent need for us all to wake up to this fact.” (Source: Leslie Hook in London, Financial Times, October 11, 2019)
Total fundraising during XR’s first 12 months amounts to BPS2.5m. Supporters include the band Radiohead, actress Emma Thompson, and punk artist Joseph Corre. Its biggest institutional donor is the Climate Emergency Fund, which is a US charity with donors like Rory Kennedy (daughter of Robert K) and Aileen Getty, heiress to the Getty Oil fortune.
XR distinguishes itself from other environmental groups because it advocates civil disobedience, going so far as breaking the law to make its point. The global emergency required to stem our radically changing climate does not allow for gradualism. They need results now.
After all, following years of hollow promises and empty commitments by governments of the world, XR recognizes the only way to get the job done is by breaking laws via civil disobedience. Nothing else seems to work, and so far, XR has been successful beyond initial dreams.Robert Hunziker, "The XR truth," The news. 2019-10-17.
Keywords: Environmental sciences , Environmental movement , Climate crises , Global warming , Revolutionary changes , Financial districts , Financial Times , Institutional donors , Civil disobedience