Why Extinction Rebellion Need to Change Tactics

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Science needs the facts. Climate change needs drastic and emergency action. A Climate Emergency exists – the science proves it. However Extinction Rebellion are targeting the wrong people and sending out a message which I don’t believe will help get more people involved and engaged in the longer term. This wave of protests has led to over 300 arrests on day 1 of their action.

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What are they doing?

Let’s go back to the beginning – Extinction Rebellion have started a fresh wave of climate change protests aiming to bring central London to a standstill for two weeks. There’s also an International Rebellion with similar activities happening across the globe.

There’s so many negative stories on social media – branding Extinction Rebellion as hypocrites, overly dramatic, wasteful and everything inbetween. It’s not all bad though. Each protest comes with a lot of activities, workshops – they even held a yoga session on Westminster Bridge.

Climate change needs a collaborative effort and whatever your view you can’t say that this isn’t a collaborative effort. You have to admire the commitment. The fact that now we’re all talking about climate change at home is a huge win. Every household should be on a mission to do what they can to help.

But where’s the solutions – we know what we should be doing, let’s make it happen. Where I take issue with it is instilling a generation with so-called eco-anxiety. When rumours surface about disruption to one of London’s most eco-friendly (and plastic free!) half marathons you’re turning people away who are maybe just as passionate. Surely there’s strength in numbers?

Focusing efforts purely towards the government takes ownership of the issue (rightly or wrongly) away from the public. If we don’t have ownership of the issue, we don’t feel like we can make a difference then this removes all hope from everyone. We want to be empowering people and giving them the inspiration to go and create a huge impact. We don’t want to turn people away.

What’s the answer?

Strip it back. You only have to look to Brexit to see what politics needs a revamp. There’s thousands of people who quite obviously share the same views. Why not create a political party to tackle these issues from the inside? I don’t believe one solution is enough. We need to focus our resources towards educating our kids – well people of all ages for that matter. Let’s give people the factual information and tools to create a difference. By that, I mean the engineering, scientific and practical skills to create real solutions. I’m not sure what these could be – perhaps it’s widespread campaigns to get us to use less – or maybe we can come up with more schemes to tackle microplastics in the oceans. I firmly believe that in this instance, actions speak louder than words.

Through working together we can give people hope not fear and come up with some real solutions to create real impact.