Here is a draft of what I might say in court. Readers are invited to suggest improvements.
Extinction Rebellion and the Green Party have the same purpose. The Green Party was a response to the 1972 MIT Limits to Growth warning that although economic growth has given us the modern world’s advantages, sooner or later those limits would cause the world economy to crash.
It was obvious to me that this needed a political response. I went Jehovah’s Witness style door to door with the message “The end of the World need not be at hand”. Even in 1974 10% were worried by the MIT Report.
I was naïve then. I did not realize the enormity of what we had taken on. I am now frighteningly clear on why the political approach is not working. I still think it is necessary. But so is non-violent direct action.
In the first place, ending growth means downsizing. Downsizing is frightening to all but the well-heeled, and few of them see yet why they should. My weblog discusses a possible answer to this problem.
But another problem is that some blame the Capitalists, IGas for example. They are hoping to make profits, but they are as trapped as the rest of us. The commercial rule is “If we don’t take advantage of this opportunity, someone else will.” They are gambling, but the modern world is prosperous due to gambles which paid off.
I have pleaded guilty. I admit that my actions were intended to hinder economic activity on which profits depend. In mitigation, I have done so because even a small escape of methane into the atmosphere will accelerate climate change 30 times faster than carbon dioxide.
But I further admit that my actions will be pointless unless hydraulic fracturing ceases world wide. 40 years ago there was time to plan for a soft economic landing. But the MIT warnings were not heeded.
The only hope is a world-wide ban on fracking. Agreement within the industry would be even better. That is not necessarily far fetched. Wrecking the ecosphere is not in the interests of transnational profits. As CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson funded climate denial lies for 10 years. Yet as Secretary of State he advised Donald Trump, to support the 2015 ‘Paris’ Agreement on Climate Change. Tillerson understands the danger of climate change well enough. He just thought they could gamble on profits a little longer.
‘Paris’ came close, but not close enough. It would have been inadequate even if all promises were kept.
My hope is that XR actions here will bring the necessary mind-set change nearer.