Tomorrow being the beginning of XR’s biggest effort yet, I have just watched Roger Hallam on Why public disruption is necessary
I agree with Roger completely. We are non-violent, at least our side won’t be, so don’t expect Henry V on the eve of Agincourt, but.Roger clearly explains why we shall meet anger, and how we must do what we can to de-fuse it. I shall be there, and I could have done with more training.
But as with Kate Raworth’s ‘Doughnut Economics’, I worry about what else is needed – what else could have been done to make the next few days effective, and must still be put in place
This weblog post is largely a reiteration of what I have already said, but the enormity of what we are taking on does rather give it immediacy.
A proportion of the public are with us already, but we shall find out the hard way how many. I am still traumatized by my first outing with XR in Leeds, even before the official XR Launch in London on 31st October. About 15 of us blocked Eastgate for 10 minutes. The police only arrived as we were walking away, so there were no arrests, but of all the traffic held up, it was the van at the front which mounted the pavement, and would have mown down anyone in the way.
I keep posing the same question, to which the answers are obvious – to me. The US government discussed the consequences of continued growth even before the 1972 MIT Limits to Growth report.
That report was rubbished by those who have since continued making profits, and it did not result in any positive action. CO2 levels and global temperatures have continued to rise. Nasty movements have arisen in the middle east and Nigeria where there have been crop failures due to abnormal weather. In Lapland and Mongolia their traditional way of life is simply being wiped out by climate change, Coral bleaching . . .
But profits are still expected from hydraulic fracturing, so why should any of these developments, or the worst cyclones ever in Kerala or Mozambique affect the oil, or any other industry?
The frightening logic is obvious to anyone who joins XR, some schoolchildren, and even to some of the public. I responded to the 1972 MIT report by helping to found what became the Green Party. But the Green Party found tackllng growth head on too difficult. Why?
It would have been helpful if we could have made downsizing thinkable in 1973. It would only have been taken seriously by a minority (about 10% according to my doorstepping), but our next week’s XR efforts would have been much more productive. I will only conjecture in passing that the Green Party, still losing deposits in by-elections, should by now be more popular than UKIP ever was.
Henry V was not the right approach for Roger to take. Winston Churchill’s ‘blood, sweat, toil and tears’ would be nearer the mark. The choice is not, as could be inferred from Greta Thunberg, cause for panic or some sort of normal life, but between an absolute catastrophe, and a very unpleasant recession a bit sooner.
Did I ever mention the universal, unconditional basic (Citizens’) income in this context?