XR drones at Heathrow; Dr. Alice Roberts on saving the ecosphere

XR have announced the intention to close Heathrow using drones, to save the ecosphere from destruction, and Dr Alice Roberts’ Radio 4 programme (1st June) has the same purpose.

XR experience of ‘swarming’ (brief disruption of traffic) in Leeds suggests a sympathetic attitude by many of those we inconvenienced to the ecological emergency to which we are drawing attention. Dr Roberts quotes evidence that public attitudes are changing. The XR action, not yet finalized, looks like a sharp escalation in tactics. But what will It take to bring home the seriousness of the ecological threat?

I have been patiently but vainly trying to do this for over 40 years as a Green Party activist. So I am personally in favour of the one day shut-down of Heathrow on 18th June, but would a 10-day disruption in July be too much too soon? We must not jeopardize the public understanding we have achieved.

I found Dr. Roberts’ programme (Radio 4, 8pm, Saturday) disappointing. Having shown how clearly, and for how long the problem had been understood including quoting Mrs. Thatcher in 1989, Dr.Roberts does not really address the reasons for failure to act. She does sort of hit the nail on the head when she says “Modern life is not designed for sustainability”, but she does not offer better insights. Needless to say her run-through of efforts to date did not mention the basic income

Readers will be aware of my hypotheses: the Tragedy of the Commons, and humans being hard wired against loss in the here and now. The strategies for growth which have produced the modern world are now deadly.

I have been cheered up by conversations during yesterday’s swarming in Leeds city centre. A fortnight ago I challenged readers either to tell me I was psychotically deluded, or start screaming as loud as I do about the importance of the basic income. I drew what seemed to me an appropriate conclusion from the fact that I got not a single response. Perhaps face to face contacts felt the need to humour a lunatic, but they all assured me that they saw why the basic income was important as enabling the desperately needed mind set change from growth to sustainability.

Unfortunately this has reinstated a degree of self-belief. I really do think I have an idea which even at this late stage could reduce the severity of the coming ecological crisis. XR wisdom states that the active support of 3.5% of the populace will guarantee success. All I need is access to mainstream publicity. Sit outside the Swedish parliament? Westminster? Get sent to prison for flying a drone? Hunger strike?

I thought I had better run the last one past my family first. My son did not bat an eyelid, but opined that you have to be famous to start with for that to be any use. I have decided not to trouble Greta, though maybe Caroline should watch out, but despite evidence to the contrary, I still think I am the only sane one. Those who are not completely mad need to prove their sanity by helping me.

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