Who are Extinction Rebellion and what are they protesting?

A strong message from Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion are an activist protest group that has gained a lot of attention over the past year and have sparked some controversial points over the future of our planet. Extinction Rebellion are a rapidly growing non – violent civil disobedience protest group. XR are calling for the need for radical changes in our consumerist and modern way of life that is subsequently destroying our home and ideally wanting to bring power to the people.

Their aim, however explicit it may be, is to essentially polarize the public in an attempt to awaken the people who aren’t yet aware of the damage they are causing. With practices from gluing themselves to government buildings and playing dead during London fashion week, to climbing on top of Boeing 737’s. With those protests aside, you are either for the welfare of the planet or against, there is no in-between.

Something that is of top priority to the members of Extinction Rebellion is to completely cut carbon emissions by the year 2025. Bearing in mind the European Commission presented its strategic long-term vision in November of 2018 for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050.

That’s 25 years ahead of schedule! Maybe a bit too optimistic for Extinction Rebellion? But with all good intentions and motivation to increase the speed of CO2 decrease. Of course, with such a strong vision from a non-governmental organisation, large and profound protests have been demonstrated to make sure their voices are heard. And it’s worked, (being heard, not governmental climate action) they have caught a great deal of media attention lately for their extravagant forms of protests and have even retained new members. Unfortunately, not all their media attention has been positive, quite frankly almost all of their media coverage has been negative and frowned upon as being an inconvenience to society.

*Which is to everyone’s disagreement here at The Figure Head. Go XR!

The protest that caught the eye the most was that of Trafalgar Square during the early days of October 2019. The ideal goal was to bring the roads to a standstill for as long as possible by setting up camps around Nelson’s Column and the roads that surrounded it. The members of the group demonstrated in a number of ways by setting up miniature tent communities, opening up goods stalls, playing dead in the road to prevent traffic and performing unusual dance acts. What better way to grab the public’s eye than protesting in a heavily congested and tourist inhabited hot spot of London. You would assume these members are some obnoxious hippies fighting for a green world, but actually the majority of them are middle class citizens aiming to give their life a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

However, the knock on effect that this protest caused is why the group are gaining such a bad reputation. Many people were late to work and work related meetings, while some professions such as the taxi driver were completely unable to operate as they were stuck on the same road for hours, so you can understand their frustration. But maybe that is just a narrow mindset from the public.

A mentality from Extinction Rebellion that screams that they do not care if you’re late to your job when in the future you might now have a job to be late now. Act now!

However – the tricky part of modern time morals – If Extinction Rebellion really wants drastic change from the government concerning climate issues, then I believe they should stop making their protests so personal on the working class people. Jumping on top of tubes to protest seems quite ironic when London Underground isn’t tremendously bad for the environment considering its opening hours and carrying capacity. If they continue to impact the lives of these people, then the ones they are trying to enlighten may very well be discouraged on the topic and turn against them.

That then would mean no chance for Extinction Rebellion’s future. After all, society rarely changes unless the surrounding environment changes as we are just reflections of the world around us. If high carbon emission vehicles are still available and cheap to buy then people will buy them. If it is cheaper to take a plane over a train then flying will be the majority’s first choice for domestic or European travel.

*The factor that underlines all climate related problems and backed by English broadcaster, writer and naturalist Sir David Frederick Attenborough is population growth. A conservative estimate of the world’s population lies at 7.7 billion and personally, I think we’re closer to 8 billion than we originally thought and estimated to reach 10 billion by 2030. The population is growing at such an exponential rate like we have never seen before it is simply becoming impossible to make any drastic change in society. The average woman has 2.5 children in her lifetime and one of the many agendas from ER is to give power to the women. This suggests that more women in power means less children at home and the way things are going at this moment in time, who would want to have a child if the future seems dismal? A higher population in terms of the climate requires a greater demand for food, water, clothing and shelter along with many other necessities in the modern era. Thus, emitting more carbon from each and every individual.

Extinction Rebellion have a great cause in enlightening the world about how bad the situation of our planet is. They should keep demonstrating their fundamental beliefs and maybe one day, the government will soon act to implement strategies and laws to hopefully extend humans existence on this planet. I think mother nature needs a group like this.

Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head

Author: The Figure Head

Bringing you all the latest environmental news.

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