Extinction Rebellion are back in the headlines, reminding us about the climate emergency our government has declared. I’m beginning to think XR might be the best hope we have for fixing our broken society. This is a topic I’ve written about at length over the years. Logical fixes from my perspective include tuning out to mainstream media and not allowing ourselves to be pitted against each other. Ditching the standard consumer mindset; making more and getting comfortable with having a lot less stuff. Truly coming together and fostering real communities, not just online ones.
Ultimately though, I’m 100% behind what the popular clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson says: it’s vital to get our own house in order before we can save the world. Although in fairness, some might argue that our collective house is on fire, so tidying it up first is pointless. What he means is that you have no right telling other people what they should be doing unless you’ve sorted out your own shortcomings first. Now, the optimist and idealist in me wants to believe that saving the world is what will propel folks to sort their shit out. Peterson himself isn’t convinced.
Why I am fully behind Extinction Rebellion
Another, less depressing, way to look at it is this: those of us who are capable can try and do something for those who aren’t. I don’t say this as some sort of sycophantic fantasy, just that I can see it from both sides of the coin. When I was in the midst of mental health struggles, engrossed in negative, self-destructive cycles of doom, I wasn’t able to see how interlinked everything is. I would numb my pain with things like alcohol, which would make me even more depressed. I simply did not have the capacity to help anyone else, because I was barely functioning myself.
Unfortunately, and I say this with nothing but love for them, many of the people I know fall into this category. They already have enough to deal with and worry about, which they’re trying to navigate in our toxic world. When we’re only just keeping our heads above water, it’s impossible to do much more than breathe. Which is why I see it as a moral duty to get behind Extinction Rebellion.
Knowledge can be a curse, and I know full well that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself in the years to come if I did nothing, when I could have done something. Maybe it’s the deeper reason behind my sobriety journey this year, who knows?
There is no “them and us” when it comes to the climate emergency and fixing our broken society
One of the most troubling things I have seen this week, is how much misinformation is being spewed out by the right wing media. A lot of the general public are being led to believe that XR are gunning for a radical left agenda, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Take a look at the photo above for the official list of values – I honestly can’t see why everyone (in the 99%) wouldn’t want this for the world in which they live.
Unfortunately, climate change has become synonymous with reusable coffee cups, using the car less and avid recycling. It’s being hijacked and monetised by those already able to live a green lifestyle. A lot of the people who don’t believe in the climate crisis don’t have the means to eat organically and shop in stores who care about single use plastics. Perhaps the saddest thing of all, though, is that this issue is morphing into yet another way to divide the sides and pit us against each other. Rather than bringing us all together on an issue that should truly unite us, it’s pushing us further apart.
Rebels with a cause
My little trio and I took a trip to Trafalgar Square on Wednesday to join the rebels. I’d like to confirm firsthand that there was no smell of hemp in the air or large collections of crusties. Just a whole lot of people coming together for the greater good. Yes the protests are causing inconvenience, but they’re absolutely necessary. It’s important to remember that in campaigning for climate justice, XR are also presenting workable solutions to fix our broken society – with three, very clear, demands. Telling the truth is a great place to start, because we have been lied to for long enough.
Let’s not forget that the UK was the first country in the world to (bipartisanly) declare a climate emergency in May, but very little has actually been done. People are still losing their minds on a daily basis over pointless Brexit and many of those same people are the ones trying to discredit the experts and convince the masses that: (a) XR are the “enemies” and (b) there is no cause to panic. If that was true, why did the UK declare an emergency?
I’ll end by saying this: please keep an open mind and don’t believe everything you hear in the media. XR are a movement who care about the world we live in. Unlike those who are currently making the important decisions, who only care about lining the pockets of the 1%.