"The whole thing is nutty and sort of sad that an old man has to sit in a road, but the facts are there"
A retired Sheffield doctor who sat in the road to block Saturday traffic in a bid to draw attention to the ‘terrifying’ urgency of the climate change crisis said most people backed his cause.
Retired doctor Bing Jones, 68, of Nether Green, sat in the middle of the busy Ecclesall Road from 11am on Saturday with a sign that read: “I am terrified by empty promises on the climate crisis”.
He says he is doing this in a bid to draw attention to the fact that both the local Sheffield government and the national government have repeatedly made promises about working towards a greener future, while acting in ways that undermine these goals and make the situation worse.
Dr Jones said: "Although there were a few grumpy people, the majority of people were very positive. Ordinary people get this, they get it better than the politicians, so the general reaction we had was good.
"I am very grateful that I didn’t cause too much disruption - the way we designed it worked exactly to plan, some cars were able to get past.
"I hope we didn’t cause anybody too much disruption.”
The grandfather admits that his wife was ‘worried’ about him, but that the inaction from councils and government gave him no choice.
"The whole thing is nutty and sort of sad that an old man has to sit in a road, but the facts are there. We have a very poor record on action, lots of talk but no action on climate change,” Dr Jones said.
"Overall it went really well. I obviously would much prefer to be digging my garden, than sitting in a road.
"It is uncomfortable, my wife was very worried about me. But I feel enormously relieved whenever I do anything like this.
"Even though I am a bit terrified about sitting in the road, it is not half as terrifying as the climate crisis.”
Dr Jones, who has written extensively on the subject of climate change and worked with Extinction Rebellion in the past, believes that protesting is a last resort to “make it clear how massive the disruption is going to be for every week we delay action on climate.”
"Ordinary people do get the need, but I don’t think they understand how urgent it is, how much needs doing, and how little is actually being done,” he added.
"We have got to stand up and do really big things.”