“We've been asking politely for 30 years for our planet to be protected – now is the time for action”

Sheffield climate rebels will join those around the country on Monday April 15 in converging on London to demand immediate action on the climate emergency from our government.

Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 12:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 14:52 pm
Activists chalk messages pitside Sheffield Town Hall to bring attention to climate change

These demands will be made through a series of non-violent direct action protests in London where roads will be blocked at four major sites, a spoken word chorus will ring out through the streets, youth protesters will flood through the city and well known musicians will perform.

If the government continues to ignore our demands for action then the rebellion will have no choice but to create disruption on London’s transport systems.

Meanwhile, shows of solidarity will be held outside the Peace Gardens in Sheffield by those who cannot travel to the capital.

Sheffield had higher than usual temperatures last summer and autumn as concerns about rising temperatures worldwide continue

The climate emergency is the greatest challenge that humanity faces.

Climate change is not something that will only occur in the distant future. 17 of the 18 warmest years in the 136-year record having occurred since 2001 (https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/).

In 2017, glaciers across the world lost mass for the 38th consecutive year on record. Cumulatively since 1980, this loss is equivalent to slicing 22 meters off the top of the average glacier (Blunden, J., D. S. Arndt, and G. Hartfield , Eds., 2018: State of the Climate in 2017. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 99 (8), Si–S310, doi:10.1175/2018BAMSStateoftheClimate.1. ).

Climate change is damaging both the natural world and people’s lives now and poses an existential threat to our future. It is further predicted that by 2050, 2/3rds of the world population may face water stressed conditions (Gosain et al., 2006).

Extinction Rebellion refuses to accept this future and recognises the government’s inaction on the climate crisis. We are, therefore, forced to choose between extinction and rebellion.

Our members have described why they are making the trip on Monday.

Jemima Perry: “I'm going because I feel I don't have any choice.

“I'm terrified about what the future holds for my daughter and I have a responsibility to do what I can to make the government change course and take serious and immediate action on climate change. Like many parents, when my daughter was born I promised to her that I would always take care of her and protect her, but by standing by and allowing our government to not act on climate change I am breaking that promise, as I know that without immediate and drastic cuts to CO2 emissions all children face a bleak and terrifying future.”

George Hume, aged 19, a physics and astronomy student, at the University of Sheffield, said: "As a young person I feel like it is my personal obligation to go and protest in London during the international week of rebellion.

“I can't stand around and do nothing when the inactivity of governments around the world is going to cause the world to become a desolate wasteland within my lifetime.

“The world is a beautiful place that provides everything for us and needs to be protected for us all to enjoy harmony with nature. I'm participating in this action so that the drastic change required to achieve this can hopefully happen!"

Kiri Smith added: “We've been asking politely for 30 years for our planet to be protected. I can't understand why the whole world isn't now entirely focused on how we fix our lives and economies to honour the planet and life systems that sustain us.

“Without it, there is nothing. There is now no time left to be polite - change has to happen now or it will be too late. I'm not going to stand by and do nothing while the ice caps melt, mass extinctions continue and the planet burns.

“The time for asking for change has passed: it has to happen now.”

Heather Rostron added: “I’m going because it seems like the best chance we have of stopping runaway climate change and ecological disaster. “We don’t know how successful we will be, but we can only try our very best.”