In order for the global climate justice movement to be successful, leadership must come from those who have been most acutely affected by climate change.
The body politic was sick long before the virus arrived, already at risk of collapse under the weight of its elite hierarchies. When its fever breaks, we must learn the right lessons about how to overcome the underlying issues that threaten its very existence.
The initiative of the Movement for Black Lives needs to be picked up by others. The vision can be enlarged to advance key goals of each of the progressive movements operating today.
Because beyond whether we achieve everything in the vision for a Green New Deal or not, it is inspiring that young people do not view climate change as a pass/fail test. For them, failure is not an option. Instead, the question is: how transformative will our success be?
Extinction Rebellion was once criticised by other activists for “love bombing the cops”, but now it has found itself labelled a terror threat. In a guide sent to teachers by counter-terrorism police, the non-violent group’s logo and activities were described to help them spot students who may be involved.
One of the protesters called out to the crowd gathered on Waterloo Bridge, “If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done during the Second World War, this is your answer.” Fighting evil in the 1940s was not a peaceful, niche enterprise. Doing so today must not be either.
I’m not going to fail as a parent. I’m already listening to the school strikers, many just a few years older than Rosena. I’m going to heed their leadership. I plan to join them, to learn and listen, to do my best to share my still unarticulatable fears and, with my children, to face this future together.
Many residents of government-subsidized housing have already become climate migrants, in New Orleans, Miami, Houston, and Puerto Rico.
Okay, folks, the people at the IPCC tell us that the world has twelve years to cut carbon emissions in half. Sounds like you and I need a plan. So, here’s a Climate Warrior’s Calendar.
That’s the point of the Extinction Rebellion. To make us all stop and think – to ask the simple question: Am I really paying attention? To what I know, to what we all now know?
Maybe there’s seemed to be a disconnect between the message we’ve been bringing – that this society is knowingly causing the harshest catastrophe in history – and the actions we’ve been taking? Maybe if the wider public see that hundreds feel the need to go to jail over this, they might start to seriously ask why? With these stakes, it’s worth a shot.
What Rich left out is that the mainstream environmental movement – the ecosystem of big green organizations and funders – consistently excluded and failed to provide resources to organizations representing those most vulnerable to climate change: communities of color and low-income communities.