Most environmental activists want you to stop using plastic straws and limit greenhouse gasses.
They also want politicians to commit to a plan that acknowledges and deals with climate change.
Then there’s the Extinction Rebellion. They want you to accept defeat and abandon all hope, because we’ve come too far and we’re all going to die.
According to the Mail & Guardian, the fledgeling movement’s growing ranks, already spread across a few countries, believe that humans are doomed to terrible suffering.
A clear-eyed reading of science, they say, reveals that our appetites and ecological footprint have tipped Earth into a rare period of mass extinction from which humans are not exempt.
They see claims to the contrary as tantamount to climate denial.
“It is really about waking people up to the fact that this is an emergency situation,” said Sara Arnold, a 32-year designer and entrepreneur who has helped to lead campaigns in Britain, including one Sunday disrupting traffic around London Fashion Week.
They basically want us to accept that we’re doomed and start the grieving process. That said, part of the grieving process also involves taking action to change things.
It’s confusing that way.
Getting real, in other words, about the impact of deadly heatwaves, flooding and super storms made worse by rising seas also means not overestimating humanity’s ability to confront and stem the tide.
…“Our first demand to government is that they tell the truth about the ecological emergency we’re facing,” said Liam Geary Baulch, one of the Extinction Rebellion activists who — in their first public action last October — lay down in rush-hour traffic outside Parliament and glued themselves to the entrance of government offices.
The movement’s origins lie primarily in impatience. People are tired of waiting for governments to come up with solutions.
Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to young people to give them hope’,” Thunberg said at the Davos power gathering.
“But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.”
For the Extinction Rebellion, that means allowing oneself to be emotionally overwhelmed by the bleak tidings from science, the second key difference.
…“We need to grieve about the lives that have already been lost due to climate change, human or otherwise,” said Baulch.
“Grieving” is the gateway to the “XR” worldview, and once that psychological threshold is crossed there’s no turning back.
Whatever your thoughts, I think we can all agree that there are days when giving up really does seem like the most enticing option.
At least the Extinction Rebellion make some interesting points, and are trying to do something about the state of this planet.
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