PHOTO BY KATELYN THOMSON / SPUTNIK CONTRIBUTOR
In December Premier Doug Ford was left a steaming pile of dung hand-delivered by climate activists known as the Extinction Rebellion.
The activists emptied an entire truckload of manure on the driveway in front of the Premier’s office in Etobicoke, with a sign next to the pile of dung hung a sign that read “Extinction Rebellion. Don’t panic… it’s organic.”
Shortly after, another sign was pitched in the manure that read, “Ford’s Climate Plan is Bull****.”
In the past, the Extinction Rebellion has also been responsible for shutting down busy bridges across Canada, for several hours at a time, in order to bring further awareness to our current crisis. Around the globe, they have been pulling similar stunts in the United Kingdom where they’ve originated, and the United States.
The Extinction Rebellion began as an activism organization against climate change in the United Kingdom, utilizing arrest as a tactic to spur government action. They have since grown rapidly into an international organization.
They believe in nonviolent civil disobedience similar to the tactics employed by the American civil rights movement of the 1950s. These protestors are not afraid to be arrested for their cause and in fact, many of them even find pride in it because they believe our circumstances require drastic action.
The organization is aimed to press governments who are making unacceptable progression towards addressing ongoing climate change. The activists do not believe that we, the people, should politely await our inevitable destruction at the hands of governments who are supposed to be looking out for our best interests.
In October of 2019, news broke that more than 300 scientists from across 20 different countries had endorsed non-violent civil disobedience in order to mitigate the effects of inaction worldwide. Emily Grossman, a scientist with a Ph.D. in molecular biology spoke in London, England, as the voice for all signatories stating.
“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and nonviolent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law … we therefore support those who are rising up peacefully against governments around the world that are failing to act proportionately to the scale of the crisis” she said.
As humanity teeters on the brink of ecological disaster and countries like Australia literally burn up before our eyes, it is becoming painfully visible that without global unity and decisive action from government officials, we are bound to destroy our habitats.
One may agree or disagree with the methods that the Extinction Rebellion is using to relay their messages to the world, but can we blame them for trying? I, for one, can not. I care about the quality of life that my daughter will have when she becomes an adult in 17 years and the lives of my eventual Grandchildren.
What kind of a world are we offering to the next generation of humanity, and what other personal goal is worth fighting for if we allow our planet to be destroyed?
The United Nations released a report in October of 2017 named “Climate Change and Social Inequality,” detailing how the coming climate crisis will further fuel an unequal divide across the globe.
The poorest and most vulnerable people of the world will be affected disproportionately by this impending disaster in comparison to the world’s most wealthy. The world’s most wealthy individuals are often the ones influencing legislation and the response to our coming crisis.
Many of our democracies are beginning to look more and more like aristocracies which favour the wealthy and shun the poor. After all, protecting the poor is not immediately profitable in our capitalist societies first and foremost.
I, for one, fully support the Extinction Rebellion and their cause alongside the likes of Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old climate change activist from Sweden. This obstacle may be one of the greatest challenges that humanity will face in our lifetimes and if left unaddressed, holds the dearest consequences.
It is time to stop taking our government’s indifference so politely. It is time to begin taking action for our futures rather than merely hoping for the best.