Sheffield Green Party, Meersbrook, Sheffield
This month has seen the birth of an exciting new movement: Extinction Rebellion.
Their non-violent direct action protests have already led to more than 100 arrests with people willing to risk prison in order to raise the alarm about the fatal damage we are doing to the living world.
The International Panel on Climate Change say we have just 12 years to substantially reduce our carbon emissions to stay within the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit beyond which catastrophic climate breakdown will occur. Governments have ignored our petitions, letters and protests and carry on failing to act as emissions continue to rise. So now it is time to rebel; to force those in power to start thinking about the future of our planet.
As I write, wildfires continue to burn in California with over 1000 people unaccounted for. This is small when you realise 210 million people have been displaced by climate related catastrophes since 2008. This month floods have killed people in the Persian Gulf, Kuwait, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, North Georgia, Atlanta and Thailand. Climate change is not a distant threat, it is here now and it is rapidly worsening. Soon we could hit tipping points which will dramatically and irreversibly change our climate, moving it towards a hothouse earth where survival will be impossible.
We are in the midst of the sixth major extinction, with 200 species becoming extinct each day. We are destroying our soils, the very material essential for us to grow our food. Arctic ice has shrunk by two thirds since 1980. We cannot stand by and let this continue.
Our Government has wilfully failed in its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come. It has failed in this most essential duty of stewardship. The social contract has been broken and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass Government inaction and dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.
Sheffield Green Party fully supports the aims of Extinction Rebellion and will be encouraging our members to get involved. We call on Sheffield City Council to follow Bristol City Council in declaring a Climate Emergency and aim to become carbon neutral by 2030.