As world "leaders" gathered in Glasgow for more "blah blah blah" while the world burns, hundreds of thousands of people from countries around the world filled the streets this past weekend demanding the climate crisis be recognized and acted on as the existential emergency it is.
As Greta Thunberg pointed out: “Many are starting to ask themselves, what will it take for the people in power to wake up? But let’s be clear, they are already awake. They know exactly what they are doing. They know exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to maintain business as usual. These leaders are not doing nothing, they are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves, and to continue profiting from this destructive system.”
This sense of urgency and desire to act, this sense of responsibility to all inhabitants of our planet, especially the exploited and oppressed in the global South who have borne the greatest burden of the climate emergency, is something to be welcomed and that people in far greater numbers must join and further energize.
The streets were mainly quiet in the U.S., the country most responsible for CO2 emissions. This needs to be challenged and transformed. No one who cares about the planet can stand by as the Earth heats up!
The group Scientist Rebellion blocked the King George V Bridge in Glasgow, one of the main routes to the south side. More than 20 scientists, from students to a retired professor, all wearing lab coats stood chained together by the neck, joined by others. The cops arrested 21 protesters. Tim Hewlett, co-founder of Scientist Rebellion said, “There have been 25 previous COPs [Conference of the Parties] with no measurable impact on GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions. In fact, about half of the GHG emissions have been released since COP1 in 1995.”
(Source: “‘The time for change is now’: demonstrators around the world demand action on climate crisis,” by Libby Brooks, Nina Lakhani, Jonathan Watts, Matthew Taylor, and Weronika Strzyżyńska, November 6, 2021, The Guardian)
Evelyn Acham, a climate activist from Uganda addressed the crowd in Glasgow saying, “We are here to tell the leaders today, in Africa and the global South, the present is already catastrophic for us. Stop investing in any new fossil fuel projects. You need to stop now. If you continue this, we will not be able to achieve the 1.5-degrees target.”
(Source: NPR, Nov. 5, 2021)
Asad Rehman, spokesperson for the COP26 Coalition, a group in the UK that mobilized actions during the summit, said, “Inside that conference of polluters, the climate criminals are hiding behind barbed wire and fences and lines of police. We’re not going to accept their suicide pact.”
(Source: “At COP26, 100,000 march for climate justice,” By Sarah Kaplan, Marisa Bellack, Brady Dennis, Kasha Patel, and Karla Adam, Washington Post, November 6, 2021)
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