Gail Bradbrook, Simon Bramwell and Roger Hallam are co-founders of Extinction Rebellion, which started as Compassionate Revolution with George Barda in 2015, which became Rising Up! and then to Extinction Rebellion.
Gail Bradbrook and Roger Hallam speak in separate interviews
"Completely Change Course"
"This is not the time to be realistic, this is the time for humanity to completely change course," said Dr Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of the organisation. According to a BBC article posted in April 2019, this includes "severe" restrictions on flying, for example. "[t]he key elements of their plan to get the UK to net zero [emissions] will be set by a Citizens Assembly, composed of people representatively selected from across Britain." The unelected "Citizen's Assembly", it is argued in the BBC article, worked in Ireland to impose abortion on the country and can be used to impose tough restrictions on people in the United Kingdom. "Let's have people decide what matters most to them, is it the health and safety and the ability to feed their own kids or does it matter to them that they carry on having holidays and meat?"
Severely Restrict Everyone
From the BBC in April 2019:
- "Extinction Rebellion's attempts to clog the heart of London and other cities across the UK have undoubtedly driven the issue of climate change up the news agenda.
- "But amid the die-ins - where protestors pretend to be dead - bridge swarmings and arrests, there hasn't been too much consideration of the group's actual plans to tackle rising temperatures.
- "As a solution to the "climate breakdown and ecological collapse that threaten our existence", Extinction Rebellion is proposing three key steps.
- "The government must, in their words, "tell the truth" about the scale of the crisis the world now faces.
- "Secondly, the UK must enact legally binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.
- "The third step is the formation of a Citizens' Assembly to "oversee the changes" that will be needed to achieve this goal.
Is zero emissions by 2025 realistic?
- "Getting to net zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2025 would be an extremely difficult target, given that, right now, the government is mulling a plan to commit to net zero by 2050.
- "Consider the changes that would be needed to get to net zero in just six years.
- "Gas boilers across the UK would have to be replaced with electricity, and you'd need to massively ramp up renewable energy, on a scale not yet seen, to meet this extra demand.
- "Researchers at Zero Carbon Britain suggested that if the UK wanted to get to net zero by 2030, Britain would need to get about 130 gigawatts of electricity from wind, meaning around 13,000 extra wind turbines off shore. This would take up an area twice the size of Wales. The UK would also need about 7 gigwatts of onshore wind, meaning another 3,500 turbines.
- "There would also have to be significant dietary changes, with people cutting back on meat and dairy.
- "Flying would have to be restricted. Severely.
- ""The numbers don't stack up. We can't do this, we have to be honest with ourselves."
- "What would need to change to get to zero in six years?
- "Achieving net zero five years earlier than the Zero Carbon Britain plan would be an unprecedented challenge, akin to a wartime situation. It would not be impossible but it would depend on a fierce political commitment.
- "We tend to forget what can be achieved in really compressed periods of time when the whole of industry and the whole of government put their minds to it.
- "It's like the speed with which we responded to the financial crisis in 2008.
- ""If we treated the wellbeing of the biosphere with the same integrity and seriousness with which we treated the integrity of the banking system you would rapidly see the alignment of resources and planning that would achieve these kind of goals."
- "Those involved with Extinction Rebellion say that the nature of the climate crisis is such that even large-scale carbon cutting plans just won't be enough.
- "This is not the time to be realistic, this is the time for humanity to completely change course," said Dr Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of the organisation.
- "This is not about fiddling around the edges, and adding a few solar panels to a few roofs; we have left it so late that we have to step up in a semi-miraculous way to deal with this situation."
- "Who is going to make the tough decisions on emissions cuts?
- "Extinction Rebellion says that the key elements of their plan to get the UK to net zero will be set by a Citizens Assembly, composed of people representatively selected from across Britain.
- "Let's have people decide what matters most to them, is it the health and safety and the ability to feed their own kids or does it matter to them that they carry on having holidays and meat?"
- "We need Joe the bus driver and Frances the hairdresser to get their heads around it," said Dr Bradbrook.
- "Supporters of this approach point to Ireland as a country that has embraced the Citizens Assembly idea to tackle difficult societal questions.
- "The Assembly considered the question of Ireland's restrictions on abortion and suggested that a referendum be held to remove the ban. The significant majority that supported repeal indicated that Assembly was an accurate barometer of public opinion.
- "On climate change, Ireland's Assembly has also been an advocate of strong action, with big majorities favouring higher taxes on carbon-intensive activities among a number of recommendations.
- "This in turn gave real political impetus to the establishment of a parliamentary committee on climate action.
- "This led this committee to issue what is the strongest cross-party political statement of intent on climate action," said John Gibbons, an Irish environmental writer and commentator.
- ""It certainly has its weaknesses, but Ireland is, in the Taoiseach's own words, an international laggard on tackling climate change, so this report is a good deal better than expected."
- "Mr Gibbons points out that despite the actions of the Citizens Assembly and politicians, the country is way off target when it comes to cutting carbon.
- "Huge compliance penalties are due to kick in post-2020, making ongoing inaction expensive as well as embarrassing for Ireland," he says.
- "Is there political momentum behind drastic cuts?
- "The government has to uphold UK law on climate change, that mandates a series of emissions cuts over time.
- "Extinction Rebellion believes that many politicians want to go much further. They say that political forces are happy to see their protestors on the streets, disrupting traffic and transport.
- "It believes the group is creating the space for a joined-up approach among politicians that has been absent until now.
- ""We've just got to get away from these left-right political fights - this is beyond that. I want to see people sitting in a room and bringing the solutions and being real together and saying how do we get out of this?" said Gail Bradbrook.
The Extinction Rebellion says on their website that "Citizens’ assemblies are often used to address issues that are deemed too controversial and difficult for politicians to deal with successfully by themselves."
Boston Socialist Day School 2019
Join us for a one-day school on some of the key issues facing the left today.
Climate Change and Capitalism Daniel Faber (author: “Capitalizing on Environmental Injustice: The Polluter-Industrial Complex in the Age of Globalization”), Prem Shankar, Rafael Ubal (Extinction Rebellion).
- Simon Bramwell taken away in a police van after supergluing himself to Shell HQ
- Cambridge graduate Tasmin Osmond, 35, is granddaughter of Sir Thomas Lees
- George Barda, 43, blames the 'Criminal UK Government' for climate change
Some of the members of Extinction Rebellion were mentioned in an article published on July 15 2019:
- Rachel Cracknell Rachel, 38, lives in Easton. She has joined the protest with her three-month-old daughter, Betony.
- “It’s such an important moment. We really want to act now to ensure the planet is able to provide for our children.”
- Josiah Finegan, 22-year-old illustration student at UWE Bristol
- “There’s going to be a lot of suffering if we don’t sort ourselves out. I’m scared. I’m scared for my family: they might not live a full life due to our actions. I think now is the time for massive action.”
- Sue Kilroe, 75, 75-year-old Sue lives in Stokes Croft. She is part of Extinction Rebellion’s rebel elders group.
- “We’re a group of elders who have decided to create an art action to draw attention to the fact that there are older people in the movement. We want a voice and we do have a voice. We want to make our voice heard. We want people to pay attention to what the oceans and land is telling us. Scientists are the voice of the oceans and earth, and they are telling us that we have to stop. We have to stop pumping carbon into the atmosphere.”
- Henry Shaw Henry, 20, is from the Cotswolds. He’s just got back from travelling and is now looking for a job.
- “I was away during the last series of protests and I feel the need to get involved and show my support in any way I can. Numbers is what we need. The more people coming to help over the next five days, the better it will be.”
- Milly: “We’re in the Bristol youth strike group and in ER youth. We really support it.”
- Heulwen: “It’s so scary! Seeing the effects of climate change in other parts of the world, and knowing that our everyday lives are impacting on that further. People aren’t doing anything. And they know we don’t have time.”
- Sue Western, Sue, 60 works as a script editor for natural history programmes
- “I’m here because governments have to act faster to address the climate emergency. The theme of this uprising is the ocean. Sea levels will rise by two metres on the current trajectory, and if that happens, we’d have water at our feet where we’re standing now. Governments have to lead the way in making changes. Some may be tough, but in the end, they’ll be good for everybody.”
- Helen Jackson Brown, 50 and Marcus Appelt, 46 Helen, 50, is a social worker and Marcus, 46, a freelance photographer. The pair are friends and their children are in the same class at school.
- Helen: “We’re here for the youth. The way we’re currently living our lives is not sustainable. We’ve created a climate catastrophe and we need to take action to resolve it. There’s no use sitting at home worrying or complaining. I think we have to use our democratic right to get on the streets and protest; to inform other people and those in positions of power about what needs to happen.”
- Marcus: “Time is really running out.”
- Murray Chackleford Murray, 53 lives in Frome. He works as a social worker but today he has the day off.
- “We’re living in a climate emergency. We want the government to tell the truth about the current situation. Bees are dying, months are dying – water is being poisoned and overused. And we are continuing to extract resources from the world that we can’t afford. ER is in solidarity with all communities that are currently under threat. There are counties in the world that are currently disappearing.”
- Christopher Henley Christopher, 41, works in events. His office overlooks the protests.
- “I think it’s great. I’ve heard people are moaning about traffic and disruption, but I think that for people to change, people like these guys have to disrupt them I think education is required and they’re going about it in the right way.”
- Emily Bearman, 22 The 22-year-old NHS administrator has travelled from Swindon to take part in today’s uprising with a homemade embroidered banner
- “It’s our closest one. There’s five different meetups across the country and there’s a group of us who are camping here – which is nice! We want to spread some awareness. I think social media can really help us find more people that are interested. I learned of ER through Facebook when they did the protests at London Bridge, so for me, it’s quite helpful.”
- Iona Scobie, 18 and Tom Hill, 19 Iona, 18, and Tom, 19, are from Plymouth. Tom has just completed his first year at Oxford University studying earth sciences while Iona is preparing to begin study at Sussex University in September.
- Iona: “We wanted to get involved and find out more. I think it’s good: I like how inclusive it’s feels. There’s lots of families around. We know this is our future. All the evidence is saying that it’s going to be a massive issue.”
- Tom: “I feel like we’re both really scared.”
- Tanguy Tomes, 23 Tanguy, 23, works as a policy researcher in an environmental consultancy. He has taken annual leave to take part in today’s protest.
- “I’m here because I feel like I don’t have a choice. We’re in a pretty dire situation and I feel like this is the only way we can make a difference.”
- Activist Greta Thunberg records song on climate change with The 1975 accessed Sept 23 2019
- accessed Sept 23 2019
- Extinction Rebellion: What do they want and is it realistic? accessed Sept 23 2019
- Extinction Rebellion: What do they want and is it realistic? accessed Sept 23 2019
- Demands accessed Sept 23 2019
- MEET SOME OF THE EXTINCTION REBELLION BRISTOL REBELS accessed Sept 25 2019