"I come from Sweden, and back there it's almost the same problem as here. As everywhere. That nothing is being done to stop the climate and ecological crisis," said Greta Thunberg at an Extinction Rebellion protest in London on Earth Day. Rumored to be on the shortlist for the next Nobel Peace Prize, Thunberg, along with European youth activists who went on strike, and the London-based Extinction Rebellion have repeatedly drawn large crowds to protest the apparent fact of nothing effective being done to truly stop catastrophe. And it is this work that we consider in the July Green Series at BPL.
Climate experts say we have ten years to stop catastrophic climate change. But even the most ambitious plans set forth by world leaders fall short of what's needed to maintain human and animal survival on earth. Given the stalemate, many activists believe that politicians won't act on their own. What's needed, they argue, is a massive, global movement that can push climate policy farther, faster. Enter Extinction Rebellion, a nonviolent, worldwide movement using the time-honored tactic of direct action to fight for survival with the time we have left. Part of Extinction Rebellion's New York City movement, activist Ashley Sanders offers a snapshot into the crisis and discusses how all of us can escalate the fight for a just, liveable future for all.
Ash Sanders is a writer/ radio producer living in New York City. She writes primarily about climate grief and the psychological impacts of ecological destruction, and has pieces published or forthcoming in Rolling Stone, NPR, Buzzfeed, Stitcher, Narratively and The Believer. Ash is an organizer with Extinction Rebellion, and presents regularly on the ways we can all mobilize to stop climate catastrophe. She's currently part of the Legislative group, which is pushing New York City and State to pass climate emergency declarations and commit to zero net emissions by 2025.
The BPL Green Series is made possible with generous support from Whole Foods Market.