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Editor's comment: Climate fight needs all of us to muck in

PUBLISHED: 14:30 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 11 July 2019

Extinction Rebellion are holding a range of events in and around London Fields this weekend. Picture: MADELEINE SAGHIR

Extinction Rebellion are holding a range of events in and around London Fields this weekend. Picture: MADELEINE SAGHIR

Archant

Some of Extinction Rebellion's actions this weekend won't be popular - but all of them have the Hackney Gazette's full support.

One of the tenets of XR's manifesto is that individuals are not to blame for the royal mess leaders and lobbyists have made of our planet's future. "We avoid blaming and shaming," reads its website. "We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame."

Yet the people affected by actions such as periodic road blocks at Dalston Junction will be individuals - specifically those who drive through Hackney, some of whom may have extremely good reasons for doing so (but many of whom won't).

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That's because the most powerful people in the world haven't done right by any of us over the last few decades, and we all need to wake up to that and demand that they do. Not as a one-off, but until it happens.

None of us is individually to blame for the fact we are currently heading towards a catastrophic increase in global temperature, far higher than the one agreed at the Paris talks would be manageable for our ecosystems.

Culturally, we have got into the habit of ignoring the fact our trajectory is for mass extinction, loss of human life and habitats, horrific global poverty and extreme weather because it is so bad as to seem unbelievable - even though scientist after scientist has backed it up.

But while we cannot individually change the priorities of governments and corporations, we have to believe that collectively we can convince them that this is something we will not stop caring about. It's asking too much for our most senior politicians, and the businesses who make eye-watering sums from the way the world now runs, to cancel years of ruthless neoliberalism on a sudden moral whim. But if we make enough of a nuisance of ourselves, if we demonstrate using our spending power and our votes what is important to us, and if we inspire others to do the same, perhaps we have a chance.

As a journalist, I've seen what even a few people can achieve if they put their minds to it. So to anyone who's ever organised a protest or a movement or a rebellion or a school fete - please head down to London Fields this weekend to find out how you can help, and why you should care. I guarantee it's the most important cause you'll ever back.

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