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Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)

15 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    XR is going to have to be very careful about things like the Shadwell protest yesterday.

    Disrupting a public transport service (and an electric train to boot) doesn't actually make any sense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah. It might not be a religion or a cult but its members share the characteristic of believing that they know best and that they have an obligation impose that certainty on everyone else, with or without their consent.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I have a mixed response to XR.

    They are absolutely right that climate change is an urgent problem and I feel and can empathize with their frustration that our (corrupt?) political systems and the politicians themselves are doing nothing to address the biggest and worst contributors to climate change.

    They are certain AND they are right that something has to change before more people are harmed.

    But it isn't an approach I would take and I can see that to some extent their actions can make it harder for some politicians to change.

    Stopping public transport is unbelievably stupid but dissent and disruptive dissent is called for now because our political system has failed.

    XR isn't the route I'd choose or recommend but perhaps it is the only way to change our political path.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Someone got on top of a plane at Heathrow

    Several British news sources named the guy as "James Brown", and gleefully commented on how he was being asked to "get down".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Sue Boyde, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If I had been there, I would have been one of the 75% of polled XR members who disapproved of that action. But XR's structure gives autonomy to any affinity group that wants to do an action. The strength is flexibility and fast response - the downside is occasional stuff-ups. But note that XR is not there to encourage people to use public transport. Its aim is use disruption to force the government to accept the direction of a Citizen's assembly, or failing cooperation to depose it. "This is an emergency".

    Paraparaumu • Since Oct 2019 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sue Boyde, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Nick, XR aims to tell the truth - and that's the science on climate change. And then act as if the truth is real. That's not the same as "believing that they know best." Maybe, "believing that the climate science community knows best."

    Paraparaumu • Since Oct 2019 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Sue Boyde,

    Sue - so what? Every activist always says they are only interested in the truth. It's hardly a defining characteristic But you can tell the truth without stopping trains or preventing people from getting to work. It's almost as if XR is more interested in the disruption than the truth of its message.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Stopping public transport is unbelievably stupid

    Really? Political leaders all over the world are publicly commiting to wipe out 9-10 billion people and delaying a train is the thing that strikes you as stupid?

    Admittedly I disagree with XR about the idea that simply telling the truth will make a difference, that’s an idea that has been thoroughly discredited. Again, we have people like Jacinda Ardern taking to the world stage to declare that climate change is a huge problem and she intends to make it worse. Sure, there are people who deny that it’s a problem (or that it exists at all), but they are only incidental targets for XR as I understand it. The primary target is people like the kiwi PM who say “I accept the reality of climate change, and the need for urgent action, but I absolutely refuse to take meaningful action or even be specific about what that action might be”.

    It might be more obvious where I am in Australia, where 90% of the voters are resolutely commited to business as usual and the government is busy criminalising dissent. But in Aotearoa the number is only slightly better, Labour has a significant core of deny, delay and deflect members and voters (as well as all the voters to the brown of Labour). *they* are the target.

    It’s all those commuters on said trains going “oh, maybe we should avoid catastrophe later, but not if it’s inconvenient now”, all the media commentators saying “30 years of going through the proper channels and asking nicely has got us into this mess, but we’re sure that if you keep doing that we’ll get out if it again”, all the other people saying “I accept the science but I have other things to do than worry about my future, or my children’s future”.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    My take is more: this is an emergency, we need to do everything that might work. So my criteria for actions that I support is “will this be catastrophic? Has it been proven so?” and if not then I think it’s better than the current path. Because the current path will be catastrophic, that has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Mere inconvenience pales into insignificance next to the high probability of dying as a climate refugee.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Moz,

    (as well as all the voters to the brown of Labour)

    You may need to clarify that you're not talking about race there.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    Ah, I was confused too.
    So, we’re using blue-red and green-brown political spectra now?
    (And does that mean parties using a black logo, e.g. NZF, are signalling scorched-earth policies?)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    An interesting reminder of how things can look different from the West Island :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to linger,

    we’re using blue-red and green-brown political spectra now?

    IMO the green-brown one is the only relevant one to use. (More) mass deaths or not, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to take arms against a sea of trouble and all that.

    Observation suggests that the black logo signifies scorched-earth or perhaps merely nihilism.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    How would you label the spectrum that's not obviously biased, other than green-brown?

    survival-suicide is the obvious alternative, but the hard browns have already defined those terms as referring only to economics. Most of the rest have similar definitional issues and I'm struggling to come up with other anyonyms for green, or synonyms for that matter. "anti climate change - pro climate change"is just clumsy and also confuses people who think "pro climate change" means wanting to minimise the scale of the catastrophe..

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Yeah, not easy to symbolise opposition to green with a colour, because everything comes pre-loaded with multiple associations.
    Purple? has the advantage of blending the red-blue scale, plus signaling the imperialist end of capitalism … but also has some more socially progressive uses.
    Yellow? for foot-dragging cowardice and piss-poor engagement with science … but has a potentially racist reading in the same way as brown or black.
    Blue? for what they did to chances of sustainability … but then again, blue planet, water purity, low temperature.
    Orange, for orange you getting tired of this list?
    … Puce! Puce sounds about right. Say it repeatedly. See?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

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