In the midst of COVID-19, it can be hard to find the energy, time and mental capacity to engage with the climate crisis. However, as new research published this week puts the number of future climate refugees at over 1 billion, we are reminded that the environmental crisis hasn’t gone away. And as life under lockdown becomes the new normal, XR Cambridge is gearing up again to take action and bring climate change back onto the agenda.
Last Thursday, members of XR took to the streets to combine their daily exercise with a mission to send a message that there can be No Going Back: no going back to subsidising polluting industries, no going back to unrestrained air travel, no going back to illegal levels of air pollution, no going back to an economy that relies on oppression and unsustainable consumption. It should come as no surprise that the flyposting and chalk spraying of dirty businesses around Cambridge divided opinion on social media - there are always going to be a vocal minority who aren’t ready to face up to the climate crisis, or who find environmental activism challenging! But there was also a lot of support shown for both the message and the strategy, and we wanted to share a small selection of these comments…
There was lots of love for XR Cambridge:
Many people responded to the message chalk sprayed on Land Rover, ‘Let us breathe’, and talked about the need for cleaner air:
People made the connection between COVID-19 and environmental exploitation:
Cambridge News referred to ‘vandalism’, and there was defence of flyposting and chalk spraying as tactics, including comparisons to the suffragette movement:
One brave individual took on the climate deniers:
And some supporters showed a sense of humour to those less convinced about the action:
We are truly living in unprecedented times, but although the difficulties of engaging in nonviolent direct action right now can seem overwhelming, it is important now, more than ever, that we remember the urgency with which we must act. A space is opening up for a conversation about what we want the world to look like after coronavirus, and XR has an opportunity to seize the narrative and push for a safer, fairer, greener future. Contribute in whatever way you can - on the streets (socially distanced!), on the internet, or in conversations with family, friends and colleagues. Let’s keep up the fight, alone but together.