UPDATE – For a Valley Perspective on the Day, see ‘Train wreck coming’ – Activists push for more media coverage, more action on climate change
Lawrence Powell for the Cape Breton Post, Apr 16, 2019
Close to 100 participants, including a large contingent that came in by chartered bus from the Annapolis Valley, joined the Extinction Rebellion (XR) events today in Halifax. Similar events were being staged worldwide.
The XR Nova Scotia group went first to the Chronicle Herald on Joseph Howe Drive and then to CBC on Chebucto Road to demand that they “start reporting on the climate crisis and hold government to account”. XR reps were able to meet with media execs or reps at both locations.
Then they tromped across the peninsula in heavy rain to Nova Scotia Power/Emera on Lower Water Street/Terminal Road to demand that they “stop burning coal and forest for electricity”. I joined a very wet but upbeat group of protesters at the NSP/Emera location. (Emera is the parent company of NSP, both Nova Scotia based.)
After an hour or so gathered on the steps of Emera on Terminal Road and calling on Emera to meet with them, talking about XR and a little rap and song, several senior NSP executives agreed to meet with representatives of XR-Nova Scotia. To paraphrase the brief report given by Eleanor X, as she emerged:
Ira and I spoke with 3 female executives of NSP, one Judith Ferguson, other names I didn’t catch. We are going to follow up with them.
They don’t quite understand what’s going on with clearcutting in the forest the forest.. they thought they were only using wood wastes.
They do seem to realize that biomass is only 22% efficient (“at best” many chimed in) but don’t seem to realize that is a failing grade.
I have asked them to create a report to let us know about all of things they are doing to get off of of fossil fuels and to transition to green energy and that way we will have a chance to share all of that with you, and to let them know whether that is good enough or whether we need them to do more…I have given them the names of people we would like them to talk to, experts on biomass who can explain to them why biomass should not be on the renewables list.
Ira, by the way, is 14 years old. View Ira is worried about his future
I was impressed with the “determined optimism” of the participants, and their respect for all. There was a constant, pleasant, even cheerful back and forth between protesters and police (there were at least 4 squad cars present and a half dozen or more police officers). Those that got arrested (4 people) pretty well volunteered for the arrests e.g., by deliberate jay-walking after being told that if they persisted they would be arrested.
I was also impressed and thankful that XR-Nova Scotia got through to the senior NSP execs, and that there will be follow-up. That is progress, and you can be sure XR won’t stop there.
The Three Demands of Extinction Rebellion
01 Tell the truth
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
02 Act Now
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
03 Beyond Politics
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
From XR Nova Scotia
In Nova Scotia, in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people, the government continues to approve massive CLEAR-CUTS and whole-tree harvesting, that scrape the soil barren leaving it ripe for erosion. Our forests are burned in the biomass plants, creating energy that is only 22% efficient, emitting more carbon into the atmosphere than dirty coal. Northern Pulp has been polluting Boat Harbour for 50 years, and now wants to pipe toxic waste into fisheries’ water in the Northumberland Strait. Newly approved offshore oil projects threaten tourism $ and fisheries. All of these heavily polluting industries have been generously subsidized and supported by the government with our tax dollars. We are still burning COAL in Nova Scotia.
Letters, reviews, reports and petitions have been sent for years. They’re not listening.
We have now entered a CLIMATE EMERGENCY. We have run out of time. We need rapid action to change this broken system. There ARE solutions. The government just needs to support them.
It’s time to join the Extinction Rebellion.
XR is gaining exciting momentum world-wide. It began in the UK, and has already been all over the news. People are mobilizing in over 35 countries, and we have endorsements from notable academics, authors and politicians around the world. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/09/act-now-to-prevent-an-environmental-catastrophe
Extinction Rebellion welcomes all people and regional activist groups to collaborate with XR, as long as you agree with our principles and values–you can find them here: https://rebellion.earth/who-we-are/ Together we will amplify our voices.
Extinction Rebellion is a socio-political movement intending to utilise nonviolent resistance in order to avert climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss, and minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse. A central XR principle is the use of Peaceful non-violent direct action and Civil Disobedience – methods which have been proven effective in forcing governments to take notice and institute changes; think Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, The Suffragettes.
More on XR locally, globally
– Extinction Rebellion Protesters Kick Off a Week of Global Climate Action by Shutting Down London
Brian Kahn on earther.gizmodo.com Apr 15, 2019
– Extinction Rebellion: we must take urgent action on climate change
Jennifer Henderson in the Halifax Examiner. April 12, 2019
– Protesters call on media, Nova Scotia Power to launch full-scale attack on climate change
Chronicle Herald “Contributed” Apr 15, 2019
– Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia (Facebook page)
– Extinction Rebellion United Kingdom, the founding organization
– Extinction Rebellion in Wikipedia provides a detailed history of this movement (not yet one year old)
Just in (Apr 16, 2019):
Nova Scotia seeking firms to explore possibility of digging out remaining coal
By Michael Tutton, THE CANADIAN PRESS on CTV News, Apr 16, 2019. “Nova Scotia’s Liberal government wants to retrieve coal from old mines, even as its federal counterpart aims for the phasing out of coal-fired electricity…JoAnn Alberstat, spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Mines, said in an email that Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions are already close to a third below 2005 levels.”Our approach to phasing out coal reflects the emission reductions we have already achieved, while keeping electricity rates affordable,” she wrote.
XR too radical or too late? Consider:
New climate models predict a warming surge
By Paul Voosen, Apr. 16, 2019 in Science
“For nearly 40 years, the massive computer models used to simulate global climate have delivered a fairly consistent picture of how fast human carbon emissions might warm the world. But a host of global climate models developed for the United Nations’s next major assessment of global warming, due in 2021, are now showing a puzzling but undeniable trend. They are running hotter than they have in the past. Soon the world could be, too.”
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