Environment Victoria says this week’s peaceful civil disobedience by Extinction Rebellion is the latest sign of a massive, growing ‘rebellion’ against political inaction on the climate crisis.
“These are ordinary people pushed to do extraordinary things in a moment of crisis,” said Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.
“Politics as usual has failed, and the public is stepping up to raise the alarm. People from all walks of life are involved – builders, doctors, students, public servants and even former police officers have joined Extinction Rebellion overseas.
“Environment Victoria has not been involved in organising these Extinction Rebellion events, but we support their peaceful protesting and the message that we need emergency action right now to solve the climate crisis.”
The ‘rebellion’ is taking place off the back of the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, where world leaders failed to make any decisive commitment to act on the climate emergency.
“In Australia we have just seen the most devastating September for bushfires on record, with experts now warning we are not prepared to fight the fires of the future. We live in the hottest, driest inhabited continent – and one of the most vulnerable countries to hotter temperatures.
“Many of us are now really waking up to the fact that when we talk about future generations at risk, we’re talking about our own children and grandchildren.
“One million species are facing extinction, according to the UN, including many that are vital to human food production. Scientists say half of the Earth’s animals have been lost in the last 50 years. Human activities like mining and deforestation, that have also resulted in skyrocketing climate pollution, are to blame.
“It’s understandable people are taking to the streets and risking arrest. These are desperate times. The Australian Medical Association recently described climate change as a health emergency that is causing sickness, injury and death right now. These impacts will get rapidly worse if we do not act now.
“Tens of thousands of people in more than 60 countries across every continent have said they will join the Extinction Rebellion. Peaceful protests will block roads, bridges and transport links to demand governments act on climate change now.
“People from all walks of life are standing up to demand that governments tell the truth about the severity of the ecological crisis that is upon us. Many feel they have been left no other choice but to disrupt cities to raise the alarm.
“Citizens have always used peaceful civil disobedience when governments fail to act it the interests of the people. Extinction Rebellion is a massive global movement to protect life and governments should heed their call,” said Mr La Nauze.
Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO
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