After starting in the United Kingdom just months ago with a mere 10 members dedicated to pressuring their elected officials to urgently confront the climate crisis, the Extinction Rebellion has quickly ballooned into a global movement spanning an estimated 35 countries—a testament to the growing disaffection with the deadly climate status quo and hunger for transformative change among the world's population.
"In the two months since our first action, we have expanded more than we imagined," Liam Geary Baulch, a U.K.-based Extinction Rebellion activist, told The Guardian. "We are now planning to change our structure so it can accommodate up to two million people."
In a sign of the movement's rapid spread beyond the streets of London, Extinction Rebellion banners have been seen over the past several days at rallies in Katowice, Poland, the site of the ongoing COP24 climate conference. According to the movement's principal organizers, the goal is to build up to a massive international day of action next April.
We are at the #COP24 climate talks, building global alliances in preparation for International #Rebellionweek - a global uprising that will begin 15th April 2019 We were so grateful to be invited to speak from the platform at the Climate March yesterday. #ExtinctionRebellion pic.twitter.com/Qxvk5OlZqV
— Extinction Rebellion (@ExtinctionR) December 9, 2018
Further evidence of the movement's growing size and reach came in the form of an open letter signed by journalist Naomi Klein, academic and renowned dissident Noam Chomsky, and around 100 other prominent international progressives calling on "concerned global citizens to rise up" and join the Extinction Rebellion.
"We must collectively do whatever's necessary non-violently, to persuade politicians and business leaders to relinquish their complacency and denial," reads the letter, which appeared in major newspapers across the globe. "Their 'business as usual' is no longer an option. Global citizens will no longer put up with this failure of our planetary duty."
Read the full letter:
Climate Emergency: An Open Letter to Concerned Global Citizens
In our complex, interdependent global ecosystem, life is dying, with species extinction accelerating. The climate crisis is worsening much faster than previously predicted. Every single day 200 species are becoming extinct. This desperate situation can’t continue.
Political leaders worldwide are failing to address the environmental crisis. If global corporate capitalism continues to drive the international economy, global catastrophe is inevitable.
Complacency and inaction in Britain, the USA, Australia, Brazil, across Africa and Asia all illustrate diverse manifestations of political paralysis, abdicating humankind’s grave responsibility for planetary stewardship.
International political organizations and national governments must foreground the climate-emergency issue immediately, urgently drawing up comprehensive policies to address it. Conventionally privileged nations must voluntarily fund comprehensive environment-protection policies in impoverished nations, to compensate the latter for foregoing unsustainable economic growth, and paying recompense for the planet-plundering imperialism of materially privileged nations.
With extreme weather already hitting food production, we demand that governments act now to avoid any risk of hunger, with emergency investment in agro-ecological extreme-weather-resistant food production. We also call for an urgent summit on saving the Arctic icecap, to slow weather disruption of our harvests.
We further call on concerned global citizens to rise up and organize against current complacency in their particular contexts, including indigenous people's rights advocacy, decolonization and reparatory justice – so joining the global movement that's now rebelling against extinction (e.g. 'Extinction Rebellion' in the UK).
We must collectively do whatever's necessary non-violently, to persuade politicians and business leaders to relinquish their complacency and denial. Their "business as usual" is no longer an option. Global citizens will no longer put up with this failure of our planetary duty.
Every one of us, especially in the materially privileged world, must commit to accepting the need to live more lightly, consume far less, and to not only uphold human rights but also our stewardship responsibilities to the planet.
Dr Vandana Shiva Delhi, India
Naomi Klein Author
Noam Chomsky Laureate professor, University of Arizona, Institute Professor (emeritus) MIT, USA
Prof AC Grayling Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, UK
Philip Pullman UK
Dr Rowan Williams UK
Bill McKibben Founder, 350.org, Brooklyn, New York, US
Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Lakota Nation), New York, NY, US
Esther Stanford-Xosei Convenor-General, Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), London, UK
Sir Jonathan Porritt Signing in a personal capacity, UK
Dr Alison Green Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Arden University, National Director (UK) http://www.scientistswarning.org/, UK
Lily Cole Model, entrepreneur and patron for the Environmental justice foundation
Chris Packham English naturalist and TV presenter, UK
Dr Susie Orbach Consultant psychoanalyst, The Balint Consultancy, UK
Prof Joy Carter CBE Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester, UK
Prof Jayati Ghosh Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Others by Nation
Ms Da Abla Co-deputy general secretary, All-Afrikan Networking Community Link for International Development (AANCLID), London, UK
Ms Demoui Akouba Doue Joint general secretary, All-Afrikan Students Union Link in Europe (AASULE), Plymouth, UK
Jem Bendell Professor of sustainability leadership, University of Cumbria, UK
Dr Adotey Bing-Pappoe Joint convenor, African Cooperative Forum (ACF), London, UK
Liz Bondi Professor of social geography, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Simon Boxley Centre for Climate Change Education & Communication, University of Winchester. UK
Dr Onel Brooks Senior lecturer in psychotherapy, counselling and counselling psychology, UK
Dr Philip Byrne chartered clinical psychologist, Cheshire, UK
Professor Molly Scott Cato MEP UK
Paul Chatterton Professor of urban futures, University of Leeds, UK
Kooj Chuhan Director, Virtual Migrants, Manchester, UK
Danny Dorling Halford Mackinder professor of geography, University of Oxford, UK
Dr David Drew MP (Labour) Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, UK
Jonathan Gosling Emeritus professor of leadership studies, University of Exeter, UK
Ms Athea Gordon-Davidson Co-chair, Brixtonics@Brixton, London, UK
David Graeber Professor of anthropology, London School of Economics, UK
Fe Haslam Secretariat facilitator, CAFA Archival Resources Action Team (CARAT), London, UK
Richard House Ph.D. (Env.Sci.), Chartered psychologist, Stroud, UK
David Humphreys Professor of environmental policy, Open University, UK
Professor Gus John Partner, All Africa Advisors LLP & Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Boucka Koffi Co-deputy coordinator, Global Justice Forum (GJF), Sheffield, UK
Karin Lesnik-Oberstein Professor of critical theory, University of Reading, UK
Del Loewenthal Emeritus professor in psychotherapy, University of Roehampton, UK
Caroline Lucas MP (Green), UK
Kofi Mawuli Klu Co-vice-chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), London,UK
Tony McSherry Ph.D. (Psychology), Psychotherapist, UK
Simon Murray Poet and graphic artist, Leeds, UK
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Professor Dany Nobus Brunel University, London, UK
Michel Odent MD Primal Health Research Centre, London, UK
Jenny Pickerill Professor of environmental geography, University of Sheffield, UK
Dr Gillian Proctor CPsychol., Programme leader, MA in counselling and psychotherapy, University of Leeds, UK
Kate Raworth author of Doughnut Economics; Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, UK
Dr Rupert Read Reader in philosophy, University of East Anglia, UK
Professor Paul Routledge Leadership chair in Contentious Politics and Social Change, University of Leeds, UK
Kwame Adofo Sampong Principal organising secretary, Pan-Afrikan Fora Internationalist Support Coordinating Council (PAFISCC), London, UK
Professor Andrew Samuels University of Essex, Former Chair UK Council for Psychotherapy, UK
Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins Global Sustainable Development lecturer, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Ms Jendayi Serwah Co-chair, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), Bristol, UK
Helen Spandler Professor of mental health, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Simeon Stanford Co-founder and Leadership Facilitation Team member, Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAAP), London, UK
Dr Julia K. Steinberger Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds, UK
United States of America
Professor Julian Agyeman Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
David Elkind Emeritus professor of psychology, Tufts University, USA
Nik Heynen Professor of geography, University of Georgia at Athens, USA
Eric Holthaus journalist and fellow, University of Minnesota, USA
Maureen O’Hara Ph.D. Professor of psychology, National University, USA
William J. Ripple Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Oregon State University, USA
Guy McPherson Professor emeritus of conservation biology, University of Arizona, USA
Professor Kris Manjapra Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
William J. Ripple Distinguished professor of ecology, Oregon State University, USA
Kirk Schneider Saybrook University and the Existential-Humanistic Institute, USA
Rabbi Arthur Waskow director, the Shalom Center, Philadelphia, USA
Steve Biddulph AM, psychologist and author, Australia
Professor Timothy Doyle University of Adelaide, Australia
David Schlosberg Professor of environmental politics, University of Sydney, Australia
John Seed founder, Rainforest Information Centre, St Lismore, NSW, Australia
Salim Dara Chief community / king of Djougou, Bénin
Zeguen Moussa Toure President, Mouvement Social Panafricain pour le Development Integral (MSPDI), Cotonou, Bénin
Ms Aissata Diakhite Kaba Joint Principal Secretary, International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations, Youth and Students Auxiliary Fellowship – RepAfrika (INOSAAR-RepAfrika), Paris, France
Engin Isin Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London & University of London Institute, Paris, France
Lennard Gillman Professor of biogeography, head of science, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa, New Zealand
Professor Keith Tudor Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand
Wedam Abassey Co-chair, Ghana Youth and Student Changemaking Alliance (GYASCA), Kumasi, Ghana
Dukomegatsitsi Kosi Agoko Honorary Presidium Convenor-General, ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR), Tanyigbe, Ghana
Ms Adzo Agorkor Task Action Commission joint principal secretary, MIANONKU International Scientific Observatory on Development in Afrika (MIANONKU-ISODA), Tanyigbe, Ghana
Mawuse Yao Agorkor General secretary, VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum, Accra, Ghana
Ms Dedo Azu General secretary, ADZEWAGBETO Pan-Afrikan Women’s Liberation Union (ADZEWAGBETO-PAWLU), Somanya, Ghana
Elorm Koku Dade Principal secretary, All-Afrikan Citizens Action for Sustainable Transport and Communications (AACASTAC), Accra, Ghana
Kafui Yao Dade Co-chair, Planet Repairs Youth Positive Action Campaign (PRYPAC), Accra, Ghana
Nyoefe Yawa Dake Co-president, NUTROZA Panafrecycle (Pan-Afrikan Recycling Cooperative Society for Environmental Justice), Accra, Ghana
Ms Xolanyo Yawa Gbafa Co-deputy general secretary, EDIKANFO Pan-Afrikan Youth and Student Internationalist Link (EDIKANFO-PAYSIL), Accra, Ghana
Numo Akwaa Mensah III Ga Nae (Chief Priest of the Seas for the Indigenous Ga Community of Accra), honorary chair, Accra Community Regeneration for Sustainable Development Action Forum (ACORSDAF), Accra, Ghana
Nana Kobina Nketsia V Omanhen (paramount chief) of Essikado, Pan-Afrikan Chieftaincy Co-Director of Education for the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), Sekondi, Ghana
Professor Kwaku Senah Managing director, AFRICARIBE Centre, Accra, Ghana
Togbe Adza Tekpor VII Osie (Paramount chief) of Avatime, Pan-Afrikan Chieftaincy Co-Director of Environmental Justice for the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), Vane-Avatime, Ghana
Dr Paul Beckwith Professor of climatology, University of Ottawa, Canada
Dr Dina Glouberman Founder of Skyros Holidays, Skyros, Greece
David Lehrer Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Kibbutz Ketura, Israel
Dr Jim Salinger University of Tasmania; visiting professor, University of Florence, Italy
Mussauwa Wandale Leader, People’s Land Organisation, Likoma, Malawi
Dr Barryl A. Biekman Co-Vice-Chair, Europewide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr Sunita Narain Director General, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, India
Neeshad Shafi Executive director of Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM), Qatar
Conley Shivambo Rose General Secretary, United Front for Progress (UFP),Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Giorgos Kallis ICREA professor, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain