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Why are the billionaires laughing?

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Earth from space

"The truth is that if we continue to produce, consume, to function as we are doing now," said U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa, "we know that we are going toward a catastrophe." (Photo: Beth Scupham/flickr/cc)

As UN Climate Chief Urges Immediate Action to Save Planet, Extinction Rebellion's New Book Gets Rushed to Press

"Now or never, we need to be radical. We need to rise up. And we need to rebel."

Andrea Germanos

Hurry it up.

That's the message from both the United Nation's climate chief and a climate mobilization group as they sound the alarm on the catastrophe that awaits if the world continues its business as usual.

In interviews with the Associated Press, Patricia Espinosa, who serves as executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that "the window of opportunity" to avert catastrophic global warming "is closing very soon."

That means capping global warming at a 1.5 degrees C threshold, she said. But, in order to do that, "much more political will" is needed.

"It doesn't mean that we need to wait 12 years and then look at it as the moment to do this," Espinosa said, referencing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last year. 

Changes to the status quo, she argued, need to be immediate.

"The truth is that if we continue to produce, consume, to function as we are doing now," she told AP, "we know that we are going toward a catastrophe."

We must "get to a moment where leaders recognize that there is no option," said Espinosa.

One group that recognizes that time crunch is Extinction Rebellion (XR).

Activists with the climate mobilization targeted London this week and last week, staging occupations of public spaces in the city to draw attention to the urgency of climate action. At one action, an XR group unfurled a banner on a train in London that read, "Business as usual = death." 

The group also has a new book coming out, which will be released three months earlier than originally planned.

"This Is Not a Drill by Extinction Rebellion went from manuscript to the printers in 10 days and is being rushed out by Penguin for 3 June," the Guardian reported Friday.

It was originally set to come out in September—but that wouldn't be soon enough, said Penguin editor Tom Penn.

"We thought, 'This is an emergency, and we have to react like it's an emergency,'" Penn told the Guardian.

As such, the book aims to offer activists a sort of toolkit.

"This is not just about a climate emergency, it's also ecological—habitat loss, the loss of biodiversity, that's what's going to kill us first," said Extinction Rebellion activist William Skeaping.

"This book is about what we can all begin to do, and because it's not by just one author, it's the crowdsourced knowledge of our movement," he said.

Copies of the book can already be pre-ordered.

A statement released by the publisher says: "Now or never, we need to be radical. We need to rise up. And we need to rebel."

"This is a book of truth and action. It has facts to arm you, stories to empower you, pages to fill in and pages to rip out, alongside instructions on how to rebel—from organizing a roadblock to facing arrest," it says.

"By the time you finish this book," the statement adds, "you will have become an Extinction Rebellion activist. Act now before it's too late."


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