Cover Photos
From Stephen Murcott: I always wanted to know more about the life since the time I was very small. The diversity and complexity of the life around me I find really enticing and beautiful. I was still a child when I first learned about the threats to our planet. Around that time I also became aware of CAFOD, CND and Greenpeace as my parents sometimes had activists visiting. I can remember learning about the Greenhouse effect when I was very young. At uni in 1996 I factored in Climate Change as a variable in multiple scenario development and started following the indicators. In 2006 I completed studies in sustainable development and had been very involved in community development and activism throughout my working life. I had been watching indicators with dismay and in 2016 I started to have nightmares about the tipping points and exponential heating. I became quite depressed and resigned to passively watching as conflicts escalated and ecosystems seemed to be irreversibly breaking. At the end of 2018 I met Chloe who has very similar views to me and her network in the Occupy movement helped to bring us both into Extinction Rebellion which was the first movement that really seemed to be holistic about the concept of change and have the right sense of urgency given the nature of the threat. I knew things were bad but the publication of the biodiversity report and the data from the IPCC really had a strong impact on me. I fell into a type of despair, I am still driving a fossil fuel vehicle to a job that links me to the pollution and feel deeply complicit. The grief that came with reading and trying to understand the new data from various scientists working on the IPCC was really hard to bear. I still spontaneously feel overcome with saddness periodically. The only way out of the despair that I found was after watching Gail Bradbrook's talk Heading For Extinction and What to do About It I decided that I'd take the advice "Hope Dies - Action Begins" and become active in the struggle for survival. Chloe setup the Facebook page and groups and I started setting up the other IT infrastructure to support the movement in South Africa. This was in November and we had the site setup in December, the email setup by Jan and the cloud infrastructure by March. I feel the truth of the war against the imagination waged on my own mind by the power of the old institutions, consumer markets and advertising. Really difficult to break free from the chains of mental slavery. The bitter embrace of consumerism we are locked into on an extinction trajectory. Being involved in Extinction Rebellion has been a very deep and wonderful journey. I am always amazed at the wonderful people I have met since taking action. There have been some tricky aspects with certain groups but the majority of people give me hope. It has long been understood by indigenous peoples that our relationship to the Earth is spiritually as well as physically sustaining. For indigenous peoples this is often included in their way of life, and expressed through their rituals and prayers. In our Western culture we may sense this spiritual nourishment in the beauty, peace, or sense of wonder that the natural world gives us. This belongs to the quality of life rarely valued by our solely economic images of progress. And yet we are sustained in ways we cannot easily measure. In the words of Satish Kumar: "The contemporary environmental movement, in the main, follows the path of empirical science, rational thinking, data collection and external action. This is good as far as it goes but it doesn't go far enough. We need to include care of the soul as a part of care of the planet." "We have power... Our power isn’t in a political system, or a religious system, or in an economic system, or in a military system; these are authoritarian systems... they have power... but it’s not reality. The power of our intelligence, individually or collectively IS the power; this is the power that any industrial ruling class truly fears: clear coherent human beings." John Trudell
Jul 11, 2019, 12:49 PM