Posted: 03.05.21 at 09:56 by Lottie Welch
Two campaigners stopped traffic in Dorchester’s Trinity Street and Weymouth’s Kings Street over the weekend to highlight the climate emergency.
Emma and Ben sat in the way of oncoming traffic wearing signs that read ‘I’m terrified my nieces will face violence and starvation because of the climate crisis’ and ‘I’m terrified for biodiversity and humanity because of the climate crisis’.
They wanted to raise awareness of the Government’s inaction on climate two years on from parliament’s declaration of an environment and climate emergency.
Around the country hundreds of people also took action in their home ways in the same way. The action was part of an approach developed during the Covid-19 pandemic by members of Extinction Rebellion, in which people can engage in civil disobedience alone, yet united.
Ben, aged 35 and a geologist from Dorchester, said: “I’m terrified for biodiversity and humanity. We cannot gamble with 1.5C, allow the extinction of coral reefs, marginal communities to lose their lands and ways of life, and the breakdown of the biosphere, creating a world of scarcity and conflict. Out of love for life and life-giver I must resist.”
Emma Smart, aged 43 and a conservation ecologist from Weymouth, said: “My actions may cause local disruption but Weymouth will be among the first to feel the effects of sea level rise - with vast coastal areas devastated by flooding. I act to prevent future disruption and protect our communities.
“I’m terrified to sit on a busy road by myself, but I’m more terrified of a future where my four and six-year-old nieces will face starvation due to crop failures and violence as wars break out over fresh water.”
Emma was arrested in Weymouth shortly after sitting in the road for obstruction of the highway and taken to Weymouth police station. Ben was also arrested for the same offence.
Extinction Rebellion XR says that inaction on climate breakdown is not just being seen at national government level and here in Dorset our local council recently blocked a motion from councillors seeking to support the climate and ecological emergency bill.
Andy Smith from XR said: “This demonstrates yet again, that two years in from declaring a climate and ecological emergency Dorset Council still do not speak or act like there is a crisis, and have outright failed to communicate the problems, challenges and the solutions to residents, businesses and organisations in Dorset.”
Emma Smart added: “I studied and worked as a conservation ecologist for 15 years, trusting that decision makers would listen to the science. Our government knows the science and still no action. That’s why I have to act.”
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