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ENVIRONMENT /  New Extinction Rebellion should be taken seriously.



Isn't that enough now, Norway? Our small country today is actually the seventh largest exporter of CO2emissions.

The new global environmental movement Extinction rebellion (XR) is now rebelling against authorities that do not take the consequences of climate change seriously. While our visionless authorities today are sucking oil from the globe, a number of XR activists around the world can hear: “No way, Norway! Turn around – help save our world! »No then, here at home, new oil fields (LoSeVe, Barents Sea or the Gulf of Australia). Norway's plan is to operate until 2070 – and the one who then shreds the oil crane is not yet born.

XR states that it is a "duty to act now, to safeguard the safety and welfare of our children, and to protect life itself on earth." The actions were many in April: In Oslo, XR Norway ritually carried a black coffin down to the Ministry of Finance with silver coins linked to Norway's CO2emissions. They then planted an apple tree in front of the Parliament (see below).


Then "die-in" actions where XR members "died" down: first in front of the Opera (a mark against overfishing, plastics and marine acidification), then the Central Station (a tribute to the railway and criticism of a new runway at Oslo Airport) and Oslo City (against the clothing industry's emissions of environmental toxins).

In London filled XR up road bridges with green plants, they stopped traffic and blocked embassies (including the Norwegian one) – as an environmental protest. In The Guardian (23.4.) One could read about XR members around the world: protest against gas extraction in India; West Africans (Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo) who are finally experiencing global solidarity – and their demonstrations in churches, marketplaces and schools. In Colombia – the country where environmental activists are constantly being killed – XR wants to protect the jungle and rivers. Other XR activists in South America are protesting against deforestation. And XR members in Japan tries hard to speak out on climate change, biodiversity and human rights – although unfortunately they are quickly ridiculed as ishiki takai ("Highly Conscious").

Extinction Rebellion with action on Waterloo Bridge, London 15. April. Photo: XR


XR is ambitious about its global mobilization – the goal is that as many as 3,5 percent of the world's population will respond with action so that a new policy becomes possible. At least now more and more people participate in XR with civil disobedience, actions, festivals, gatherings, art activities, theatrical performances, workshops and their own meeting places.

responsibility Ethics

But will XR face criticism for being naive, such that a progressive minority always encounters conservative opposition? And many will be arrested for the actions, so what motivates the individual to revolt?

Let me briefly point out to the philosopher Hans Jonas' ethics of responsibility – so the long-term consequences of a modern globalized civilization are difficult to see. Jonas' work The principle of responsibility. Draft ethics of technological civilization (1979) can be used to understand XR and other environmental activists today. My old professor at New School (New York City) wrote an ethic that included future generations – which is also XR's stated concern. Jonas for this reason parental responsibility, so we can feel it for the children's future. This includes an obligation to acquire knowledge about the long-term consequences of society. And according to Jonas, research must be able to meet in a "comparative futurology". The duty to act also applies even if parts of today's knowledge are hypothetical – before the damage is irreversible if the assumptions were to vote. And you have a duty to take "power over power".

Extinction Rebellion at Whitehall in Westminster, London. (Photo: ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

Jonas is also clear that nature must be a separate ethical subject, in the sense that we can not just peel and roll with the earth's resources. As XR points out, over the course of a couple of hundred years, we have disturbed nature, which for around 400 million years did well without us.

The consequences

So what facts are behind the reactions really?
Skin Paris-target if a maximum of 2 degrees increase is reached, it requires that 80 percent of the earth's oil, gas and coal reserves remain. Climate emissions must be limited, carbon uptake must be increased. These are rising water levels, lack of drinking water, damaged crops, extreme weather, fires, migrations, diseases and an increased risk of war and conflict due to all this.

In 1992 came Union of Concerned Scientists – of which a number of Nobel laureates – with The World Scientists' Warning to Humanity – a warning that ecosystems would burst as they were being exploited. 25 years later, without this being taken seriously, 15 000 scientists now signed in 2017 a warning "Two preventable widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss ... Earth with all its life is our only home".

20 of the last 22 years are the warmest so far recorded on Earth. Extreme heat and drought are about to return to normal – over the course of a century, climate-related disasters have doubled to around 220 annually.

More facts: Of the various species considered, the extinction of 40 percent of the amphibians, 25 percent of the mammals, 14 percent of the birds and 33 percent of the coral reefs are expected to become extinct – the latter having existed for 14 million years. And fewer insects lead to smaller crops – total biomass of flying insekter has been reduced by three quarters in just three decades. And are you one of those who look for butterflies – know that there is only a fifth left of the number from a hundred years ago.

And if global warming increases all the way up to 4 degrees, world corn yields will be reduced by 85 percent. Antarctica is melting and rising water levels. The oceans are acidified – CO2discharges have increased acidification of the oceans by 30 per cent, which is expected to increase to 150 per cent by 2100.

And polluted air and greenhouse effect leads annually to 268 million premature deaths – I can hold on…

Extinction Rebellion demonstrates 18. April at Oxford Circus, London.
Photo: XR / Vladimir Morozov / akxmedia

What if someone gets so desperate and desperate that peaceful non-violent
protest actions are replaced by more powerful actions – to prevent more
pollution and that species are being eradicated?

No wonder many people react. But what if someone becomes so desperate and desperate that peaceful non-violent protest actions are replaced by more powerful reactions – to prevent more pollution and the extinction of species?


This was at least what director and writer Nina Ossavi took up with her play Death does not come with laughter at a cabin in Nordmarka last month – about the terrorist Ted Kaczynski's anger over the destruction of nature. The monologue showed kaczynski as a man with childhood traumas – one who went too far. In the debate outside the cabin wall after the performance, we discussed – about twenty spectators – what one was willing to do, whether one was cursed enough, angry enough, or full of an eco-grief on behalf of nature. No, terror was not a solution, but what about sabotage? Would an activist – where the social pact is considered broken due to an awkward state – physically try to stop ecologically harmful activities?

At the same time, I ask how much a break with the existing will really change. Or is the way mostly to create new own exemplary communities and local eco-collectives with long-term responsibilities in mind? Should one act in the negative or affirmatively in the future? If you want to take power over powerlessness, be willing to coach today exploitation and could violate state laws – as XR says of "duty to rebel"?


In recent years there has been a lot of revolt against the authorities globally, as our writer Mikkel Bolt points out in his new pamphlet Occupy after Hegel (2019). We have had Athens, Tunis, Cairo, Madrid, Oakland and Paris. Is a new long-term international understanding in the process of creating lasting resistance and change in today's powerful capitalism, militarism and paralyzing state power? Will a more anarchically sensible mentality of local communities combined with a global ethical collaboration take root?

Many people in Paris are cursed by the states' confusion about the 2-degree goal. For when a state like the rich Norwegian thinks most of itself in environmental issues and shit in the backyards of others, everyone with a certain ethics of responsibility and a deeper long-term understanding of their own time, should seek beyond our oiled selfish self-welfare – with a "No way!" . This could mean more direct democracy, internationalism, communism, more autonomy and twin cities around the world. And several supranational bodies, such as XR, are calling for one for the environment.

Protests against poor state leadership have been numerous in recent years. And why can't civil societies have more control over their own lives? The feeling of "rebellion" has been seen in Greece (2008–2012), with Iran's Green Revolution (2009), the Arab Spring (2011) – or Spanish Indignados, Occupy, Maidan in Ukraine, Nuit debut in France, Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter and new Black Panthers in the US or Yellow Vests in France. And with Bolt, we can supplement keywords such as "Baghdad, Copenhagen, Hebron, Bahrain, East Jerusalem, Damascus, London and Charlottesville, all places for powerful counter-mobilizations".

Can we now be optimistic enough to see a new international unifying movement that is becoming so massive that the world's unethical or nihilistic leadership loses authority, and that active sections of global civil society rather organize themselves?

The desert

The German philosopher Nietzsche wrote insightfully 150 years ago: "The desert grows, and cursed be they that hide it." The desert – die Wüste – in the sense of desolate-lay, lay desolate. Although this was aimed at that nihilism spread among Europeans, is the result of such , validity and , nism today new varieties of laying desolate. The facts above show the really big crime here.

Truls Lie
Truls Liehttp: /
Editor-in-chief in MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.

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