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‘Extinction’ – is probably a word you associate with long-gone dinosaurs. How about ‘rebellion’? Thousands giving all for the cause on historical battlefields? Well, on this week’s Tea with the Changemakers, we welcome you to the rebellion, as we speak with Clare Farrell, who proudly co-founded the movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR). (You can choose not to join the rebellion, of course... that just means there’s more chance of us all ending up in the same state as stegosaurus and company – your call!) 

Now, you may know something of Extinction Rebellion already, having garnered a reputation for blocking roads and holding up ambulances; however, in this episode, we dispel a few myths (especially the ambulance one) that have often been fuelled by tabloid tattle and then parroted by more mainstream media outlets. 

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse. On the surface, claims of societal chaos and ecological devastation may sound a little drastic and dramatic; however, with the tipping point of global warming approaching in 2030, the cost of living crisis, and the richest 1% of society getting ever richer while the vast majority are getting ever poorer, it could well be argued that society is already collapsing… 

Here’s the thing - science has already proven that if we continue living the way we are now, then the effects of climate change will intensify and drastically change our lives as we know it. Recycling plastic bottles just isn’t enough anymore – we need systemic and societal change from the top to enable us all to live more in line with what the planet needs. Extinction Rebellion is the organisation attempting, and succeeding, in bringing about change quicker. 

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But who exactly are Extinction Rebellion, you may ask? Well, there is a huge network of people from all backgrounds and of all ages, of people who all care dearly about our planet and what we are doing to it. It’s by no means a requirement, but there are some people in the movement that are willing to give up their own personal liberties in the name of protest and positive societal change. 

In a world where we need to be moving collectively towards more renewable sources of energy and a more sustainable way of living, Extinction Rebellion has very much adopted the ‘no time like the present’ mentality – and it could be argued they’re not far wrong. Although their often-disruptive actions impact the day-to-day lives, the message they’re trying to spread is that there won’t be a day-to-day if governments don’t wake up and incite change at a societal level. 

This week, we hope that you’ll put any pre/misconceptions you may have about Extinction Rebellion aside, and appreciate them as a genuine catalyst for change.