On Wednesday 24th of July Waltham forest Extinction Rebellion held a public meeting at The Chequers pub on the High Street, Walthmstow. It was intended as an
introduction to the predicament that the world is in with regard to climate change, and also to the birth and structure of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the local
branch in particular.
There were two speakers, the first one dealing with the planetary climate emergency itself, such things as the relationship between human activities and the soaring increase in
carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere and its function in raising average temperatures worldwide. Temperature rises that lead to the melting of the polar ice caps, rising of
sea level, advance of the world's deserts and destruction not only of human agriculture but of of the great forests like the Amazon Rain Forest, which perform the task of
stabilising the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The result as we all know is runaway and vicious positive feedback cycles that accelerate the heating effect, until, quite
rapidly ourselves and all other living things begin to die and the planet becomes uninhabitable.
This is a depressing picture. David Attenbrough and others have done their best to make us aware of it, but it's easy to despair that anything can be done to prevent us and our
children from becoming the last few generations of the human species.
The second speaker, Katie Jeffrey, Professor or Neuroscience at UCL, holds out a ray of hope in the form of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the development of Citizens'
Assemblies all over the world to compensate for the short-termism of governments of all shades.
We have chosen to concentrate on Prof. Jeffrey's talk about the possibility of intelligent human intervention. The problem has perhaps been described often enough. The
solutions are what we need to hear about now.
Unfortunately the talk was delivered without amplification in the very noisy back room of a pub, so we apologise for the high level of background noise.
The background music is "The Earth Is Our Mother" by the pagan music group Libana.