Summary: Scientist Rebellion protests worldwide, fuel shortages happening as protests blocking fuel depots continues, Extinction Rebellion protests at Oxford circus and 2 London bridges at start of protests.
More than 1,000 scientists across the globe chained themselves to the doors of oil-friendly banks, blocked bridges, and occupied the steps of government buildings on Wednesday to send an urgent message to the international community: The ecological crisis is accelerating, and only a “climate revolution” will be enough to avert catastrophe.
“World leaders are still expanding the fossil fuel industry as fast as they can, but this is insane.”
What organizers described as “the world’s largest-ever scientist-led civil disobedience campaign” kicked off just days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report detailing the grim state of efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C by century’s end, a target set by the Paris accord.
As one of the report’s authors put it during a press call earlier this week, “Unless there are immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, 1.5°C is beyond reach.”
Warning that the IPCC report’s language was watered down at the behest of governments unwilling to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, scientists and their allies took that message further during their direct actions on Wednesday, operating under the slogan “1.5°C is dead, climate revolution now!”
“I’m taking action because I feel desperate,” said U.S. climate scientist Peter Kalmus, who along with several others locked himself to the front door of a JPMorgan Chase building in Los Angeles. A recent report found that the financial giant is the biggest private funder of oil and gas initiatives in the world.
“It’s the 11th hour in terms of Earth breakdown, and I feel terrified for my kids, and terrified for humanity,” Kalmus continued. “World leaders are still expanding the fossil fuel industry as fast as they can, but this is insane. The science clearly indicates that everything we hold dear is at risk, including even civilization itself and the wonderful, beautiful, cosmically precious life on this planet. I actually don’t get how any scientist who understands this could possibly stay on the sidelines at this point.”
The action groups said they want to disrupt fuel supplies to London and the South East of England and will continue to do so until the Government agrees to stop all new fossil fuel investments immediately.
Oil pipeline distributors ExxonMobil UK, said the protest, which started on 1 April, shut down three of its terminals as a result.
Climate activists, including an Olympic gold medallist, have staged a sit-down protest in Oxford Street and Regent Street, blocking traffic in the heart of London’s shopping district to call for no the Government to stop new investment in fossil fuels.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park on Saturday morning before marching into the centre of the city’s West End.
Extinction Rebellion climate change activists have staged protests in the centre of London for a second day, blocking Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges.
Hundreds of protesters prevented cars and buses crossing but ambulances were let through.
The Met Police said 38 arrests were made on Sunday and officers had now moved protesters from the bridges.