Heralding the start of a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil & gas in the ground, on the eve of Mother’s Day 2016 in the hottest year in recorded history, flocks of Climate Guardian Mother-Angels descended on the offices of Federal Ministers for Resources & Energy The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP and the Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt MP. The Angels (including local constituents) carried images of the young people for whom they have a direct duty of care. Interestingly, a week prior to our action we learned that federal police had already briefed the Ministers’ staff about our imminent ‘visitation’. Not that Angels ever need to hide, anything.
In urging care for the precious natural world – to protect children and future generations from the imminent threat of climate change – the Climate Guardians are reminding leaders that all lives depend on a healthy Mother Earth for Everything.
The Climate Guardians message is simple:
Failure to curb polluters is guaranteeing disaster. Grave threats from accelerating global warming demand action at a scale and speed unprecedented in peacetime. The Climate Guardians demand that leaders declare a state of climate emergency to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground while urgently, justly transitioning to 100% renewable energy. All lives depend on a safe climate. Failure is not an option.
Within a few days another flock of Climate Guardians descended on Newcastle where they joined around 2,000 people to shut down the world’s largest coal port. While kayakers blocked coal carriers at the harbour entrance, others occupied railway tracks effectively locking down the coal trains and halting $20 million worth of coal shipments.
Newcastle’s Breakfree From Fossil Fuels was just one event in a global wave of daring mass civil society actions that brought tens of thousands of people across six continents together to keep fossil fuels in the ground. While all were courageously defiant, the actions reflected the specific ways in which local environments and people are being exploited by the fossil fuel industry.
Rapidly escalating global temperatures are terrifying. And yet the decentralised leadership demonstrated during Break free 2016 is a deeply inspiring reminder of how determined and collaborative collective action can empower local communities to effectively address the climate emergency. Global citizens everywhere are now pushing societal boundaries to shut down a rogue industry. The climate movement will continue to grow in numbers and strength until we have replaced dirty fossil fuels with 100% renewable energy the world over. Onwards.