PROTESTERS staged a “die-in” on Saturday in Edinburgh to demand urgent action on the climate crisis after a summer which saw record-breaking temperatures and droughts across the UK.
After a short procession to the Royal Mile by the eye-catching Red Rebels, a group of activists posed as “casualties” of the climate crisis outside St Giles Cathedral.
They lay covered in white sheets in a bid to convey the human suffering and death already happening as a direct result of the climate crisis, predicted to grow even worse if governments fail to act now.
The Extinction Rebellion action came in the wake of extreme weather events in the UK, including the highest temperatures ever recorded, the declaration of droughts across the country and flash flooding of urban areas.
The activists point out that scientists broadly agree that these impacts can be attributed to the UK’s changing climate arising from the ongoing burning of fossil fuels.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s leading authority on the global energy sector, has warned that “there can be no new oil, gas or coal development” if the world is to meet net zero targets.
However, despite the increasingly stark warnings issued by the IEA, the UN, and energy and climate experts worldwide, the UK Government has approved a series of new oil and gas fields in recent months, with the largest being Shell’s Jackdaw gas field northeast of Aberdeen.
Protester and physicist Dr Louis Keal, 32, from Edinburgh said: “The science has clearly shown for decades that the climate and ecological collapse we’re witnessing is the greatest threat to survival the human race has ever seen.
“Until the public unite and force politicians to find the courage and integrity to stop looking the other way, we’ll carry on making this apocalyptic threat worse and miss our narrow window to save our civilisation.”
Fellow protester Mike, 62, from Rosewell, added: “Big oil and our governments have known since the 70s what burning fossil fuels will do.
“Fifty years on, this completely foreseeable climate crisis is delivering record temperatures, leaving us to watch in horror at wildfires spreading uncontrollably, facing serious crop failure and suffering widespread drought. Yet still our leaders approve Jackdaw.
“When will this self-destructive madness be seen for what it is?”
The protest yesterday was a precursor to a month of protests planned by activists for the forthcoming “UK September Rebellion”.