People being in the streets isn’t effective without a strategy, and XR needs a clearer one for what could be years of non-violent struggleThe speed and size of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests over the past year add weight to the idea that people in this decade were in revolt before they had any clear idea what form a revolution might take. Politically it has long looked like a whole generation was up for grabs. In the beginning of the decade this anger veered leftwards with movements like Occupy, but at the end it has moved greenwards, under XR. The question is how much of the country will go with it.
Extinction Rebellion succeeded in putting the climate crisis on the political agenda. This is a welcome pivot to an existential issue for a society that has become gummed up by enervating fights over Brexit. There is an urgent need to decouple economic activity from carbon emissions and ecological destruction. For all the fine words global emissions of carbon dioxide are higher than they have ever been, almost three decades after the first global conference aimed at reducing them. The situation is becoming dangerous for human life. The latest figures show there is little more than a decade to save ourselves and the other creatures with whom we share the planet.