Over two hundred local people marched through Shrewsbury on Saturday calling on politicians to love our earth and declare a climate emergency.
The event was organised by local group Extinction Rebellion Shrewsbury to mark Darwin Day and Valentine’s Day. Those taking part met at the Darwin statue outside the town library and then marched along Castle St and Pride Hill to the Market Square.
Local people – many of whom had never been on a march before, carried banners, including one asking the question: “What Would Darwin Do… about the climate emergency?”. Once in the Square, a number of speakers addressed the crowd.
Zoe Jones, a young woman from Shrewsbury, said: “This is beyond Brexit, beyond party politics, larger even than our own small lives. It’s the most important issue facing our planet, and we have the privilege to be alive today. Before we’ve reached our 1.5 degrees celsius of warming, before the worst freak weather, before we lose the bees, before the ice caps have melted, before we lose the polar bears, before a refugee crisis on a scale never seen before, we are lucky that we have today. Specifically, optimistically, we’ve got about 12 years. So what are you going to do about it?”
Zoe summed up by saying: “There is no point in us all sitting at home, separate, knowing that our world is on the brink of environmental collapse. Now is the time to act. Act with hope, act with joy, turn that fear into change.”
Another local resident, Richard Davies, said: “We are also here to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, born near here 210 years ago on the 12th February 1809 when carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere were just 284 ppmv. Today they have reached 410ppmv – a 44.5% increase. And most climate scientists are saying that 450ppmv is the absolute limit – that gives us a little over10 years to have this sorted – not started – but sorted. At a local level we want our Councils to do much much more. To declare a climate emergency and to act with resolve – to recognize that our house is on fire. That we really are gassing the planet.”
Richard concluded by saying: “Albert Einstein said that the world is a dangerous place to live not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
“So we are rebelling.
“We are rebelling against business as usual
“We are rebelling against sleepwalking to disaster.
“We are rebelling against turning our back on the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.
“We are rebelling against our own extinction and that of fellow life forms here on the beautiful place we call home – planet earth.
“And we hope you will rebel too.”
On Monday 25 March, a motion will go to Shrewsbury Town Council calling on it to declare a climate emergency and to take immediate steps to reduce carbon emissions.