Cry for the Wild by Holly Gillibrand

HOLLY SCHOOLS PROTEST Holly Gillibrand PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Uncooperative crusties? How about doctors, lawyers and even a princess

According to the State of Nature Report, 48 per cent of our Scottish species have declined. 11 per cent are at risk of being lost forever… except the term ‘lost’ implies that our precious wildlife has disappeared suddenly with none of us the wiser as to how or when. That is far from the truth.

These figures should send people into a panic, they should make headlines, and wake everybody up; these figures should be the sole topic of conversation for weeks, and months, after the report was released because they confirm the fact that we are experiencing cataclysmic biodiversity loss.

The natural world has been pillaged and plundered for generations and is still being pillaged and plundered. We know that our wildlife is declining. We know that we are at the beginning of the sixth mass extinction, or more accurately, the first mass extermination. From the 2018 Living Planet Report, we know that 60% of life on Earth has been decimated in the last 50 years.

If all these things are apparent, why then do we continue down this road of madness? Why do we continue to think that we have infinite resources on a finite planet? That we can take what we want, and do what we want, without there being any consequences for the planet and people all over the world?

For decades, environmentalists have been screaming from the rooftops, but nobody has listened. Instead, they were victimised and labelled as weirdo hippies. They have run out of options so, for over a week this October, Extinction Rebellion activists have been blocking the streets in London and over 60 cities around the world to highlight the ecological emergency.

Let’s clear up one assumption: they are not ‘hippies’. They are doctors and lawyers, scientists and paralympians, teachers and even royal princesses. There are thousands of ordinary citizens who are peacefully raising their voices to get governments to act on the biggest crisis facing humankind.

Well over 1,000 people have been arrested in London. Extinction Rebellion may be causing inconvenience today, but that is nothing compared to the disruption that climate and ecological collapse will cause tomorrow if we continue with business as usual.

Currently, we are on track for catastrophic climate and ecological breakdown, probably well before the end of this century. The New York UN Climate Action Summit in September was a failure.

It failed to safeguard my future, the future of generations to come, and the living world on which we all depend. It failed to protect the lives and livelihoods of people who are already suffering.

It is clear that the people in power have not listened to the youth on school strike, or the environmental activists and members of the public, who are putting their liberty on the line. That is why you must choose: extinction, or rebellion?