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WATCH: Extinction Rebellion Guernsey vs Deputies

WATCH: Extinction Rebellion Guernsey vs Deputies

Wednesday 22 May 2019

WATCH: Extinction Rebellion Guernsey vs Deputies

A climate emergency activist group has handed out free copies of the book There's No Planet B to deputies as they headed into their monthly meeting this morning.

Several heated conversations were heard between Deputies and group members outside the States Chamber.

The Extinction Rebellion Guernsey group which formed in the aftermath of the London protests waited outside the States this morning in the hope of urging Deputies to declare a climate emergency.

20 copies of the book by Mike Berners-Lee were purchased with funds from the Guernsey Bicycle Group and handed out to Deputies on their way into the States this morning. 

"We just think declaring an emergency is a first step, there afterwards we have a mandate for change, we need to set an example, we're a very wealthy little country and we need to lead by example," said Rob Gregson, group co-ordinator. 

Kuttelwascher, Gregson

Pictured: Deputy Jan Kuttelwascher talking to Rob Gregson. 

"Individual action is important, people improving their lifestyles, eating less meat but we need local action, regional action and global action, it's all required," he said. 

Camilla Smillie, who attended the march in London, said she was terrified by the idea of the climate emergency and believed as an island we are in a unique position to implement change. 

"We're a non-violent group, we're handing out this book because it's easily accessible and puts common scientific questions about climate change into easy to understand language. 

"We want this to be on the agenda for the P&R plan. I want to be able to look my children and my grandchildren in the eye and say we did all we could. 

Extinction Rebellion

Pictured: Some Extinction Rebellion group members this morning. 

"We're a financial centre, how amazing it could be for us to pave the way for elsewhere in the world, to be the first place to introduce solely electric vehicles for example," she said. 

The latest update to the P&R Plan has proposedto introduce a new priority to mitigate climate change, and calls for a climate change action plan to be brought back to the States next year. That can be read here

Meanwhile, during this morning's demonstration at one point Deputy Inder called the protesters "hypocrites" for continuing to use air travel, a large contributor to carbon emissions. 

"I heard him try to deflect and shut down the debate," said protester William Carter. 

"This is a class and industry issue. We have to look at the behaviour that is driving the problem but that doesn't mean people need to stop flying altogether, there are people who are displaced around the world for various different reason who don't want to hear that. 

"There are however businessmen flying 4 trips a day to have a meeting in Europe which could have been done over Skype," he said. 

Rosie Dorey, who was involved with the altercation with Deputy Inder, said the argument was frequently used to shut down debate. 

"It's an invitation to not engage with the problem, no-one wants to give up flying and going on holiday, if people know they might have to give up that they won't engage with the problem. 

"I totally admit I am part of the problem but unless you want to live in a cave you are going to be a hypocrite, but as long as well make people feel that they can't be concerned about this because they are enjoying some of the modern day facilities, then you're not going to encourage anybody to learn about it," she said. 

Deputy Paint simply said "I don't believe in it" when asked about the climate emergency and Deputy Kuttelwascher, a former pilot, also refuted the science with Rob Gregson saying there was a 97% consensus in the scientific community about climate crisis. 

"Of the ones you've asked," replied Deputy Kuttelwascher. 

"I know all about science and the great thing about science is...  they're always challenging, people are even challenging Einstein now," he said. 

Deputy Heidi Soulsby also spoke with protesters saying she did not want to make "headline news" with a statement but wanted to support with changes in policy and strategy.

"We want have things actually in place that we will do, that's more important," she said. 

"In an emergency sometimes there's no time for formulating a strategy, you just need to act," said Rob Gregson in response. 


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