Activists announce arrival with funeral for Earth
Environmental activists held a funeral in Nelson at the weekend, not for a person but for the entire planet.
The funeral on Saturday was the first move of the newly established Nelson branch of Extinction Rebellion, an international organisation aiming at inciting political action on climate change.
Julie Nevin, one of the organisers, said the funeral was a way of sharing grief, but was not a sign that the fight for the environment was over.
‘‘We’re in the middle of the sixth mass extinction event. If our ecosystem collapses, then we’ll be next.’’
An extinction event is when a catastrophic event causes the extinction of animal and plant species at many times the normal rate. Previous events have been caused by an asteroid, natural climate change, and volcanic activity.
‘‘We thought the funeral told a story, rather than just shouting at people . . . It’s intended to bring people’s attention to the approaching death of the biosphere,’’ Nevin said.
More than 50 protesters, along with pallbearers carrying a black coffin holding a globe, walked down Trafalgar St before taking the protest into the Nelson Market.
Nevin said it was more accurate to say that it was a funeral for humans’ ability to live on Earth. ‘‘It’s not the planet – that will do fine without us.’’
She said Extinction Rebellion was calling for political will and community change to speed up action on climate change, rather than putting all the onus on individuals to make better choices.
Pallbearers carry a coffin containing a globe down Nelson’s Trafalgar St to call for action on climate change.