Ac­tivists an­nounce ar­rival with fu­neral for Earth

Nelson Mail - - News - Skara Bohny

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.

LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Pall­bear­ers carry a cof­fin con­tain­ing a globe down Nel­son’s Trafal­gar St to call for ac­tion on cli­mate change.

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