"Extinction Rebellion"a creative response
by Naomi, Gr 8
"This piece was influenced by Extinction Rebellion, an international group of climate activists fighting for climate justice. I believe very strongly that the climate crisis is one of the most important issues for my generation, and it is really important to inspire young people to get involved, hold big corporations accountable for the damage they have inflicted on our environment, and to ultimately change the world for the better. I was involved in an Extinction Rebellion group before I moved to Belgium in August, and I want to continue my participation in the movement. This visual language of this piece was inspired by a lot of the artwork already being used by the Extinction Rebellion, and the slogan 'Respect existence or expect resistance' is already used by them. The sand timer is part of XR's logo and is meant to represent how quickly time is running out for us and our planet, given the fast-approaching dates that will be the tipping point for the climate. The font was one that I made and was meant to give the whole piece an authentic sort of look and more personality. The colours are contrasting, which was meant to draw the eye to the piece. XR often uses street art to put their messages out in the world which also inspired some aspects of this piece.
The climate crisis is something that will destroy our world if nothing is done, and I have always been very passionate about it.
Before covid, protesting was one of the ways my friends and I got people to take notice, but at the moment, that isn't really a viable option. I have been a vegetarian for over a year now, which was something I decided to do when I realised the damage that the meat industry does to the environment. I have also started shopping more sustainably, by buying clothes second hand or from ethical companies. These actions are definitely something we should all aspire to do, but for many, these are not viable options, as they are often very expensive. This is one example of why the climate crisis cannot be fixed just by turning the light off when you leave the room, or making sure the tap isn't dripping or recycling. Obviously, these small things help, but to really make a substantial and radical change, we need the support of governments who will keep their promises, and the corporations who are polluting our world to take responsibility.
Climate Justice is also very much about social justice issue.
The impacts of the climate crisis will hit marginalised and minority groups first, and the hardest. Problems like water and air pollution in the U.S. for example are seen disproportionately more among Black, Latino, Asian and low-income communities compared to White communities. One famous example of this was in Flint, Michigan, where complaints about a contaminated water supply were ignored for 18 months. The population of Michigan is made up of only 14% Black Americans, compared to 84% in this area, the most highly polluted zip code in Michigan. A report later stated that racism was in fact a contributing factor in this water crisis which killed 115 people. (source) This is one of many instances of climate injustice, which always affects low-income areas and communities, or indigenous populations whose land and homes are being destroyed by climate change. "