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Listen to Greta Thunberg, George Monbiot, Naomi Klein and Extinction Rebellion at this very crucial moment of our struggle to protect our world’s ecosystems. 

This week sees the opening of the Climate Week in New York City, organised by the Climate Group in collaboration with the United Nations and the City of New York. Ahead of the launching day of the protests, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and British journalist and climate change expert teamed up to release this explanatory video, published by the activist group formed in the UK a year ago, Extinction Rebellion:

“Right now, we are ignoring these natural climate solutions”, Greta says. “We spend thousands of times more on global fossil fuel subsidies than on natural-based solutions. This is your money, your taxes and your savings.”

However, a large amount of research indicates that living ecosystems like forests, mangroves, swamps and sea-beds can pull enormous quantities of carbon from the air and store them safely. Simply. Estimates have found that protecting these natural systems could provide more than a third of the emissions reductions needed to keep to global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius, while also enhancing the resilience of people and nature across the world to climate change.

Despite this evident data, natural climate solutions only receive around 2% of the funding spent on climate change mitigation globally, and only a few people have heard about it. 

This short, independent film (produced by Gripping Films, an independent London-based science and nature film company that specialises in telling positive stories to change the world) “was made to make nature a part of the climate conservation,” added Extinction Rebellion. 

This is an important week for climate protesters and all of us.

Timely, last week saw the release of a keenly crucial book: Naomi Klein’s new essay, titled ‘On Fire’. 

According to her publishers, “On Fire gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate breakdown, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of what we choose to do next.”

And the journalist/activist also released a video, aimed at the president of the United States of America, addressing his will to commit to plastic production and meat consumption:

For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein’s work has chronicled the exploitation of people and the planet and demands for justice. On Fire is supposed to capture the “burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the energy of a rising political movement demanding change now.” At a time where the largest wild forests on our planet are literally “on fire” indeed.

Extinction Rebellion is to launch a new set of protest from 7 October 2019, worldwide. In the meantime, they produced a series of other films to help us all grasp the severe impacts of global warming and careless use of fossil fuels.

To close the Climate Week, Massive Attack will play a benefit DJ set:

28 SEP / Extinction Rebellion Benefit @ Webster Hall – New York

Massive Attack has been supporting the Extinction Rebellion movement since its beginning a year ago, giving a DJ set in London in April, the same day Greta Thunberg came to talk to activists in Marble Arch, Central London. They also soundtrack this important film on the role of citizens’ assemblies on climate and ecological justice, directed by ex-Reuters reporter Patrick Chalmers, with his All Hands On production:

The music for the film provided by Massive Attack is an exclusive remix of their track ‘Hymn of The Big Wheel’, from their first album Blue Lines. A strong take on the urgent need to care about environmental issues, written as early as 1991.

This is an important week. Share, learn, join us. 

Melissa Chemam is a journalist, broadcaster and author, who has worked for the likes of the BBC World Service, CBC, France 24, Radio France Internationale, as well as many magazines, and for the filmmaker Raoul Peck, on post-colonial issues. Since 2003, she has lived in Prague, Paris, Miami, London, Nairobi, Bangui, and Bristol, travelling into more than 40 countries, and reporting on human rights, Europe-Africa relations and refugee rights. Her first book, ‘Massive Attack – Out of the Comfort Zone’ retells the story of the artists who came out of the city of Bristol, England, known for their rebellious spirit.

Cover photo by Anders Hellberg