Make ‘Rebel for Life on Earth’ your New Year’s Resolution
December 31, 2018 by Ronan
As 2019 begins, Extinction Rebellion is urging people to ‘Rebel for Life on Earth’ as their New Year’s resolution, so that together we can acknowledge and address the climate and ecological emergency. 
To kick this resolution off – and to give focus to our personal and collective actions in the year ahead – from 1st to 7th January 2019, people are invited to take part in Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Rebel for Life on Earth’ campaign. Open to people of all faiths and none, not beholden to one tribe – whether left or right – this campaign is part of the global 7 Days of Rest initiative. 
“Complementing Extinction Rebellion’s nonviolent peaceful protests which aim to highlight the stark reality of government and media inaction in the face of human-caused ecological collapse, this January we are asking people to take time to reflect on their personal and collective relationship with different aspects of the foundations of life on earth,” said Douglas Rogers of Extinction Rebellion.
“We invite people to take this time of reflections and resolutions to contemplate our relationship with the earth, water, fire, air, climate, biodiversity, and the web of life: how we depend on them, and the imperative to restore their natural balance. We do this in the belief that when people decide to acknowledge and face the escalating global emergency – as well as the associated grief and anger – that acceptance (rather than denial or avoidance or distraction) will come. Then together, we can become more determined, courageous and effective in our actions.”
With details of how to get involved on the Rebel for Life webpage, each of the first 7 days of 2019 is dedicated to:
- Tuesday 1st January – Earth. This year the UN warned that the world’s soils face exhaustion and depletion, with an estimated 60 harvests left before they are too degraded to feed the planet.  By consuming food grown with pesticides and synthetic fertilisers we simultaneously poison the earth and our bodies. Day 1 will focus on what healing the earth looks like, through to understanding our role personally and collectively in that transition.
- Wednesday 2nd January – Water. Science is showing us that the contaminants we allow into our waterways and bodies are a major cause of disease in humans and other species. Earlier this year, the BBC’s documentary Drowning in Plastic brought the scale of the problem in our oceans to our attention, plus there is now news that we live in a world where heavy plastic pollution has just been discovered at the deepest point of the oceans.  On day 2, people will be asked to think about how we can heal the water cycle and reflect on the many algae, plant, tree, fish, coral and animal species that are an essential part of a healthy, planetary water cycle.
- Thursday 3rd January – Fire. In the US alone, the area burned by forest fires is over six times what it was in the 1970s.  Fire is part of a natural process of regeneration. The way we use fire is critical to how we as a species manage energy. Currently, we are abusing the energy of fire in various forms, whether through the military industrial complex or the short-sighted use of fossil fuels. Day 3 will focus on how we can redefine our relationship with fire and energy in ways that are revitalising for the entire ecosystem.
- Friday 4th January – Air. Since 1988, just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, polluting the air with carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.  Air pollution from burning coal, oil or biomass can also manifest itself as particulate matter, which can harm our lungs and shorten our lifespans.  For life to survive and thrive it is essential that we act immediately to detoxify and decarbonise the air. Day 4 will ask people how will we act to help restore the air that we all breathe to its pristine purity.
- Saturday 5th January – Climate. The earth’s climate is heating up and 97% of scientists agree that it’s caused by human activity – effects include more frequent and severe extreme weather events fast becoming the norm such as hurricanes and droughts, deforestation and the expansion of deserts, flooding and rising sea levels.  This is a wake-up call for humanity to understand the interconnectedness of the web of life that sustains us. Day 5 will focus on the shift that needs to happen away from the notion that nature can belong to any group or corporation, to the realisation that it is the responsibility of local, regional and global communities and authorities to ensure the healthy functioning of the entire ecosystem for future generations.
- Sunday 6th January – Biodiversity. Many scientists conclude that the world has begun a sixth mass extinction, with a recent WWF report showing that “Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation”.  Even David Attenborough agrees. Day 6 will focus on how we need to recognise biodiversity as an interconnected living system, like a human body that needs all its organs in place so that it can function and thrive. Regenerating biodiversity is an essential part of restoring the climate.
- Monday 7th January – The Web of Life. The web of life has been torn apart by the human species. A recent study published in the journal Science highlights how 45% of all potential environmental collapses are interrelated and that overstressing natural boundaries can result in positive feedback loops, which are mutually reinforcing, leading to a number of unwelcome surprises . On day 7, people will look at how addressing the ecological and climate emergency requires relearning our relationship with nature, and how the interdependence of life must underpin our political priorities.
How to get involved
For more information visit the Extinction Rebellion Rebel for Life webpage. People can join or create an event as an individual or as a group. Events can be as diverse as: taking time to walk in nature; discussion groups; nonviolent activist events; meditations and vigils; clean-up campaigns plus arts or training workshops.
Participation can range from minutes to hours per day, to creating or joining existing programs for the entire week. It is suggested that individuals, groups and events sign up through the 7 Days of Rest website in order to help the global community come together and for relevant communication to reach all participants.
“The climate and ecological emergency our world is experiencing is the symptom of a body that is immensely stressed, contaminated, depleted and severely out of balance,” said Yan Golding of Extinction Rebellion and a co-creator of the 7 days of Rest initiative.
“To be able to meet the collective challenge facing us, we started this initiative so that people could begin to understand the role that we all – as individuals and collectively – can play in the healing of all life on earth. When we reflect on the interconnected elements of life on earth, we realise that it is essential that we collectively commit to restoring them to their natural healthy state, and that each of them – separately and together – must be protected and stewarded for future generations for the entire web of life to survive and thrive.
“Whether we are teachers, psychologists, bank workers, civil servants, farmers, care-givers, artists or public figures, now is the time to realise our common fate, and how one individual can impact and inspire a community or even the entire world to change.”
Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out
- Start a group where you are – locally in the UK or in your country around the world
- Find your local group: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11jUqqjTHMThksd4KbvGGzb3I3Cr3PkBl&usp=sharing
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites
- We’ll are holding Collaborative Leadership Calls to help coach people to improve their leadership skills and capacities
- And while your time and energy are the most important things, if you are financially able to donate money, see our Fundrazr crowdfunder
The Road to Worldwide Rebellion – key dates
The Rebel for Life on Earth campaign is Step 1 of the build up towards Worldwide Rebellion, which will take place globally beginning 15th April 2019. In January, Extinction Rebellion activists in the USA are preparing for a National Day of Action on 26th January 2019 – America’s Rebellion Day 1.
Notes to editors
- Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/
- The Extinction Rebellion Rebel for Life campaign is aligned to and part of a second worldwide 7 Days of Rest and Reflection initiative, which is dedicated to the healing of the planet and all its inhabitants, a global event supported by international partners including TreeSisters, Unify, Compassion Games, The Shift Network, GOOD of the WHOLE, Climate Healers and Unity Earth.
- Website: https://www.7days-of-rest.org/
- Interview with Shelley Ostroff (PhD), founder of 7 Days of Rest
- Facebook: https://www.7days-of-rest.org/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/457285948129840/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Video: Youtube
- Quotes from scientists about interconnectedness and interdependence
7. Journal of Medical Toxicology (2012), Volume 8, Issue 2, p166–175 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13181-011-0203-1
11. About Extinction Rebellion
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens
- The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels
- A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/
12. About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.