On the 11th of November 2020, Extinction Rebellion hung a banner at the Cenotaph reading ‘Honour Their Sacrifice, Climate Change Means War'. Then, British Army veteran Donald Bell, observed two minutes silence before hanging a wreath of poppies decorated with the words ‘climate change means war, act now'.
“I served this country, I served the people of this country and the action I took today is about just that. Unchecked climate change means a return to a world at war. I cannot stand by and let that happen.”
“I took action today knowing that I would be criticised. I knew that I would be accused of being disrespectful and hated by many for speaking out in this way.“British Army veteran Donald Bell
This government's own advisors, said that they have a ‘Dad's Army' approach to protecting British people from the impacts of climate change. Their report in June this year showed that the British government has failed to meet all but two of the 31 milestones it set itself for reducing emissions. This government is criminally negligent and young people today will pay the price for their failure.
“I did four tours in Northern Ireland. I have been in conflict. I saw good friends – my comrades, who I served with – die. Many of the people who attend the Remembrance Day Service have never seen the horrors of war. I hope they never have to.“British Army veteran Donald Bell
However you feel about the action today, I want people to take this message – “if we don't deal with this climate emergency, now, it will lead to war.”
As XR point out in their press release: ‘this action comes as an MoD report published this year warned of the “growing recognition that climate change may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security.” It advised how to prepare the Armed Forces for the effects of escalating climate change, including unrest and conflict resulting from shrinking food and water resources and the displacement of peoples. The action today calls on the government to act to avert the increase in unrest, conflict and war.'