Why you rebel

The following article is an excerpt from Ecosprinter’s 2021 printed edition on a just transition. We decided to bring you the articles from this edition in a digital form as well.

Times are dire. Last year, Australia lost a fifth of its trees and billions of animals to wildfires. The fires were so massive that they created devastating weather systems. The enormous heat caused storms of sparks and smoke, and pyroclastic clouds formed over the flames sending lightning to areas dozens of kilometers away and igniting new fires. It was not so much a disaster but rather an annihilation. Climate catastrophe has arrived.

It wasn’t until 2018/2019 that the climate crisis was broadly perceived as an actual crisis. The sad old story about drowning polar bears was successfully reframed as a life and death struggle of the human race. And thanks to school strikers, instead of a problem to be tackled by conscientious consumers, climate change became an obligation for our leaders to take action now in order to achieve real sustainability by 2030 at the latest. Truth has been spoken.

Yet, the appeal not to force premature deaths onto the world’s youth has been declined by our governing elites.

Therefore, you rebel.

You might not rebel yet because you are routed by untruths, cynicism or collective habitual inaction. But each day you cut ties to hollow beliefs, each week your anger and depression is swelling up more, each month our moral bankruptcy crashes on you more severely than the month before. The governing elites deny the world’s youth of living. Our elites deny you of living.

So, you stand up for your rights, but you still feel that the idea of a rebellion is kind of silly. That it has little potential and is hunting an illusion of a magical collective awakening. Therefore, you decide to go with more realistic assumptions, move step by step, build coalitions and try to reform the system from within.

But to rebel is not a tactic or approach, it’s a stance. It can play out in the streets, in parliaments, in churches or agencies. To rebel is simply the deliberate non-cooperation with an unbearably immoral system. The decisive non-cooperation with governments that propagate “everything’s fine” while we already choke on the smoke. It is the insistence on telling the truth and acting accordingly. And those who speak and act truly these days find themselves fighting – by the most promising means – for fundamental change of our global civilization in order to achieve real sustainability. Any other approach is denying either the climate physics or the transcultural moral consent of not killing one’s descendants. We have only five to ten years to change our civilisation bottom-up and on a global scale, while the governing elites oppose this change. This is not a drill!

You rebel, because the necessity and appropriateness of the most efficient means against a murderous system become more and more undeniable as ecocide goes on. In May 2020, the biggest sociological study on environmental issues to date, was conducted: out of 400,000 German and French participants 52 percent (Germany) and 68 percent (France) respectively, said – in the context of the climate and ecological crisis – that they “would tomorrow or in the coming months participate in a far-reaching revolt”. You rebel, because the time is now. You rebel, because not being killed is not an interest but your indispensable right. As this conflict cannot be pacified it can only be solved by being escalated and won.

Rebel, because this system is over and humanity is not.

Jasper Strunk

Jasper is from Lüneburg, Germany, is finishing his studies on social psychology and ethics. He describes himself as a “1.5 Ultra” in firm disapproval of civilisation to collapse. Being involved in the Extinction Rebellion, he constantly explores appropriate and hopefully effective ways to change humanity’s course. He trusts the people and has a fancy for the future.