Historic bridge sends warning to the world

Photos: Jamie Bellinger www.jamie.photo

We’re up shit creek!


Bath woke up this morning to find three giant pink banners strung across the river Avon at the World Heritage site of Pulteney Bridge, displaying CLIMATE CRISIS, WE’RE UP SH*T CREEK and BUILD BACK GREEN. The banners were hung alongside the weir at dawn today by Extinction Rebellion activists in kayaks.

A small team from Extinction Rebellion Bath planned the action to highlight the admission in the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change report, published 25th June, that they are woefully short of meeting their own emissions targets by a long margin. The CCC report reveals a staggering lack of progress, with only two of 31 milestones being achieved and only four of the 21 vital measures on track for net zero emissions. It advises all Government departments to plan for “a minimum 2°C rise in global temperature with consideration of 4°C.” Yet back in 2008, the CCC advised the Government that 4°C was the threshold of “extreme danger”, to be avoided at all costs.

Photos: Jamie Bellinger (full photo set here)

Ros Pears came up with the idea for the action, and plans to stay in her kayak alongside the banners for the rest of the day. She said: “We recognise some may be offended by the wording but we wanted a message that would make people sit up and take notice. Time is running out. One of the world’s foremost energy experts has told us we have just six months to act or face catastrophic changes for our planet and every life form on it.”

Extinction Rebellion is gearing up across the UK for mass protests later this summer. They are highlighting that on our current course by 2050 up to 1 billion people will be displacedalmost half of all species on Earth will be extinct and 5 billion people will be at risk of food and water shortages.

“The team was careful not cause damage to the bridge. We recognise it’s a World Heritage monument but there is no heritage on a dead planet,” said Extinction Rebellion’s Mat Thomas. “As the Covid crisis continues we mustn’t forget the far larger and growing threat of climate breakdown.”

Many climate scientists claim the situation could be turned around if the Government is willing, as we have seen with the response to Covid. Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change,  said, “If we were serious about this crisis we could do this in a year – if we were really serious we could do it in a month, but we are not and our emissions just keep rising.

Along with economists and environmental campaigners worldwide, Bath’s Extinction Rebellion activists want to see the post-Covid economic reconstruction focussing on green jobs and technology which they believe will ultimately deliver more employment than current fossil fuel and carbon intensive jobs – and give us a more secure future on the planet.

For the full press release about this action, including references and sources, see below or download it HERE