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Ep 44. Using Civil Disobedience in the Climate Justice Movement – Zac Lumley

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Zac is an activist with a number of climate action groups. Most recently, he and another activist, Orla Murphy, were arrested and imprisoned for a protest at Iveagh House in Dublin. As Orla was still in prison at the time of this recording, I interviewed Zac to hear his story and the place of civil disobedience in the climate justice movement. Orla has since been released on the 22nd of April after spending over a month there. You can still write to Orla at orlaonremand@protonmail.com and hopefully I'll have her on the podcast in future.

If you're interested in getting involved with Extinction Rebellion Ireland, there's a new members meeting happening tomorrow (4th of May 2021, 7pm GMT) that you're welcome to come along to. Hosted by yours truly! Keep an eye out for upcoming events for XRI here, or on your local groups website. And if you son't have a local direct action group, you can set one up!

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We covered:

  • [07:00] Getting to know Zac.
  • [11:40] When Zac began getting more active in climate action.
  • [14:05] When Zac went vegan.
  • [15:20] What is Civil Disobediance?
  • [20:30] Is destruction of property violent or non violent?
  • [24:00] The first time Zac got arrested / Kepak protest.
  • [29:00] Why do people put themselves in a position where they know thwy'll likely be arressted
  • [34:20] The action on the 19th of March where Zac and Orla were arrested.
  • [40:10] Zac's experience in prison.
  • [42:00] Orla's words from prison.
  • [49:30] Reactions to the protest.
  • [56:30] How many people do we need partaking in civil disobedience to get the job done?
  • [01:06:30] Random Questions!

References

1-3 billion people are expected to be forced from homes within the next 50 years. [1]

200+ indigenous land protectors are murdered every year trying to protect their land and water. [2]

We're headed for +4°C of global heating (some publications this year are suggesting +5° and +6°C [3][4]) — +4°C is "incompatible with an organised global community" and likely to be "beyond adaptation". [5]

Island nations call for "1.5 to stay alive" and in 2009 at G77 Lumumba Di-Aping said that the new climate draft trying to limit warming to +2°C was "certain death for Africa". [6][7]

When the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 (non-binding, remember), countries said they'd try to limit warming to +2°C. However, even if every country met their climate agreements that they set for themselves (NDCs), we're headed for more than +3°C. [8] Despite this, countries aren't even hitting their climate targets! [9]

We've currently warmed the planet somewhere between +1.1°C and +1.3°C. [10] We're currently at an extremely crucial point, as we're in the danger zone at which irreversible climate tipping points could be triggered: some may lie between +1°C and +2°C [11]. Obviously because the risk is so great we have to follow the precautionary principle, meaning that we must absolutely everything we can to halt emissions immediately. Even if we halted greenhouse gas emissions today, heating will continue for decades or even centuries. [4] [1] [https://www.pnas.org/content/117/21/11350](https://www.pnas.org/content/117/21/11350)

[2] [https://e360.yale.edu/digest/more-than-200-environmental-activists-and-land-defenders-murdered-in-2019](https://e360.yale.edu/digest/more-than-200-environmental-activists-and-land-defenders-murdered-in-2019)

[3] [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/new-climate-models-predict-warming-surge](https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/new-climate-models-predict-warming-surge)

[4] [https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/](https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/)

[5] [https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-change-commitee-report-4c-warming-fossil-fuels-crisis-a9597511.html](https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-change-commitee-report-4c-warming-fossil-fuels-crisis-a9597511.html)

[6] [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01436597.2017.1368013](https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01436597.2017.1368013)

[7] [https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/12/poor-countries-g77-suicide-pact-copenhagen/](https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/12/poor-countries-g77-suicide-pact-copenhagen/)

[8] [https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052171](https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052171)

[9] [https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/nations-miss-paris-targets-climate-driven-weather-events-cost-billions](https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/nations-miss-paris-targets-climate-driven-weather-events-cost-billions)

[10] [https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/climate/wmo-statement-state-of-global-climate](https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/climate/wmo-statement-state-of-global-climate)

[11] ****[https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0](https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0)

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Ep 42. The Ripple Effect You Have

For the final episode of 2020 and the season finale(!) of Book of Leaves, I asked people for stories of a ripple effect they witnessed: times when people told you that you inspired them to ditch plastic toothbrushes or the other way around, when you were inspired by someone else!

Thank you to Vasco, Mark, Conor, Mies, Gerda, Sophie, Elaine, Lucrezia, Katy and Cecilia for sharing your stories! If you have a ripple effect moment, send it to me at ceara@bookofleavespodcast.com or on Instagram or Facebook. I'll most likely do another one of these in the future, but for now, thank you for listening and I can't wait to bring you more leaves to add to your book in 2021.

Thank you so much for being here with me and I look forward to collecting more interviews for 2021! Get in touch if you have any requests.

Stay safe, and happy new year. Ceara x X

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Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures

Ep 40. The Mercosur Deal, Chimps, & Activism – Laura Kehoe

For episode 40, I had the pleasure to interview Laura Kehoe, an activist, scientist, conservationist - all the ists! She has done, and continues to do, so much for the planet, it's quite mind-blowing. She is a true inspiration and I know I say this about all my episodes, but I really can't wait for you to listen to this one. We cover a lot, it's listed below and you'll find links to campaigns & resources too. I hope you get something out of this, because I sure did.

Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures
Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures

Resources Mentioned:

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  • [04:50] Laura's path to conservation & activism.
  • [10:35] What it was like to work with chimps & how they're doing now (check out the talk Laura gave!).
  • [15:10] The main issues threatening chimps.
  • [18:05] Ways in which we can help them.
  • [18:30] The work of Trees.org and what 400 Trees is about.
  • [22:20] What is the Mercosur deal?
  • [30:40] Having effective conversations with people about climate change, and experiencing burnout.
  • [45:30] Managing the stress of fighting for a better world.
  • [47:10] What can WE do regarding the Mercosur deal?
  • [52:35] What do you want for the planet this Christmas? Introducing Green Santa.

Your podcast provider not listed here? Click this link to find it!

C Photo by Joe Brusky

Ep 28. We’re Going to the Supreme Court! – Edwin, Climate Case Ireland

In this episode I chat to Edwin Alblas on behalf of Climate Case Ireland about their upcoming case in the Supreme Court on the 22nd of June. This is BIG, and I hope you get as much from this interview as I did. Please don't forget to sign the petition here.

  • (04:45) An introduction of Edwin.
  • (08:30) Who Friends of the Irish Environment are.
  • (10:20) What the Climate Case is about.
  • (14:05) How the previous hearings went.
  • (18:20) Examples of other success stories around climate change cases (Urgenda Case).
  • (23:15) The financial cost of Ireland not meeting EU targets.
  • (25:55) How FIE are raising funds to do this case. (Donate here)
  • (27:55) What happens if we lose the case.
  • (32:50) How Edwin deals with constant knockbacks, being an activist.
  • (38:00) Why FIE also hold talks and workshops.
  • (43:00) The positive results for tackling climate change.

Also Mentioned:

Ireland's Mitigation plan.
The Fumbally Stables.
Jenny McNally (McNally Family Farm Dublin).

C Photo by Joe Brusky
C Photo by Joe Brusky
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Ep 25. Bia Hero & Grow Your Own Food – Sinéad, XR

For episode 25, I chatted to Sinéad Renu Sheehan from Extinction Rebellion about a new campaign called BiaHero. This community led campaign encourages people to start growing their own food at home and provides a support network for all your questions via a group on Facebook.

In this episode, we cover:

  • [02:20] The definition of food security. 
  • [06:00] Why BiaHero started and the importance of it in regards to food security.
  • [11:10] Where to start when it comes to growing your own food: the seeds.
  • [15:24] Getting the right soil.
  • [17:15] Why you usually. start sowing inside first.
  • [20:41] How to choose what to start planting.
  • [23:50] What you can grow all year round.
  • [25:00] How to manage surplus products.
  • [29:05] How to be creative if you don't have any land.
  • [33:09] Guerilla Gardening.
  • [34:25] Composting & feeding your plants.
  • [40:00] How to care for your food during a dry spell.
  • [43:30] Knowing what food needs vertical support.
  • [45:10] Planning for next year.

Don't forget to join the community Facebook group for more tips and to answer any questions!

Also Mentioned:

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Ep 22. Saving the River Poddle – Róisín McAleer

The River Poddle runs through Dublin City, sometimes underground, so not a lot of people know of its importance. Róisín McAleer, a teacher and member of Crumlin Community Clean Up group, tells us about the importance of the river and how it's being threatened right now.

Have a listen and don't forget to sign the petition here and follow the campaign on twitter to keep up to date. Everything else mentioned is linked below.

The Planning documents are available to view here.

Taking Action!

Contact the River Poddle Flood Alleviation Scheme here or email them at info@poddlefas.ie with your concerns for this project. Use whoismytd.com to find your local TDs and contact them too.

You can also copy and paste your email and send it to:

  • floodinfo@opw.ie
  • info@opw.ie
  • john.sydenham@opw.ie - Commissioner of Floodrisk Management
  • john.curtin@opw.ie - Director of Floodrisk Management
  • info@sdublincoco.ie

 

Get Involved With:

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Covered in this episode:

You can see the Poddle in:

  • Tymon Park.
  • Whitehall Road, Kimmage Manor.
  • Poddle Park/Ravensdale Park.
  • St. Martin's Park.

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Ep 20. Sustainable Resolutions

Happy New Year guys. I know it doesn't feel like it for a lot of people, especially due to the ongoing fires in Australia. Personally, I find it so hard to not be overwhelmed when such disasters happen but the only thing I can do that alleviates this dread in me is knowing there is still life right now therefore there is still hope and I must do what I can.

In this (delightfully short) episode I suggest 6 resolutions you can take your pick of for 2020, or adopt them whenever you like if that's your jam! I also give a quick summary and shout out to all the guests I've had in 2019 and of course to you guys, the listeners. Thank you all so much.

I'll be back in 2020 at some point with more inspiring and educational interviews.

X

 

Mentioned:

Click this link to find the episode on your podcast provider!

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Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.

Ep 12. Why it’s time to join the Rebellion- Cormac Nugent, Extinction Rebellion

For episode 12 I asked Cormac Nugent for an interview on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Ireland. He has been with the group for a few months and hosts some of their public 'Heading for Extinction' talks. He knows an awful lot about the climate crisis situation and more importantly, what we need to do about. We cover a LOT in this episode so it's longer that usual but you won't notice the time going. We sure didn't!

Some of the highlights we talked about are:

  • How Cormac became involved in Environmentalism.
  • The Montreal Protocol: protecting the ozone.
  • Who Extinction Rebellion are, their demands and values.
  • Why they do disruptive actions.
  • What The Climate Emergency the Irish government declared means for us and the climate emergency measures bill.
  • A brief science of the climate crisis: previous extinctions, carbon absorption by the ocean, coral reefs, soil degradation.
  • The temperature rise, why and how it happens, what needs to be done to stop it.
  • Tree cover in Ireland and the problem with sitka spruce.
  • Our carbon budget.
  • What a just transition means.
  • Electric cars Vs public transport.
  • The top 3 causes of climate change.
  • Erica Chenoweth’s studies including the 3.5% rule.
  • Rebellion Week.
  • What you have to do to risk arrest.
  • Examples of affinity groups: Plant Bandits and The Bumble Bees.
  • Advice for battling eco-anxiety.

Educational Resources:

Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.
How to get involved:
  • Social Media Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Joining your local group (or setting one up if there isn't one!).
  • Via your College/University XR society. Again, you can set one up if there isn't one!
  • By attending local Heading for Extinction talks, NVDA workshops and monthly meetings, all events are listed on their Facebook page here.
  • Share XR's events and posts online and with your friends and family.
  • Donate to their GoFundMe by clicking here.
  • Join protests in person.
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Find and join your nearest strike on the 20th of September!

[Sign up to be a steward here.]

School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend.

  • Dublin: Gathering 12:00 at Customs House, marching at 12:30 to Merrion Sq., rallying 13:00 - 14:00 at Merrion Sq. in front of Govt. buildings
  • Cork City: Gathering on Grand Parade St. from 12:00, marching at 12:20.
  • Kerry (Tralee): Meet at County Buildings, Ratass, at 9am
  • Clare (Ennis): Meet at The Height, O’Connell Square at 9am
  • Drogheda: Demonstrating from 13:00 outside St. Peters's Church, West St.
  • Galway: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 16:00 in Eyre Square
  • Navan: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 15:00 at the Market Square
  • Limerick: Marching from Arthur's Quay Park at 13:00, finishing at City Hall.
  • Dundalk: Demonstrating from 12:30 - 15:00 in the Market Square
  • Kenmare: Demonstrating from 9:00 - 13:00 outside the Courthouse
  • Dingle: 12pm at the Town Park climateactiondingle@outlook.ie.

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Ep 10. Why we are Sick of Plastic! – Claudia Tormey, Friends of the Earth

Episode 10 is here already! This one specifically looks at plastic and I talk to Claudia Tormey about it. Claudia works for Friends of the Earth and runs their #SickOfPlastic campaign. Have a listen to learn about:

  • How and why Claudia came to work for FOE.
  • Who are Friends of the Earth & what do they do?
  • Why plastic is such a problem.
  • Fracking & drilling for oils in Ireland.
  • The LNG terminals (take action here!).
  • How to Shop and Drop.
  • What's been happening to our waste.
  • Advice on how keep it together as an environmental activist.
Photo: Sorcha McManigan

Other campaigns & causes mentioned:

 

Media Mentioned:

Take action by signing their Sick of Plastic campaign petition here!

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