1. Fossil fuel extraction and refinement must be scaled back to the minimum which will allow for supply to households for heating purposes only. This is because nationally, and more specifically in rural areas, household heating demand (including for cooking) cannot be met by using biomass alone, e.g. wood from trees, without seriously compromising tree stocks which will be detrimental to CO2 sequestering and habitats for biodiversity. In urban areas electric and gas infrastructure already exists as the main domestic heating supply. However, as many trees as possible should be planted to offset the fossil fuel use and alternative renewable energy sources used as much as possible to supplement domestic energy supply.
2. All passenger transportation must become carbon neutral which will mean the discontinuation of any form of passenger transportation which utilises fossil fuels. This will include fossil fuelled cars, motorbikes, boats, aircraft, etc. If feasible carbon neutral alternatives can be found, such as a limited amount of electric vehicles powered by renewable energy (most likely to be forms of mass public transport) then they could be adopted however the tried and tested means of fossil fuel free transport such as walking, horse riding and horse-drawn vehicles should return to being the norm as well as vehicles propelled directly by natural forces such as sailing vessels.
3. Goods transportation should be made possible by electric vehicle infrastructure where the energy provided is from renewable sources or transportation by other carbon neutral methods. Until carbon neutral forms of air freight and container ships can be developed they will not be able to be used and so due to logistical reasons food, especially fresh produce, will need to be sourced locally, i.e. nationally or regionally. This will also reduce the complexity of food import tariff systems as less produce will be travelling internationally.
4. Machinery which is currently powered by fossil fuels should also be replaced by electric powered ones where the energy is provided by renewable sources. This would include all machinery currently used in the agricultural sector and building sector (which also includes infrastructure building). As well as machinery, all by-products of fossil fuel currently used in these sectors would need to be stopped and alternatives found. These include chemical fertilisers and tarmacadam for road building however with the reduced use of cars for passenger transportation (see point 2) this should be required less. Materials required for road repairs should still be available as a result of the reduced but continued use of fossil fuels for home heating (see point 1).
5. All plastic manufacture should cease. This is a seriously environmentally damaging pollutant which is a by-product of fossil fuel extraction. Only plastics manufactured by recycling existing plastics should be allowed and when they reach full degradation they should be disposed of by burning which will of course lead to CO2 production which is why no further plastic should be made. Plastics are an environmentally damaging storage state for fossil fuels leading to a delayed impact on future generations and are already causing major harm to the marine ecosystem. Synthetic, i.e. plastic, fibres for use within the textile industry must be stopped and due to the requirements relating to transportation of goods (see point 3) substitutes for fibre manufacture will need to be sourced locally. Woolen manufacture will be likely to increase in demand once again which should help to invigorate traditional textile manufacturing.
6. Synthetic medicines will have to be used much less because of reduction in fossil fuel derived chemical availability. This will mean an increase in the use of traditional herbal remedies and plant derived medicines. Where necessary for maintenance of life, certain non-plant based medicines such as human insulin can be manufactured but this should be done locally to eliminate the need for international transportation.
7. The above should all be put into action with IMMEDIATE effect given the tight timescale for reaching the target of carbon neutrality by 2025. The government and industries (including the financial institutions) which are currently the beneficiaries economically from the activities which would need to be reduced should then put as much of their vast resources as possible into feasible working solutions to transition to the requirements described here in a way which is non-harmful to the lives of the populace. Although there will inevitably be disruptions and the requirement for radical changes in lifestyle, including transitioning people from obsolete jobs into new ones, the government, industry, social organisations, households and individuals will all have their roles to play and there must be commitment and leadership from all of these sectors which will result in the objectives being achieved.
The consideration of defence has not been included in the above as in a peaceful civil society defence should be a secondary concern and all the above points should be our primary concerns. Of course the points above will have implications for defence but these would also be ethical considerations as much as practical ones, therefore it is considered that these are outside the scope of the current manifesto.
One reply on “Manifesto for Change In Line With Extinction Rebellion’s Demand to Reach Carbon-Neutral by 2025”
I’m putting this in as a comment rather than an edit of the document above because I think it still stands however I had a look yesterday which was the day of the big Climate Strike and I found a few relevant things. Firstly it looks like one of the main people in XR will be publishing a manifesto sometime later in this month which is along the lines of the book “Common Sense” written by Thomas Payne. This does sound like it will be interesting. However I found something which I think is even more pertinent and also quite ready to be implemented in law which is the “Green New Deal”. I had a read through one of the most recent documents relating to this (https://greennewdealgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/GND_A_Bill_To_Make_It_Happen.pdf) and it looks like it covers many of the points I raised in the manifesto above. It doesn’t seem to have much on reducing plastics or the suggestions I made about herbal medicine however the proposals make a lot of sense and they seem to be thought out in very practical terms which is really good. I will definitely be watching developments with this.