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Takin’ it to the Streets to Save the World – XR uses Saturday Night Fever to Wake up Planet Earth

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Short Video illustrating the disco-bedience protest in madrid around the climate conference

Civil Disco-Bedience: Inspired Dance Protest Outside UN Climate Conference in Madrid

When it comes to the climate crisis, there is an unfortunate oversaturation of negative news. Rising temperatures, polluted oceans, wildfires, hurricanes, floods and more—all against the backdrop of political inaction. It does not always paint the most uplifting picture.

Even protests are often (rightfully) fueled by frustration and anger. While climate rallies are in the world’s best interests, their participants are usually an aggressively determined and ambitious crowd. Such is what it takes to fight the systemic behemoths that are behind climate change.

A first phase consisted of a kind of shock tactic to try to emphasize the seriousness of the dangers faced by all. “Die-ins” were a way to illustrate, almost literally, the consequences of inaction. Stopping traffic or blocking commerce was a way to force the public and the media to take notice.

The Extinction Rebellion has been putting on protests since May 2018, but it has become particularly active in the past few months. Its rallies can sometimes be perceived as extremism. Multiple members of the group have been arrested for their uncompromising actions and their protests have been made illegal in the city of London.

Then the floods, droughts, fires and extreme weather events started to become commonplace. Scientific reports showed the undeniable connection to man-made climate change. Global Warming became Climate Change then a Climate Crisis. The fear became palpable.

It appears that, even as at least some attention is being paid at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid, a major shift could be emerging in world opinion. World leaders are coming together to follow up on the 2015 Paris Accords and seek to come to sound agreements for the planet’s future.

More importantly, there is a massive shift in the auto industry with carmakers anticipating an eventual end to internal combustion engine (ICE) production in favor of electric vehicles (EVs).

Sometimes it’s necessary to look past the threats and the doom and try to imagine a world where the human race rises to an extinction level threat and not only survives but prevails. To imagine a world where energy is abundant and comes from the sun, from wind power and as yet unknown clean, sustainable energy sources.

Like driving a beautiful, clean, zero emission Tesla on beautiful mountain roads, charged from solar sources, and marveling at a better world all around. A Great fantasy today, but what kind of changes, to our ways of thinking, to our current corrupt infrastructure, to all that stands in the way, would it take to make it a reality?

A tiny first step could be for those that no longer need convincing that the Climate Crisis is real to come together and announce to the world, and more importantly to one another, that the journey towards, not just survival, but to a better life has begun. And what better way to do it than by….. dancing.

This week, the grassroots environmental organization known as the Extinction Rebellion blocked out Madrid’s busy Gran Via to dance in the street—enacting what they are calling “civil disco-bedience.”

Following the Unspoken Ethos of Elon Musk “Save the Planet and have Fun Doing it” is the new Mantra

In Madrid the protestors expressed nothing but upbeat vibes, as hundreds flooded the roads to jam out and move their bodies to songs of celebration and life, not death.

As several members of the party stated, the Extinction Rebellion has tried just about every option in the book to get politicians on board with prioritizing climate change. Sadly, very few of its efforts have been rewarded. Now that all of the leaders are at the conference talking out potential solutions, there is not much left for the organization to do.

Always savvy when it comes to public backlash and highly motivated for a more than righteous cause, it appears that the group has decided that there must be joy, exuberance, energy and even a celebratory atmosphere to the consciousness raising efforts, if they are to succeed.

So they dance. In the cold December air, some go shirtless and all express sentiments of optimism for the future. They stand for saving the world, and are having fun doing it. Hopefully, the politicians meeting inside Madrid’s IFEMA facilities are feeling as progressive as the protestors are, and will find some sort of innovative compromise before the Conference ends on December 13th.

As various groups come together searching for ways to act against the threats of the Climate Crisis and in favor of solutions and changes that will enable a life on earth that does not depend on burning carbon to live, they are realizing, it appears, that finding each other and reinforcing their mutual love for life and this planet may be the first, best, test in what will be humankind’s greatest challenge.

The citizens of earth ultimately have the power to decide the future. Now, and soon, that decision will be made, one way, or another. Perhaps celebrating this certainty by dancing on the streets of Madrid in the winter of 2019 may not be a bad way to acknowledge and affirm those truths, and begin the dance toward changes for the better.


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