Letter: Walk out, die in and rally for climate action

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Dear Asheville community:

At the recent first meeting of the budding local chapter of Extinction Rebellion (extinctionrebellion.us), I sat with a circle of mostly elders who have decided to step up and insist we stop pretending our governments will address the climate emergency in a useful way. There will be more connecting opportunities in a couple of weeks at a library education room in the area. You can get in touch with me if you want to know where (a_dasilva@bellsouth.net).

Other activists are also stepping out and up for help to shortcut this mindless march into what is not glibly being called the Sixth Extinction on Earth. From Sept. 20-27, classes, demonstrations, strikes and rallies are planned, including in Asheville on the 20th a “die-in” at 11 a.m. and a rally at 5 p.m.

This is a call out to y’all that business cannot be conducted as usual if we are to change the course of madness — and that students and teachers, clerks and administrators, workers and housekeepers, all step off the familiar path and go downtown (or to a local outdoor gathering space) and turn your concern into an insistence that will be noticed. This is a totally nonviolent event designed to help folks focus on this devastating issue and to use our love and willpower to draw ourselves away from the distractions of consumer culture and the demands of our daily lives.

Forty-nine years ago, in the winter and spring of 1970, all over this continent, students began holding sit-ins in school halls and classrooms, protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and demanding an end to the war against Vietnam. We didn’t even have internet at that time, but telephones sufficed to link the whole country of high school, college and university populations, including a considerable number of faculty, and make the dire situation a priority. It really did begin to turn the tide.

Surely the fact that children today have terrible things to look forward to, and all of us will be hit hard in not that many years if things don’t abruptly and comprehensively shift. There are answers, however temporary at this time, to many of the climate dilemmas we face, but they have to be acted on right away. And the only way it seems the legislative will to move on them will be summoned is through the kind of insistence sit-ins, die-ins, walkouts, strikes and other citizen action have the power to provoke.

I hope you work or go to school in a place that will understand when you don’t show up on Friday the 20th or, even more demonstrably, take your things and leave before 11 a.m. to lend your voice, your will and your love to protect this planet that can’t take much more abuse. The time to stop pretending is now! The time to implement extreme changes is now! The time to strike is now!

— Arjuna da Silva
Black Mountain


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24 thoughts on “Letter: Walk out, die in and rally for climate action

  1. Frank Fox

    Important to note that the Climate Strike Die-In Rally begins at the Vance Memorial at 11:30 AM Friday 20 Sept. Then we will walk over to the City Hall opposite Pack Square Park for a rally at noon.

    And a personal awareness that what is touted as “Natural gas” is mostly methane, a global warming pollutant 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and ofcourse itleaks at the well head, in pipelines, in compressor stations, and at power plants like the one being built in South Asheville.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    Do they have a plan to implement if the climate STOPS changins ? ? ? What then?

  3. Mike

    About 20,000 years ago (near the end of the most recent ice age) the avg earth temp is estimated to have been about 8 to 10 degrees F colder than it is now. Then the people of earth instituted a strong mandatory climate action plan and in only 12,000 years it warmed up to about what it is now… Well, at least the part about the major warming between 20,000 years ago and 8,000 years ago is true. And in the last few million years there have been several ice ages way colder than the one the ended 20,000 years ago and several periods way warmer than it is today. To think that human activity can CAUSE or PREVENT climate disruptions of the magnitude of these entirely natural ones is the height of human vanity.

    • C-Law

      So true—Marxist narcissism knows no bounds and is utterly lawless and morally bankrupt. There can be no compromise or “coexistence” with such willful madness.

    • Phillip C Williams

      Yes – many factors in play besides human activity….polar tilt, solar activity, volcanic activity, etc, etc etc….nothing much new under the sun…

    • Mike

      My ode to Greta Thunberg (with apologies to Abba)

      She is the drama queen, young and dumb only sweet sixteen.
      She can rant. She can lie, having the time of her life.
      See that girl, watch that scene, digging the drama queen.

      (I have degrees in Physics, Computer Science and a Phd in Mathematics. I am a semi-retired prof from a top 25 public research university. Most of my career has been sppnt developing computer models of physical systems. NOBODY can build a reliable model of long term climate)

      • Richard B.

        Appreciate Mike’s comments stated in a completely non political manner. All science. All rational and logical.
        Rare these days to find an academic type who can avoid identifying themselves with an increasingly irrational Left agenda and speak to the subject in sensible sentences.
        Thank you for stepping out and up, to borrow a phrase from Mr. da Silva.

        For a really informative, and scientific, discussion on the subject of global climate change over the eons, please cut and past the link below into your browser. Spoiler alert! – for open minds only…absolutely no political statements involved.

        • Peter Robbins

          Mike isn’t being rational at all. He’s arguing (with sarcasm no less!) that because human activity did not cause the (very slow) climate change that has occurred naturally in the pre-industrial and/or pre-human past, it cannot possibly be causing the (very rapid) climate change that we are experiencing in the post-industrial present and are threatened with experiencing by the end of the century. That proposition is, as the physicists say, so dumb it’s not even wrong. Take a look at the links I supplied below. Or, better yet, watch the entire edX course from which the last one came. It’s called “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial,” it’s free, and I promise the worst you can do is learn something.

          • Mike

            20 years ago the “model” predicted major and measureable additional “global warming” by now. But then the warming STOPPED around Y2K. Thats why the name had to be changed to “climate change”. Any rational scientist such as I understands that climate change is inevitable AND UNPREVENTABLE. When the sun becomes a red giant any humans left alive will see some serious “climate change”

          • Peter Robbins

            Sigh. So many errors in such a short post.

            First, the “global warming hiatus” turned out to be a myth. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181219093922.htm. The planet is undeniably warming and it is warming because of human activity, as the scientific consensus states. But nice try. Second, the term “global warming” refers to the trend in average global temperatures. The term “climate change” refers to the effects of global warming — effects that don’t necessarily make conditions warmer everywhere all the time but are making things worse in many places around the world as we speak. There has been no change in terminology. Third, no one I know of has ever claimed that humans can prevent all natural changes in the Earth’s climate over the millions of years left until the last trump shall sound. What we are trying to prevent is a catastrophe before the end of this century — one needlessly brought about by reckless human behavior and not by natural cycles. We will all die eventually, both individually and as a species; that is true. But that doesn’t make it a waste of time to eschew a game of Russian roulette in the meantime.

            Your inability to discuss the issues in relevant — or even coherent — terms suggests to me that you understand less about climate than the average person. Certainly less than Greta Thunberg. Maybe you should send in your research paper to a peer-reviewed journal, Mr. Rational Scientist, and pick a fight with someone your own size. The editors might need a laugh, what with all the climate news these days being so grim.

      • Relevant

        “Why is Greta Thunberg so triggering? Because of what she represents. In an age when democracy is under assault, she hints at the emergency of new kind of power, a convergence of youth, popular protest and irrefutable science. And for her loudest detractors, she also represents something else: the sight of their impending obsolescence hurtling towards them.”


    • Lou

      Mike…to think that humans are incapable of destroying our environment via greed and lust for power is the height of human ignorance. Nice try.

  4. Jason W

    Wether climate change is an actual phenomena or not, what’s the objection to cutting our emissions, reducing pollution, and cleaning up our environment?
    If climate change is real, and we address it, then we gain a better environment.
    If climate change is not real, but we still address it, then we lose nothing and gain a better environment.
    If climate change is not real, and we don’t address it, then we lose nothing, but also gain nothing either.
    If climate change is real, and we don’t address it, then we lose everything.
    Seems like a logical choice.

    • Lou

      Hi Jason, excellent post. It IS a logical choice unless you are a wealthy person whose money is earned in less than honorable ways. They have all joined forces to destroy democracy and the planet.

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