51 Sheffield Signatories add Support for Extinction Rebellion
An Open Letter has been signed by 51 faith leaders, medics and academics in Sheffield, endorsing civil disobedience aimed at persuading the government to pursue urgently much more ambitious action on climate change and related environmental issues. This letter is a local expression in line with a letter to the Guardian of 26th October. The Sheffield letter was circulated by Sheffield Climate Alliance. Included among the signatories are the Bishop of Sheffield, the President of the Sheffield TUC, and the former Director of Public Heath.
The letter to the Guardian of 26 October was initiated by a group called Extinction Rebellion. On Saturday 17 November they peacefully blocked five bridges in London. In Sheffield on Saturday 24 November a ‘Funeral for the Planet’ was attended by approximately 50 people who then processed to the Town Hall and presented the Sheffield Letter for the attention of Julie Dore.
The full text of the Sheffield letter and the list of signatories is below. To add your name to the letter, please fill in the form here. We will collect new names from the forms every couple of weeks (until the Christmas holidays) and add them to this post.
The Sheffield Letter
Facts about our ecological crisis are incontrovertible. We must take action. Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or science with impunity.
We the undersigned represent diverse academic disciplines, the medical profession and faith communities in Sheffield. The views expressed here are those of the signatories and not their organisations. While our perspectives and expertise may differ, we are united on one point: we will not tolerate the failure of this or any other government to take robust and emergency action in respect of the worsening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible, and it is unconscionable to us that our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of an unprecedented disaster of our own making.
We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species becoming extinct each day. Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or of science with impunity. If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is bleak.
Our government is complicit in ignoring the precautionary principle, and in failing to acknowledge that infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is non-viable. Instead, the government irresponsibly promotes rampant consumerism and free-market fundamentalism, and allows greenhouse gas emissions to rise. Earth Overshoot Day (the date when humans have used up more resources from nature than the planet can renew in the entire year) falls ever earlier each year (1 August in 2018).
When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The “social contract” has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.
We therefore declare our support for Extinction Rebellion, launched on 31 October 2018. We fully stand behind the demands for the government to tell the hard truth to its citizens. We call for a Citizens’ Assembly to work with scientists on the basis of the extant evidence and in accordance with the precautionary principle, to urgently develop a credible plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.
The Rt. Rev’d Dr. Pete Wilcox Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt. Rev’d Dr. Tim Ellis Assistant Bishop of Sheffield
The Rev’d Malcolm Chamberlain Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham
The Rev’d Gill Newton Chair, Sheffield Methodist District
The Rev’d Gareth Jones Sheffield Methodist Circuit Minister
Abdool Kadir Gooljar Chair, One City Many Cultures
Dr. Vithal Patel, MBBS,DGO,FRCOG,FODA President, Hindu Samaj
Mr. Bob Jeffery President of Sheffield TUC
Dr. Aarti Bansai, MBChB, MRCGP, M. Ed. GP, NIHR Research Fellow
Dr. Jillian Creasy, MRCGP Retired General Practioner and Medico-legal report writer for
Freedom from Torture
Dr. Jack Czaudema Retired Family Doctor, Chair, Pioneer Health Foundation
Dr. Amar Rughani Hon. Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sheffield
Dr. Alan Shirley GP, Sheffield
Dr. Mike Tomson,FRCGP GP and Medical Educationalist
Dr. Elizabeth Walton Clinical Lecturer (University of Sheffield) & GP
Dr. Jeremy Wight , FFPH Hon. Professor of Public Health, former Director of Public
Health for Sheffield
Ms Rosa Alonso-Perez Senior Lecturer in Spanish
Mr. Roger Bateman Deputy Head of Art & Design, Sheffield HallamUniversity
Dr. Claudia Rojas Bernal Lecturer in Urban Design, University of Sheffield (U of S)
Professor Frank Birkin University of Sheffield
Mr. Simon Brook Senior Lecturer
Dr. Lisa Jane Brown Associate Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU)
Dr. Stuart Campbell Research Fellow, Animal & Plant Sciences, U of S
Dr. Renella Cere Reader in Media & Cultural Studies, SHU
Dr. Jeremy Clines Anglican Chaplain, University of Sheffield
Dr. Alasdair Cochrane University of Sheffield
Dr. Annaliese Connolly Senior Lecturer in English Literature
Professor Lynn Crowe Professor of Environmental Management, SHU
Professor Rosaleen Duffy Professor, International Politics, U of S
Mr. John Grant Senior Lecturer
Mr. Stephen Hughes Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr. Russell Jackson Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Mr. Mark Leader Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Mr. Jeremy Lee Principal Lecturer
Professor Colin Osborne Professor of Plant Biology, U of S
Dr. Tessa Peasgood University of Sheffield
Dr. Nick Pollard Professional Lead, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics & Vocational
Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, SHU
Professor Jenny Pickerill Professor of Environmental Geography
Dr. R.A.Pitt Senior Maths Lecturer (Retired) SHU
Professor Fionn Stevenson Chair of Sustainable Design, U of S School of Architecture
Mr. Kevin Taylor Senior Lecturer, SHU
Dr. Aaron Thierry Sheffield Climate Alliance
Dr. Tom Tyerman Lecturer in International Politics, SHU
Dr. Diarmuid Verrier Sheffield Hallam University
Professor Philip Warren University of Sheffield
Dr. Matt Watson Senior Lecturer, U of S
Dr. Tom J. Webb University of Sheffield
Ms J. Webster Lecturer
Ms Sarah Wefers Doctoral Researcher, SHU
Dr. Richard J. White Reader in Human Geography
Dr. Rosalind Wostenholme Lecturer