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