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Views And Reviews The Big Picture

Just 11 years to avert disaster

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 16 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1801

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Re: Just 11 years to avert disaster

I completely agree with the content of this very well-written piece except for one thing - the use of the term 'Radical Environmentalists'.

Extinction Rebellion (1) have rightly sought to bring to wider attention the imminent breakdown of our climate and the catastrophe this will herald if we do not change our behaviour very soon. I cant see how this would be described as radical - we don't label smoking cessation practitioners as 'Radical Anti-Cancers' or school crossing patrols as 'Radical Anti- Accident Activists'.

I feel that using the term 'Radical' allows those who want to dismiss the message to do so by dismissing the messenger. How many of us would be comfortable being called a radical anything? Even using the word environmentalists potentially allows this group to be thought of as 'others'. Surely we all - in a local or global scale - wish our environment to be safe and protected?

We are all in the same boat and it is sinking fast. Lets not waste time as human so often do by resorting to 'them and us' and so giving ourselves an excuse to carry on as we are. We all need to roll our sleeves up and start bailing and that is not a radical statement.


Competing interests: No competing interests

23 April 2019
Scott Fraser