Extinction Rebellion Boston_Newbury Street_210PM.jpeg

Extinction Rebellion blocked entrance to Mass Pike, demanding Governor Baker to eliminate carbon within 7 years

Extinction Rebellion blocked entrance to Mass Pike, demanding Governor Baker to eliminate carbon within 7 years

The Biden Administration, state, and local governments committing to net zero emissions by 2050 are condemning humanity to an unstable and unlivable future as the Climate Crisis and Ecological Collapse accelerate. (1,2,3)

Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is too late.

Boston, MA — Extinction Rebellion Boston held an Earth Day Parade and blocked the entrance to the Mass Pike with a 30-foot pink boat. Their action was intended to demand that Governor Baker and the Biden administration declare a Climate Emergency and urgently reduce emissions to net zero faster than the current plan, which will reach net zero emissions by 2050. Several Boston-area climate groups joined in solidarity.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humanity has under seven years to limit human-caused global warming to a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature, beyond which planetary conditions will become catastrophic. Numerous climate scientists believe that we have already depleted this budget.(4) Scientific consensus is clear that waiting until 2050 to reach net zero emissions will be too late to avoid widespread climate catastrophe.

Governor Baker gets press for strong climate leadership, but actively blocked the passage of The Climate Roadmap Bill S.9 using pocket vetoes and many rounds of comments that would have weakened the bill. Before Baker’s suggested changes, Climate Bill S.9 was already too weak to protect the constituents of Massachusetts and people around the world from climate and ecological catastrophe. Members of Extinction Rebellion Boston demand that Governor Baker declare a Climate Emergency and commit to net-zero emissions within 7 years.

The parade, which amassed more than 100 attendees, stopped at the intersection of Newbury Street and Massachusetts Avenue where a 30-foot bright pink sailboat blocked the intersection (the group blocked Commonwealth Avenue to Boylston Street and Fairfield Street to the Mass Pike). The boat reads “Just Transition” on one side, “Climate Emergency” on the other, and the sail on the top reads "7 years to save the planet." Six of the activists chained themselves to the trailer of the boat while ten others secured the intersection by standing in front of vehicles with large banners reading "Declare Climate and Ecological Emergency" and "Act Now." They effectively blocked the onramp to the Mass Pike. Everyone participating in the blockade was fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19.

Extinction Rebellion chapters around the United States held similar actions as part of a campaign run by Extinction Rebellion U.S., intended to demand the Biden administration to declare a Climate Emergency and take immediate and urgent action to combat the climate crisis.

33 years ago, Dr. James Hansen of NOAA told Congress that human-created climate change is a real and existential threat. (5) Finally, after 30+ years of our government's failure to take urgent action on the climate and ecological crises, the Biden administration recently announced targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While we acknowledge this progress, his stated targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not urgent enough to avoid climate, ecological, and the resulting social collapse.

“According to climate scientists, Earth is hurtling towards what they coin an ‘uninhabitable hothouse Earth.’ Earth’s tipping points, which are being reached more quickly than scientists originally projected, risk setting the Earth on a dangerous trajectory that can no longer be stopped or controlled by human behavior. Humanity must stop burning fossil fuels and rapidly transition to renewable energy before the 2050 goal that many governments have set as their target. Several countries have committed to net zero by 2030 or 2040, (6) and the United States must take more aggressive action if we wish to ensure that we hand down a safe and habitable Earth to our children,” says Nic Bryant from Extinction Rebellion Boston.

Wealthy countries that emit the most greenhouse gases have entered a non-binding agreement, The Paris Agreement, aspiring to a 50% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050. This target condemns billions of people around the world to misery, disaster, and forced climate migration which will overwhelm our borders. Climate migration has already begun, and will only worsen in the decades to come. The countries that have done the least to cause the climate and ecological crises already are and will continue to suffer the most.

"For decades, political and business leaders in the United States and around the world have known that human civilization is degrading Earth’s ecosystems and destabilizing the climate, causing millions of plant and animal species to go extinct. Their inaction on climate is nothing short of criminal. We feel that blocking traffic and disruptive action is our only choice to stop the dangerous trajectory that humanity is on," said Susan Lemont from Extinction Rebellion Boston.

Extinction Rebellion Boston demands that every town, city, state, and the federal government in the United States immediately declare a Climate Emergency. Over 130 local U.S. jurisdictions and dozens of countries already have.(7) A Climate Emergency declaration would unlock the sweeping powers of government, enabling collective action, communicating the truth about the severity and danger of the Climate and Ecological Crises, and begin the transition to a just, equitable, and sustainable future. These declarations of Climate Emergency must also codify Environmental Justice into law in recognition of the historical burdens on communities disproportionately impacted, as modeled in a recently-passed bill in Massachusetts.(8)

If our leaders continue to fail to meet the urgency of the Climate Emergency, Extinction Rebellion commits to continued and escalating action. A society that fails to protect its citizens from clear and present danger forces citizens to organize for justice, and fight for their safety and survival. Extinction Rebellion chapters around the globe adhere to principles of non-violent direct action and compassionate communication, while continuing to resist, disrupt, and transform ‘business-as-usual’ which puts the survival of all life on Earth at risk of extinction. Extinction Rebellion members recognize that we're together on the same planet and have mobilized to fight for our future in over 1,000 groups in 77 countries. (9)

Extinction Rebellion Boston is an autonomous chapter of the international grassroots movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), which started in London in 2018. The purpose of XR is to tell the truth about how dire the ecological and climate crisis is and spark immediate action in order to prevent complete climate and ecological collapse. We aim to mobilize people around the world to utilize nonviolent direct action to demand that governments take radical action to avert societal collapse caused by widespread climate and ecological disaster, and to protect front-line communities, biodiversity, and the natural world. This movement is non-political, and unites all of humanity behind a singular goal of a just and livable future. Learn more at: xrboston.org

  1. Vice, “The Collapse of Civilization May Have Already Begun”
  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "Despite pandemic shutdowns, carbon dioxide and methane surged in 2020, Carbon dioxide levels are now higher than at anytime in the past 3.6 million years"
  3. Union of Concerned Scientists, "Underwater - Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate"
  4. Analysis: How much ‘carbon budget’ is left to limit global warming to 1.5C? | Carbon Brief
  5. New York Times, "Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate" (1988)
  6. Climate Change News, “Which countries have a net zero carbon goal?”
  7. Salon.com, "38 countries have declared a Climate Emergency. Should the U.S. be next?"
  8. WBUR, "What You Need To Know About The New Mass. Climate Law"
  9. Wikipedia, "Extinction Rebellion"

Related Stories:

Upcoming Events: