Join our Blue Wave carnival in Glasgow
February 16, 2020
Extinction Rebellion Glasgow’s Blue Wave 2 event will be flooding Glasgow’s streets with waves of creativity, music and colour on 29 February .
Everyone is invited to join the family-friendly fun.
Blue Wave 2 starts by the river at Clyde Street from 12.00pm. You can find more details and follow livestreams on our Facebook page.
Rebels, families, the curious, lovers of sea creatures and the colour blue, plus anyone in need of dispelling the winter gloom with positivity and colour – you are all invited to come along.
The day will have a carnival-like atmosphere but we’re also highlighting the dangers we face from rising sea levels caused by the climate crisis.
Glasgow under threat from rising sea levels
The impact of climate change is not just going to happen in faraway places. We will all be affected by this, and Glasgow will be no different.
A recent study by Climate Ready Clyde found that storms, flooding and heatwaves could severely impact the city by 2050 and affect up to 1.8 million people.
An interactive map produced by Climate Central shows where Scotland could be hit by rising tides in 2050 if dramatic action is not taken to halt climate change.
“One day we’ll disappear”:
Voices of the rising seas
Many are already living with the effects of the rising seas. Their voices, haunted by loss, send out countless warnings and calls to the world to act now. Despite these warnings, not enough is yet being done by all governments worldwide, including in Scotland. In some places, progress is even going backward.
It’s is why Extinction Rebellion (XR) Scotland and the international XR movement will continue to rebel in solidarity with these voices. XR Glasgow’s Blue Wave is an act of solidarity and a celebration of hope and action.
570 cities, 800 million people
The conservative scientific consensus is that a 1.5°C increase in global temperature will generate a global sea-level rise of between 1.7 and 3.2 feet by 2100.
Even if we collectively manage to keep global temperatures from rising to 2°C, by 2050 at least 570 cities and some 800 million people will be exposed to rising seas and storm surges.
If the Australian fires has recently shown the visceral horror of the effects of climate change, the rising seas are a remorseless creeping existential threat. Cultures, identities, traditions and ways of life are under threat. Entire communities face stark choices and unknown futures. Nations face crippling costs implementing climate resilience and defence.
Often, communities who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are the most vulnerable. It’s why solidarity and climate justice must be at the heart of any environmental movement or solution.
“I think one day we will disappear.”
Entire island nations such as Tuvula and the Marshall Islands could disappear under the rising waters. Once home to more than 100 people, Vunidogoloa was the first community to relocate under a Fijian government program at a cost of half a million dollars. Forty more villages will need to be moved in the coming years.
“All the rights of living had been lost because of climate change.”
Sailosi Ramatu, Vunidogoloa
“Every day I think about climate change,”
Frank Bainimarama, Fiji Prime Minister
Read more: The Leaders of These Sinking Countries Are Fighting to Stop Climate Change. Here’s What the Rest of the World Can Learn
Rising seas are giving the people of the Marshall Islands a stark choice: relocate or elevate. Drastic and expensive measures need to be considered, including building new artificial islands but this is not just a practical problem. For centuries, Marshall Islanders have been tied to their ancestral lands through families, clans and ancient ties.
“We don’t just select to live on certain islands. Everybody lives in their island because that’s where they belong to. Moving from one island to another is not a straight move. It’s not just so simple.”
Hilda Heine, Marshall Islands President
Reads more: Rising seas give island nation a stark choice
“The sea is eating all the sand. Before, the sand used to stretch out far, and when we swam we could see the sea floor, and the coral. Now, it is cloudy all the time, and the coral is dead. Tuvalu is sinking. Maybe one time Tuvalu will disappear. From what I can see a lot is already gone. I think one day we will disappear.”
Enna Sione, Tuvula
Read more: ‘One day we’ll disappear’: Tuvalu’s sinking islands
The sinking megacity
Jakarta is sinking fast, faster even than climate change is causing the Java Sea to rise. Human-made crises, city mismanagement and climate change pose an imminent threat to the city’s survival and it’s 30 million inhabitants.
“If this wall breaks, there’s simply no holding back the Java Sea. Jakarta will flood all the way to the centre of town, six kilometres from here. I could take you to 20 other places just like this.”
JanJaap Brinkman, Jakarta / Holland
Read more: Jakarta Is sinking so fast, it could end up underwater
“Where the hell are they going to go?”
Fairbourne in north Wales is caught between the sea and the mountains. It is the first UK community to be decommissioned as a result of climate change.
“This is a wake-up call for the country. There are hundreds of residents in Fairbourne, We’ve got the little railway. We’ve got the shops. We’ve got a post office. We are a thriving community, and that’s all going to be wiped out. I don’t like to think about it.”
Bev Wilkins, Fairbourne
“It gives you an inner feeling of doom. It is despondency. Everything you do is futile. I cannot pass my home on to my son – it is lost. What have I worked for? It is not just a Fairbourne problem. You’ve got all these other communities in Wales and England. Where the hell are they going to go?”
Mike Thrussell, Fairbourne
Read more: the villagers who could be Britain’s first climate refugees
“We are sitting on a time bomb”
Sea levels in West Africa are expected to rise faster than the global average . The Nigerian megalopolis Lagos is also at risk of inundation
“In West Africa, infrastructure and economic activities are centred along the coastal region, so as sea levels continue to rise, it threatens our very existence and source of income. We are sitting on a time bomb.”
Kwasi Appeaning Addo, University of Ghana
Read more: West Africa is being swallowed by the sea
Slow, mass migration
The era of climate migration is already upon America and could be so sprawling that it may rival anything in US history, including that of the Great Migration seen in the 20th century. By the end of this century, sea-level rise alone could displace 13 million people. States including Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey will also have to grapple with hordes of residents seeking dry ground.
“It isn’t too far-fetched to imagine something twice as large as the Dustbowl… it is very difficult to model human behaviour under such extreme and historically unprecedented circumstances.”
Jesse Keenan, Harvard University
In 2016, the community of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana was the first place to be given federal money to replant itself.
“We are called climate refugees but I hate that term. We will be the first ones to face this in the modern US but we won’t be the last.”
Chantal Comardelle, Isle de Jean Charles
Read more: ‘We’re moving to higher ground’: America’s era of climate mass migration is here
What can you do?
Get involved! We need all your skills and energy for key events happening this year such as COP26. Find a group near you, come to a XR Glasgow meeting or donate so we can keep fighting to make governments act.