Extinction Rebellion Glasgow protest for urgent climate action after record UK temperature

Extinction Rebellion Glasgow conducted a die-in protest this Saturday (23 July 2022) at 11:00 at Buchanan Street, Glasgow to demand urgent climate action after the highest recorded temperatures in the UK.

Whilst people lie on the ground covered in white sheets, a sombre drum beat will echo through the busy shopping area. Shoppers will have the chance to stop to read the placards laid out on the ‘bodies’ with the ‘cause of death’ including ‘Heat Stress – Death from temperature rising to over 40 degrees’ and ‘Famine – starvaton caused by crop failure’.

The action follows a week of the highest ever recorded temperatures in the UK, which the UN and climate scientists agree is due to human-made climate change. Dr Nikos Christidis, Climate attribution scientist at the Met Office commented this week: “We hoped we wouldn’t get to this situation but for the first time ever we are forecasting greater than 40°C in the UK”. [1] Experts at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have called the global heatwaves a “wake-up call” for climate change, and say these heatwaves are only going to increase in frequency and intensity as global temperatures rise. [2] Scotland saw the highest recorded temperature hit 35.1C (95.1F) in the Borders. It surpasses the previous record of 32.9C recorded in Greycrook in the Borders on 9 August 2003. [3]

Just 7 months after COP26 in Glasgow, it is clear that 2050 net zero targets and actions are failing to change the direction of travel towards an uninhabitable earth. The UK government is issuing new licences for oil and gas in spite of the International Energy Agency stating: ‘If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year. [4]

If anyone thinks XR messaging sounds alarmist, they may want to heed the words of former UK chief scientific adviser Professor Sir David King in Feb 2021: “We have to act quickly. What we do, I believe in the next three to four years will determine the future of humanity. We are in a very, very desperate situation.” [5]

Those involved in the protest gave the following reasons for taking part:

‘If your house was on fire, you wouldn’t sit around and have a chat about it for 30 years or choose to throw more fuel on it to burn even faster. So why are allowing this to happen to our planet?’
Damien McGovern, 41, NHS Physiotherapist

‘We’ve been sounding the alarm about the global climate emergency for years. Now it has arrived on our shores, will those with the power to change things finally listen?’
Wolf Saanen, Glasgow, 39, Receptionist

‘In spite of clear warnings from the United Nations that there should be no new investment in oil and gas, fossil fuel companies, with the full backing of the UK government are pressing on to open new fields. Only the government has the power to make them stop.’
Val King, Stirling, 62, Business Advisor



1. Climate change in the UK – Met Office: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate-change/climate-change-in-the-uk
2. Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability | Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/
3. Scotland’s warmest day was even hotter at 35.1C – BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-62230571
4. Energy groups must stop new oil and gas projects to reach net zero by 2050, IEA says: https://www.ft.com/content/2bf04fff-5b2f-4d96-a4ea-ff55e029f18e
5. “We now have no time on our hands” – In conversation with Professor Sir David King: https://businessandfinance.com/news/we-now-have-no-time-on-our-hands-in-conversation-with-professor-sir-david-king/