Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

‘I’m Putting My Life On Hold’: 22 Climate Activists Arrested

‘I’m Putting My Life On Hold’: 22 Climate Activists Arrested
Anti-fracking protesters hold a demonstration outside Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in central London on Nov. 12. ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP / Getty Images

In 2012, geophysicist Brad Werner gave a talk at a conference asking the question, "Is Earth F**ked?" The answer? Not if ordinary people fought back in a movement reminiscent of the Civil Rights or anti-slavery struggles, Think Progress reported at the time.

Six years later, a group of activists in the UK appear poised to bring Werner's hope to life.

Extinction Rebellion, which launched itself into the public consciousness with a civil disobedience action outside London's Parliament Square a little under two weeks ago, coordinated another action Monday in which activists blocked the entrance to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), The Guardian reported. Protesters super-glued their hands to the entry gates to the staff door and lay in the streets to block traffic outside the building.

"The IPCC report in October gave us six to 12 years, and this is known to be a conservative report. If we don't respond with a war-style effort now we are all fucked, all of us. My heart is breaking and I've got to do something, and I'm putting my life on hold," protester Bell Selkie told The Guardian.

Selkie, a 48-year-old farmer from Wales, locked and glued herself to the doors of the building, said climate change had had a clear impact on her harvests.

One protester used wash-off spray chalk to write "frack off" above the main entrance to the building. The UK's Conservative government has approved two controversial fracking wells in Northwest England.

Extinction Rebellion said 22 people were arrested at Monday's action, and police confirmed that at least eight had been detained, BBC News reported. Everyone has since been released, according to Extinction Rebellion's Twitter feed.

Protesters said Monday's action was the kick-off to a week demonstrations that will culminate with what they are calling "Rebellion Day" on Saturday.

The BEIS was targeted specifically because of its involvement in fracking, Extinction Rebellion said in a statement reported by The Guardian.

"The UK government, specifically BEIS, is promoting fracking—meeting with fracking companies more than 30 times in the last three years, compared to zero times with anti-fracking groups—despite massive local opposition," the statement said.

The group wants the UK to both cancel short-term projects that will increase greenhouse gas emissions, like the fracking wells and a planned third runway at Heathrow airport. Long term, they want the country to aim to be carbon neutral by 2025, a goal that experts say would require a "revolution" in transport, energy use and agriculture, BBC News reported. The UK government is eyeing 2050 as is goal for carbon neutrality.

But the point of the movement is that the science itself justifies ambitious goals.

"The facts and figures are easily accessible if you have the stomach to look, but here within Extinction Rebellion and certainly with myself, is an offer of friendship, guidance and mutual grief," protester Lizia Wolf told BBC News. "The first step towards creating the changes necessary for survival—and towards solving any problem in general—is to acknowledge the utterly terrifying situation we are in."

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less


Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras


  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less