**** Extinction Rebellion Media Release
DOZENS OF NOVA SCOTIANS FAST FOR CLIMATE ACTION
IN EXTINCTION REBELLION HUNGER STRIKE
On the heels of unprecedented global waves of climate action, which saw millions march in late September and thousands arrested in early October, at least twenty local Extinction Rebellion members – and counting – are joining fellow rebels in countries around the world in a hunger strike to urge action on the climate crisis and highlight its intersections with food insecurity.
“As we lose agricultural crops and land to storms, flooding, desertification, soil depletion and other climate crisis impacts, food will become increasingly expensive and scarce. This is already happening now and will only get worse – much worse if we continue to put off acting on the crisis,” explains XR member and hunger striker Jillian Oderkirk. “We’ve marched in the thousands, we’ve been arrested in the dozens, now people are refusing food. We don’t know what it will take for the decision-makers to wake up and act – what event or signal they’re waiting for – but we’ll keep trying.”
Hunger striker Frances Vanderwel explains her motivation: “I joined the hunger strike yesterday and am intending to fast for three days. I’m doing this in solidarity with fellow Extinction Rebellion Hunger Strikers and out of love for this beautiful Earth and the life it still sustains. I am fasting because I can and because I know it will strengthen my resolve, focus my mind and rejuvenate my energy.”
Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia is asking interested participants to register here to fast for a period of time, or organize a food drive or donate to Feed Nova Scotia, and to post about their involvement on social media using the hashtag #GlobalClimateHungerStrike. Hunger strikers should drink liquids, such as water and/or juices. People with concerns about taking part for more than a couple of days or with pre-existing health conditions are recommended to consult with a physician before participating.
Further information on the climate crisis and food insecurity:
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in August 2019 outlined how rising temperatures have already affected our food system – from changing precipitation patterns to coastal degradation to tropical crop yield decline – and how those threats are likely to escalate in the absence of urgent action. The report makes clear that food production itself is a major part of the problem. Together with deforestation (which most commonly means converting forest to agriculture land), agriculture contributes 44 per cent of methane emissions and 23 per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Factoring in other activities along the food supply chain, such as fertilizer production, food processing and transportation, that figure increases to between 21 per cent and 37 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
In general, Industrial agriculture is one of the most destructive human activities on the planet. If soil degradation continues we have 60 years left before topsoil is gone.
Extreme weather events are also an important contributor as are rising sea levels.
Ocean warming and acidification along with overfishing have already depleted 85% of fish stocks. These are predicted to be completely depleted by 2050. Fish account for about 17% of global protein consumption. The rise in global temperatures, is linked to increasing pressures on fertile soil, and jeopardizes food security for the planet. 500 million people live in areas that experience soil desertification which is worsening with climate change. All these factors also contribute to the increase in human migration and the political tensions that ensue. Malnourishment which had been declining for decades started to rise again in 2014 and effects over 800 million people.
This event takes place in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people.