Extinction Rebellion Henley Welcomes Town Council’s Declaration of Climate Emergency

Activists from the environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion (XR) Henley attended the Full Town Council meeting held on Tuesday this week (18 February) to support the Council in declaring a climate emergency and making their voice heard.

Two XR members spoke in the public participation section. Julia Lacey, from Hambleden, gave a powerful statement. “The climate and ecological emergency is the biggest threat that all living things have ever faced,” she said, describing the devastating consequences already at play around the world, such as the fires in Australia and the Amazon basin, floods in Asia and parts of Europe, and stronger hurricanes, cyclones and storms. We cannot afford to ignore these effects and carry on with ‘business as usual’.”

Mrs Lacy added that the British government declared a Climate Emergency in May, and that some 500 local governments have now followed suit. “We strongly recommend that this Council declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency in the best interests of the local and global community.”

Anne Alridge, another XR Henley member from Watlington, said: “I am here on behalf of my grandchildren. I couldn’t look them in the eyes if I didn’t do whatever is in my power to tackle the climate emergency and make sure they have a life ahead of them.”

The Mayor, Councillor Ken Arlett, seemed visibly impressed by these statements, as were the other councillors in attendance and members of the public, and said that he himself has grandchildren and that preserving their future in the face of climate change is indeed a top priority.

After having heard a presentation of the Henley Town Council Climate Emergency 2030 Working Group.  It was noted that the Council had already acknowledged a climate emergency; had formulated a programme of initiatives; and was already in the process of implementing the schemes.

Nathalie from XR Henley said, We welcome this initiative as well the fact that the Council is keen to “follow up on the declaration of Climate Emergency with practical measures.”

  1. Ken Arlett says:

    Hi Michaela

    I think I should make it clear that Henley Town Council are fully supporting Climate Emergency and a Working Group was set up over 6 months ago, and has come up with a number of initiatives that they are moving forward. I am personally not a supporter of Extinction Rebellions violence that has previously taken place, and I hope the ladies that attended the Full Council meeting last Tuesday will renounce that also. Cllr Ken Arlett

  2. Barry Woods says:

    If the council want to get an accurate state of play, talk to Reading University… but Extinction R leaders say scientists are hiding the ‘truth’ (out and out conspiracy theorists’) .. but if you want to motivate people, to break the law I guess you have to scare a lot of people.. this latest BBC article may give some pause for thought

    BBC – Climate change: Worst emissions scenario ‘exceedingly unlikely’ – Jan 29-2020

    “….Rather than being seen as something that only had a 3% chance of becoming reality, it became known as the “business-as-usual” scenario, by climate scientists and has been used in more than 2,000 research papers since.

    “What we’re arguing is that we’ve been misusing the worst climate change scenario,” said author Zeke Hausfather, director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute in California.”


    Does this mean that climate scientists have been exaggerating the threat?
    This is more about scientific assumptions added to a communications cock-up.

    Very few scientists realised that RCP8.5 was originally a 90th percentile outcome, not a most likely or business-as-usual outcome. They assumed too much, when they should perhaps have checked, say the authors of the review.

    “At the end of the day, scientists have to take responsibility for what they choose as input data, and there should be a degree of due diligence,” said Glen Peters, from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

    “How many of your average climate scientists know the nuances of RCP8.5? It would certainly be interesting to know.”

    The media, taking their steer from scientists, have tended to use the highest impacts when reporting on projections based on emissions scenarios.

    “That’s not to say that these highest-end impacts are impossible to happen, but it is not business-as-usual. And that’s the point we’re really trying to make in this piece.”

    to highlight:

    “The media, taking their steer from scientists, have tended to use the highest impacts when reporting on projections based on emissions scenarios.”

    which is of course what the activists do. but not even the highest scenarios, give any justification or support to Extinction Rebellions wildest claims. Please do not waste any time and money on a few dozen hysterical residents (whipped up in fear by irresponsible activists) , when thousands of people just ignore them.


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