Ethics, emergency, and non-violent direct action

On June 9th 2019, the group Ethicists Without Borders (EWB) published a statement about Christian ethics, the climate emergency and nonviolent direct action. It’s a great endorsement of civil disobedience and action that is commensurate to the crisis, signed by ethicists and theologians from around the world.

They say:

‘We are in the midst of a planetary mass extinction event, driven by human actions and sustained by unjust social structures and political institutions. Climate disruption, biodiversity loss, and the collapse of ecosystems now threaten the survival of much of life on Earth, including, potentially, human life. While lament and repentance are appropriate responses to these realities, it remains essential to push for rapid and far-reaching cuts to carbon pollution in order to minimise the damage. We face dangerous disruption to our societies, the extent of which still depends on the choices we make. Richer nations such as the United States and the UK should be making greater commitments that reflect our capacity to respond and our responsibility for the problem.

As ethicists we support the aim to be carbon neutral by 2025, which we consider to be a morally well-grounded target. To achieve this would require rapid social transformation as well as large-scale deployment of nature-based solutions. This would be enormously technically challenging, and is unlikely to be achievable within our standard political and economic frameworks today. The urgency of the crisis leads us to conclude that disruptive action is a proportionate response…

  Read the rest here


If you are an academic or church leader and would like your name to be added to this statement, EWB invite you to email Tobias Winright at tobias.winright@slu.edu .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s