Photo by Stephen Trutwin

On the 11th of October on the corner of Rundle Mall and Pultney Street at the culmination of XR SA’s week of Spring Rebellion actions, rebel Lynn Lobo addressed a 500-strong crowd of climate activists. Below is the transcript of her speech.

by Lynn Lobo – November 2019

Congratulations everybody on a great week of Climate Action. YAY EXTINCTION REBELLION!

Take a minute to look around you at all the beautiful faces that the earth has given rise to. Go ahead and greet someone new near you with a shared smile. Know that we are all in this together, UNDETERRED, because our earth is in crisis.

Our biosphere is in deep trouble. We are all afflicted by this potentially terminal illness. Our planet is suffering. The view point that I have to offer here is as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and a Psychotherapist.

Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at illness a little like weather patterns. An illness is called a ‘pattern of disharmony’. Our earth is in a complex pattern of disharmony. There are many symptoms, such as extreme weather patterns, glacial melting, fire storms and increased cyclone activity. The dying out of numerous species within my lifetime is remarkable – and I’m not that old.

The list of symptoms is long. However, I think the root cause of this illness is one of spirit. We are in a spiritual crisis of separation. We regard everything outside of our own skin as other. We disconnect and marginalise the suffering of others, so we don’t have to suffer.

When we do this we elevate our individual right to live over another. We regard other sentient beings as unfeeling so we can quell our conscience around our atrocities.

Other humans, animals, fish, trees, plants and the soil are all earth conscious. We project our unfeeling attitude onto the world around us. In doing so, we have colonised this planet at a tremendous cost.

The earth’s systems are rebelling and it’s time to decolonise. This means to become conscious of how we misuse power and space in relationship. It also means we need to grow our capacity as feeling beings. Climate change requires an education about soft skills in relationship with each other and our earth. My suffering matters, as does yours. Perhaps we can collaborate and work on it together.

There are going to be many solutions that our earth will dream up through each and every one of us. All of these feelings, ideas, acts, negotiations and solutions will somehow mean something in the big drama of climate change. The earth is a sentient being and we are her dream.

I think cultivating kindness, self-compassion and an ability to deeply listen are the soft skills needed for going forward. For those of us who feel unheard, it’s time to take courage and speak up. Share your truth because it matters.

I appreciate that within the evolving culture of XR we are trying to nurture this process in relationship. We are learning how to do this together. Saving the planet cannot happen at the exclusion of addressing power and privilege.

I want to thank all of you in XR for your commitment to these relationships with each other, and with yourself. We may not get it right. We may fail at times while our understanding grows. But a commitment to learn matters. It’s a revolution of consciousness. Let’s celebrate the change we are working towards.