Mair’s Story

@Derby / London


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi, I’m 32 and I live in Derby with my husband. My husband is a telecoms engineer and I’m a self-employed animator that mainly creates educational videos to share the research findings of scientists. I’m originally from County Durham and grew up in a former coal mining town.

2. Why did you join Extinction Rebellion?

I joined Extinction Rebellion as a last resort. For years I have tried signing petitions, writing to politicians and gone on protests. I’ve changed my career direction and lifestyle to a more eco-friendly one and try to shop ethically. I have tried to share the climate science in the vain hope that if more people understood, then we would all change our ways. None of this has worked.

There is indisputable scientific evidence that human activity is driving species to extinction and heating our planet to unprecedented temperatures. If humanity doesn’t address the environmental crisis then billions of people (including myself and my loved ones) will suffer and die from extreme weather events, food shortages, droughts and social breakdown.

Politicians and business leaders aren’t acting with the urgency that is needed to stop climate and ecological breakdown because we have a system that priorities short term economic gain over life itself. Scientists have been warning us for decades. Yet there has been nothing but excuses and delays while we watch our natural world be deliberately polluted and destroyed.

I thought climate change was being sorted out. I thought someone else will make sure we don’t reach dangerous levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But that’s not the case. The people in charge, are just allowing it to happen.

When I saw the Extinction Rebellion occupation of London in April 2019, I came the uncomfortable realisation that it is up to ordinary citizens to demand action. The Government is failing in its duty to protect citizens by not immediately decarbonising the economy and undertaking massive ecosystem regeneration. So as a concerned, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, I joined the rebellion.

I’m fully aware this may not work. We may still see the most nightmarish of climate science predictions come to pass. But at least when my niece and other young people turn to me and ask “You knew about this and what did you do?” I can say I tried my damned hardest.

3. What is one of your most memorable moment in XR?

Mair during the October RebellionSitting in a road near Downing Street with other rebels during the October 2019 Rebellion. In front of us were a row of police officers’ boots and threats of arrest. I was scared but knew we were doing the right thing. We peacefully sat there and sang “We are a gentle, angry people…And we are singing, singing for our lives” – I’m sure some officers were trying to hold back tears. I couldn’t.

4. What are your hopes for the future?
I hope that the UK Government will begin a rapid decarbonisation of the economy that aims for 2025 – 2030 alongside huge ecosystem regeneration. The technology and resources for this exist. We just need the political willpower. This will then inspire other countries to follow. I hope everyone will understand and accept that these changes are not only rational and beneficial but a matter of survival. I hope everyone will work together for the sake of all life on Earth. I hope we can live in a fair world where everyone has food, shelter, community and access to healthcare and education.

I also hope that I don’t have to see the people I love die from starvation, thirst or as a result of conflict from social collapse triggered by climate breakdown.

5. Where do you think environmental activists should be focusing their efforts during and after the COVID19 crisis?

On a green economic recovery. We need to ensure that any post COVID-19 stimulus packages are for a zero carbon economy and have strong environmental protections and ecosystem regeneration embedded at the heart of them. There should no bailouts for polluters. Amsterdam is trialing the doughnut economic model which aims to ensure that every person’s needs are met within our planetary boundaries. I hope this model will be adopted globally and we move away from a GDP focused economy that prioritises share holders over people and the planet.


What’s your story?

Extinction Rebellion wouldn’t exist without the passion, energy and generosity of all of you. All of your contributions are part of a united global effort to create a safe and harmonious future for all life on Earth (except certain viruses!)

Would you like to share your story to be published on our website, newsletter and social media. You can be anonymous or share only your first name. If you’re comfortable with sharing a photo, that would be amazing. Bonus points if it’s a photo of you at an XR action or event!

Here’s some prompts. Other prompt ideas are welcome! Or feel free to ignore these and write your personal story however you like!

  1. Tell us a little bit about your self
  2. Why did you join Extinction Rebellion?
  3. What is one of your most memorable moment in XR?
  4. What are your hopes for the future?
  5. Where do you think environmental activists should be focusing their efforts during and after the COVID19 crisis?

Just email us with your story and the Media & Messaging Circle will do the rest.

Thank you!