GERARD HOWLIN: The coalition against carbon changes goes beyond the pale

Extinction Rebellion protestors lying down inside the Natural History Museum in London.

On the issue of climate change, the Extinction Rebellion exposes much of the Irish left, usually first up on the barricades, as a vanguard for counter-revolution.

Sinn Féin, Solidarity and People Before Profit, are an unlikely coalition. Their shared interest is a determination not to be left standing in the game of musical chairs, which is electoral responsibility for any unpopular action on climate change.

The only iceberg they don’t want to melt is their own electoral support. On climate change they are a neo-con stronghold of unfettered liberalism. Personal behaviour and preferences will not be challenged, let alone curbed. Responsibility is for big companies and governments only. The difference now, from water charges before, is that the issue is not a tactical political call. Climate change is strategic and, above all, about survival.

First, however, to declare a vested interest. Aged 54 I may have a better than even chance of leaving what remains of the planet intact and likely to die of natural causes.

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