In an unusual attempt to bring attention to the impact of climate change and rising sea levels around the world, activists with Extinction Rebellion in London, U.K., floated a replica of a red-brick suburban house down the River Thames.
The activists called it “another attempt to send an SOS to the government on climate inaction.”
In a statement online, they said the sinking replica home was floated down the river in the early hours of Sunday morning, in order to draw attention to “the threat humans face from climate change and rising sea levels.”
“We are watching, in real-time, as people’s lives are destroyed around the world and in the U.K.,” they wrote. “Unless action is taken to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero these tragedies are set to worsen.”
Extinction Rebellion is a worldwide decentralized protest movement focusing on non-violent civil disobedience.
Earlier this year, Extinction Rebellion made headlines after blocking bridges and roads in cities around Canada and the world. The movement kicked off in October of last year and stresses a focus on civil disobedience in “full public view.”
Prior demonstrations involve super gluing themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace and targeting London’s public transit system during rush hour — a move that, according to The Guardian, received backlash.
New research published recently by Climate Central found that an estimated 300 million people around the world live in areas that will be prone to at least one annual flood by the year 2050 — an estimate that the researchers said is more than three times higher than a previous estimate based on older data.
Extinction Rebellion U.K. pointed out that parts of the U.K. are among these vulnerable coastal areas.
“Flooding is a political issue, disproportionately impacting our poorest and most vulnerable communities and Extinction Rebellion is calling on the government and those standing in the General Election to commit to acting now on the ecological and climate emergency,” their statement said.
Climate Central’s online coastal risk screening tool shows that cities in Canada are also vulnerable to annual flooding by 2050 — places such as Richmond, in B.C., Churchill in Manitoba, Attawapiskat in Ontario, and Fredericton in New Brunswick.