THINK about the future of your grandchildren and the next generation and get active, this is the message from an Andover scientist who has taken to the streets to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

Fifty-three-year-old Helen Moore, from Andover, was among the thousands of Extinction Rebellion protesters who gathered in Trafalgar Square calling on the government to tell the truth about the state of the emergency.

“One of the myths we have suffered from is people wrongly thinking that going to an Extinction Rebellion action will mean you will be arrested. While there are a few people who are willing to risk, the vast majority of us are very cooperative with the police and it is very polite. If the police want us to move out of their way, we will of course move,” the mother-of-two explained.

For Helen, there was no choice not to get involved when she first heard about Extinction Rebellion back in 2019.

“I was an environmental campaigner in the 1980s. I was first taught about climate change and the risks of greenhouses gases at university in the late 1980s. I remember my lecturer really struggling to get across to us the profound implications of temperatures rising – and this was 30 years ago.

“But the movement at the time struggled to make the necessary progress. When I saw XR pop out of the woodwork in Easter 2019 I thought, ‘hang on a minute, what’s all this about?’

“I remember watching it and thinking at last someone is getting through, someone has found a way of getting people caring and talking about this. So, since think I’ve been attending actions and protests.”

One of the criticisms of the XR movement is that it is middle class and not accessible to the mainstream public. When asked about this, Helen sad: “I think there are several aspects to this. There are a small number of people who can afford to take two weeks off to attend the demonstration but for lots of people like me, it’ll just be a day or two here or there when they can get time to go.

“Because I happen to be white and probably described as middle class does that mean I shouldn’t protest? I am acting on behalf of everyone and those who can’t attend themselves.”

“One of the biggest points we are trying to get across is there needs to be large-scale change that has to come from government level. We can all save water and recycle but in reality, in the bigger scheme of things compared to what corporations and big governments can achieve, this is where the change needs to come.”

But there is plenty local residents in Andover and surrounding villages can do if they want to get active, Helen said.

“We need big systemic changes but we also need those small little individual acts too as they all add up. A lot of people think politics only happens on voting day but that’s not true. If there is one thing people can do it is write to their local MP and local councillors, tell them how worried you are and make them listen,” the Andover resident said.

“We are nowhere near reaching the government’s target of reaching net zero carbon by 2050. How can the government claim it is world leading in cutting carbon dioxide when it gives massive subsidies to the oil industry? It is just wrong and it doesn’t make sense,” she said.

When asked what her response would be to people who said they didn’t care about climate change because it wouldn’t affect them, she said: “You are always going to get people who are going to say that. That’s all very well and good but I say, what about your grandchildren? What about the next generation? That sort of attitude of awfully selfish.”

At least six protesters from Andover headed up to the protests in London last week.