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In new book, British teen climate activist urges peers to 'Challenge Everything'

Tue, 8th Sep 2020 07:00

By Fraser Simpson

LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Blue Sandford turned 17 in a
police cell. Last year, she began an indefinite school strike.
Now, the British environmental activist has written a book for
fellow teens who want to act on climate change but do not know
where to start.

In "Challenge Everything," which was published in Europe and
North America on Tuesday, Sandford explains how the failure of
governments to heed warnings from climate scientists prompted
her to join civil disobedience movement Extinction Rebellion,
which launched fresh protests in Britain last week.

Sandford, who was arrested for blocking a road in London's
Trafalgar Square at previous demonstrations in October, uses the
book to lay out a vision of a sustainable society rooted in a
sense of community and connection with nature.

"We can't all just go and get arrested and that be the end
of the story," said Sandford, 17, who was arrested again at the
end of August in Parliament Square, a focus of the latest
protests.

"I think we need to start from a place of science and
empiricism and figure out the truth about the climate and
ecological crisis, and then act."

Having spent much of her life living with her family on an
off-grid farm on an Inner Hebrides island off the coast of
Scotland, Sandford attended school in London.

She chose to leave formal education in June last year in
solidarity with a wave of Friday afternoon school strikes
inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Sandford has since joined protests to try to stop woodland
outside London, where she played as child, being felled for a
planned high-speed rail link known as HS2.

"I don't really want to be a climate-change activist,"
Sandford told Reuters television. "I feel like I've sort of been
forced into it because nothing else is working."
(Reporting by Fraser Simpson; Editing by Matthew Green and
Peter Cooney)

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