Colchester Council to declare Climate Emergency” was the exciting news in my inbox this week.

Brilliant, I thought, how do I find out more?

The email had come from a friend, who had heard it from Extinction Rebellion, or XR for short, which was holding an open meeting for groups to discuss it.

I needed to know more, so I took my courage in both hands and went to my first XR meeting, expecting to meet a wild bunch of crazy revolutionaries.

I was greeted by a group of friendly, polite, hospitable people, offering hot and cold drinks and nibbles, looking very much like a residents’ association meeting, which, in a way, they are, as residents of our planet Earth.

Their policy is to be completely non-violent, but to create enough polite disruption to get the attention of big business and politicians to encourage more sensible policies that will protect our way of life.

Some are even prepared to be arrested to make their point, but I’m sorry, I’m too selfish for that.

Even though I made that clear, they are still happy to welcome me to their meetings, and if you are concerned about what is happening to our world, they will offer you an equally warm welcome if you would also like to come.

But let’s get back to Colchester Council and its climate emergency.

Next Wednesday, July 17, at 6pm in the Town Hall, they will debate and, we hope, pass a motion declaring a Climate Emergency in Colchester.

When I told my sceptical Women’s Institute friends this, they said: “Oh, but it won’t mean anything. They will still just keep on doing the same things.”

Well, we are all still children at heart, and if we think we can get away with something because nobody is watching, maybe we don’t try as hard as we would if someone was watching. For example, the people who voted us into our job turned up and watched us.

So I hope you can spare an hour or so to turn up at Colchester Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday, July 17, to show support for the climate emergency and to show we want real change.

You may see some of my new XR friends there, maybe staging a “die-in” on the pavement, to remind us we have already lost one in six of the many bizarre and beautiful life forms on our planet because we have been burning too much coal, oil and gas. We really don’t want to keep on losing more.

XR is non-violent and pose no threat at all to us, so if you see them, please smile and applaud them for doing what they can to save our world

Jill Bruce

Women’s Institute climate change ambassador