Sorry for the Inconvenience But This Is an Emergency

The Nonviolent Struggle for Our Planet’s Future

March 2024 9781911723035 448 pp
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


As floods and fires rage across the planet, ever more people are embracing nonviolent action to achieve political change. Can it work? 

Doctor and aid worker Lynne Jones offers a compelling, ground-level account of the last five years of UK protests, exploring how and why ordinary citizens have adopted extraordinary methods to confront the climate and nature crises. Sharing her 1980s experiences opposing nuclear weapons at Greenham Common, and her journey in movements like Extinction Rebellion today, Jones reflects on public history and her personal story to unpack nonviolent protest in a world on the brink. Can we learn from past movements? How to communicate with those who disagree? What kind of disruption is most effective in Western democracies? Is property damage nonviolent? Is the law just? How important are direct interventions, boycotts and non-cooperation? What can indigenous campaigners of the Global South teach us? 

A lifetime of activism has taught Jones that we all have more power than we realise. It’s time to use that power—before it’s too late.


‘The end of our world is arriving so gently that it has become a tragic sideshow in our lives. What most don’t yet realise is that we are already fighting for our lives, and we must win. This isn’t a manual, it isn’t a guide. It’s a brutally honest testimonial that inspires real hope when we need it most.’ — Chris Packham, author, broadcaster and conservationist

‘Vivid and livid, a compelling and compassionate book about how to make the world a better place. Not only has Lynne Jones participated in many of the landmarks of civil disobedience, she writes about them with crystal clarity. As you read, it’s hard not to feel history torque, it’s hard not to get excited about change.’ — Mark Cousins, filmmaker and writer

‘A phenomenal book! I recommend reading urgently and frequently. Lynne Jones, a doctor, has somehow maintained a 40+ year career in protest. Her compelling personal history, alongside her expert observations on political movements for change, underpin and sustain the resistance needed for a Just Transition.’ — Lucy Siegle, author and journalist

‘Lynne Jones’ story takes her from aspiring medical student to climate activist, from Greenham Common to international campaigning for public health and social justice. Writing with humour and courage, she reminds us of our common humanity. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the world will find inspiration in this book.’ — Fiona Godlee, Ambassador for the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change and former Editor-in-Chief of The BMJ

‘Using her remarkable experience as a tireless nonviolent activist, Lynne Jones asks probing questions about how to promote social and climate justice. Her inspiring stories and diary entries from the frontline show movingly that we all can help create a better world.’ — Anne Karpf, sociologist, journalist and author of How Women Can Save the Planet


Lynne Jones OBE is a child psychiatrist, WHO and UNICEF consultant, and author of acclaimed books including Outside the Asylum and Then They Started Shooting. BBC Radio, The New Statesman, the London Review of Books and O, The Oprah Magazine have featured her field diaries from conflict and disaster areas.  Author photo © Hannah Woodhouse.

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