The volume is being turned up on climate chaos, in part helped by environmental activist group, Extinction Rebellion, who have been making headlines this week.

With species already being wiped out across the globe and more famines, floods, fires and structural breakdown predicted in the near future as a result of ecological collapse, this band of ordinary people who are mobilising non-violent resistance are risking arrest and ridicule in a desperate bid to be heard - but who exactly are they and what do they want?

Who are Extinction Rebellion?
An international movement with groups in the UK, Australia, Spain, South Africa and the Soloman Islands and more, Extinction Rebellion (XR) have a global reach. Set up in 2018 by academics calling for parliamentary support to avert climate breakdown, halt biodiversity loss and minimise the risk of human and animal extinction, XR say they take inspiration from the suffragettes, Martin Luther King and other civil rights movements.

Around 1500 people attended their first protest in Parliament Square unveiling their Declaration of Rebellion and since then numbers have swelled, and are still growing.
Their philosophy espouses "non-violent civil disobedience".

The Scottish faction (XRS) consider themselves to be part of a "direct-action, global justice movement" who formed in November 2018 when they issued their own Declaration to the Scottish Government. There are groups for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Highland and Islands, St Andrews and Stirling.
What do they want?

The demands that XR put in front of Westminster and Holyrood are that our governments "tell the truth" about the scale of the crisis we now face by declaring a climate emergency; that the UK must "enact legally binding policy measures" to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, and agree to create Citizens' Assemblies to oversee these changes.

READ MORE: 12 Scots arrested in Extinction Rebellion protests in London overnight

What are they doing?
This week was momentous in terms of action taken by XR with thousands taking part in their UK Rebellion - Shut Down London project to block key thoroughfares in the metropolis. They blocked Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and  Parliament Square before turning their attention to the public transport network to the cost of around £12 million to local businesses, according to reports. Organisers say they will continue protesting for two weeks or until the government agrees to talks. 

Demonstrators tied themselves to Jeremy Corbyn's fence, while others glued themselves to train carriages. Police said that more than 500 protestors had been arrested by Thursday, with 12 Scottish climate change activists arrested before being released without charge. Previous protests have included staging a semi-naked stand in the House of Commons public gallery during a Brexit debate. 

XR Scotland have planned and executed their own demonstrations including occupying North Bridge in Edinburgh, marched blue footprints across Glasgow's George Square. and interrupted First Minister's Questions by dropping banners and asking questions from the gallery.

Can they really make a difference?
The UK Government's plans for a 'green' future have seen them consult with a Climate Committee on how best to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but what kind of radical change would be required to meet XR's targets in only six years?

Research project Zero Carbon Britain say that the UK already has the technologies needed to reach the UN Paris Agreement's target of net zero by the middle of the century but that to get there by 2030, Britain would need to significantly increase offshore and wind energy, employ fuel switching, reduce meat consumption and radically restrict air travel, among many other things.

It remains to be seen if any of these targets can be achieved without the backing of governments and multi-national corporations.

READ MORE: A proportionate response? Extinction Rebellion campaigners jam Edinburgh
What are people saying? 
Mim Black of XR Scotland wrote in The Herald: "The Scottish Government is clearly not taking the climate crisis seriously. 
"Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action isn’t taken."

Home secretary Sajid Javid has called on police to use the "full force of the law" against protestors. He said: “Let me be clear: I totally condemn any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law. They have no right to cause misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives."

Dame Emma Thompson, a "proud" supporter of Extinction Rebellion, said:"We will occupy until you take action because that's the only way we are going to save our planet.
"We have to be here, we have to do this. It's inconvenient for people sometimes but its much more inconvenient to leave a planet that's so completely destroyed."