Zion Lights

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Zion Lights
Zion Lights portrait, 2020
Zion Lights
Born1984 (age 37–38)
West Midlands, England
Alma materUniversity of Reading
University of the West of England, Bristol (MSc)
Websitezionlights.co.uk

Zion Lights (born 1984) is a British author and activist known for her environmental work and science communication.

She has been a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK on TV and radio, and founded and edited XR's Hourglass newspaper. She has written for The Huffington Post, authored the evidence-based nonfiction book The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting, and given a TED talk on the need for people to be able to stargaze.

Early life[edit]

Lights was born in the West Midlands, UK. Her parents immigrated to the UK from a small village in the Punjab in India and were factory workers in Birmingham.[1] When she was young, Lights made an appearance on Junior Mastermind. Her first poem was published in an anthology when she was 12.

Lights attended the University of Reading, graduating in 2005. She completed an MSc in Science Communication at the University of the West of England in 2019.

Writing and activism[edit]

Lights is an environmental activist and writer with a focus on ethical parenting and climate change.

She was a columnist for the Express & Echo newspaper for six months in 2014.[citation needed] She was co-editor of Juno magazine for 7 years and wrote for The Huffington Post.[2] Lights left Juno in 2019 to work for Extinction Rebellion where she was part of XR UK’s Media & Messaging team.

She founded and edited the XR newspaper The Hourglass, which launched in September 2019 and ran until May 2020. Soon after, she left XR and became director of the UK branch of Environmental Progress, the organisation founded and directed by Michael Shellenberger to advocate for nuclear energy.[3]

She is the co-founder of Emergency Reactor alongside philanthropist Daniel Aegerter. In 2020 she was appointed the UK director of Environmental Progress by Michael Shellenberger where she worked for 6 months.

She has written one nonfiction book titled The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting (2015).[4] and contributed to another, Zero Waste Kids, co-authored with Rob Greenfield. In 2018 she released her first poetry collection, Only a Moment. Lights' poetry has appeared in the Tolpuddle Special of Citizen 32 magazine, in Musings, a poetry collection collated to raise funds for La Leche League GB,[5] and most recently in the collection A Nightingale Sang, a limited poetry magazine created for New Networks for Nature.[6]

Lights is an outspoken science advocate: in 2015 the Western Morning News newspaper reported that she is against pseudoscience.[7] In 2018 she gave a TEDx talk on astronomy, entitled "Don't forget to look up", at the University of Bristol. In August 2015, Lights was dubbed 'Britain's greenest mother' by The Daily Telegraph newspaper.[8] In September 2015 Lucy Siegle, writing in The Observer, described Lights as "an eco pragmatist, happily heavy on evidence. She has no truck with hippy myths – she does believe you should vaccinate your child."[9]

Activism[edit]

Lights has been active on combating global warming for many years.[10] She lives a vegan lifestyle and encourages others to do the same.[11]

In 2018 Lights became spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK and founded and edited the XR newspaper The Hourglass, which launched in September 2019 and ran until May 2020.

In her role as a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK Lights made several appearances on radio and television talking about the climate and ecological emergency. These appearances have included BBC Television's Politics Live,[12] BBC World News, Good Morning Britain and The Andrew Neil Show.

In her early 20s Lights was active in the grassroots group Camp for Climate Action and arrested multiple times for protesting coal and tar sands investment.

Politics[edit]

Lights has been a Labour City Councillor for the Pennsylvania ward in Exeter, Devon since May 2021.[13] She was previously a Green Party member but admitted to defecting over issues of pseudoscience.[14]

Nuclear Energy[edit]

Lights is now one of the most vocal advocates for nuclear energy, frequently giving talks and writing articles on the need for nuclear power to combat climate change and reduce air pollution. She has described nuclear power as the "only option" for addressing the climate crisis.[15]

In September 2020, Lights stated in articles published in The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph that she had left Extinction Rebellion to campaign in favour of building nuclear power stations to replace fossil fuel-burning ones, saying it was a "logical next step" in looking for solutions rather than "shouting ever more loudly about the problem."[16]

Personal life[edit]

Lights is a single mother and lives in Devon with her two daughters.[17]

Publications[edit]

  • More Things Should Be Thought Out Thus: A Story of Many Stories, and Many Stories About One Story. Self-published, 2010. ISBN 978-1445239125.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting. New Internationalist, 2015.[4] ISBN 978-1780262482.
  • Only a Moment. Self-published, 2018. ISBN 978-0244723903.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lights, Zion (24 November 2020). "Jobs Not Snobs: How Workers are the True Climate Heroes". Medium. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Zion Lights". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Leadership & Staff". Environmental Progress. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b The New Internationalist Team. "The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting -- New Internationalist". newint.org.
  5. ^ "Mother's Milk Books". mothersmilkbooks.com.
  6. ^ "New Networks for nature".
  7. ^ "'Greenest' Mum warns against internet scare-mongers". Western Morning News.
  8. ^ "Meet Britain's Greenest Mother". telegraph.co.uk.
  9. ^ "The eco guide to green parenting". The Observer. 13 September 2015.
  10. ^ Lights, Zion (10 September 2020). "Why I left Extinction Rebellion to campaign for nuclear power". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  11. ^ Lights, Zion (15 November 2020). ""Do you want a habitable planet for your children?" A Sentientist Conversation with Zion Lights". JamieWoodhouse.com.
  12. ^ "BBC Two - Politics Live, 16/07/2019". BBC. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Councillor details - Councillor Zion Lights". 30 July 2021.
  14. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Devon's Climate Emergency - What does the Budget mean for the Devon Carbon Plan?. YouTube.
  15. ^ "Extinction Rebellion: Nuclear power 'only option' says former spokeswoman". BBC News. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Why I left Extinction Rebellion to campaign for nuclear power". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  17. ^ "Zion Lights". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 26 February 2021.