Christian Silk, 54, from Eynsham, is chief technical officer for Formula E motorsport racing team - and an Extinction Rebellion activist. He writes about why he has been taking part in the mass protests in London this month.

I guess you could say I am a fairly unlikely XR protester, or in fact a climate protestor at all.

For the majority of my working life I have been focused on Formula 1 motor racing - travelling the world as part of a circus that is as about as far from climate consciousness as it is possible to get - or at least, you would have thought so.

At the Formula 1 series we spend a lot of time studying weather patterns all around the world, as part of our race strategy.

In studying data and returning to the same country year after year, at the same time of year, it looked more and more like man was having a very serious impact on the weather.

This made me start to study mainstream climate science and reports by NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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These reports are fairly difficult to digest in places, but fortunately a strong family interest in all things science has certainly helped me to process the information.

What these reports outlined definitely worries me greatly, even if our politicians seem happy to continue on blindly.

However, being worried is one thing - taking action is quite another.

It seems as an individual you have little chance to make a difference, but when Extinction Rebellion (XR) came along, I suddenly saw there was a way of making our voices heard and making a positive impact.

The first event I went along to was the ‘die in’ at the Natural History Museum in April.

Since then I have joined a local XR group and we have started to expand in numbers.

Mostly made up of academics and scientists, we share a belief that we are in trouble and by taking actions we can change the course of history for the better.

We have been planning our part of the October Rebellion in our group for a couple of months, which is the two-week demonstration currently taking place in London.

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As the start date got closer we got more excited, and I have to say more apprehensive, worried that the police were going to be much tougher than they had been in the past.

Unfortunately this is a very busy time at work, so I can’t take as much time off as I would have liked - ideally I would love to be in London for the full two weeks.

I went down to London on Monday afternoon last week and was amazed by how many people were on the streets, making their voices heard.

My plan was to work the rest of the week and go back on Friday.

However, on Tuesday evening I sat with my wife and we thought about the planet we were leaving behind for future generations, and it made us very sad.

The next day, knowing such a big and important event was taking place made it very difficult for me to focus on my work.

On Wednesday morning I read reports of what was happening in London, and I could not resist returning to be with my XR friends and help out in any way I could.

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I sent an email to colleagues apologising for the last-minute absence, explaining that for the sake of my children I could not sit by and do nothing. I drove to Oxford station and bought my ticket to London.

I always find these events very emotional, and sat at the station, I found the enormity of the problem we face difficult to avoid.

However, when I got to London and met up with my daughter, a very active XR member, and the rest of my group, my spirits lifted.

And so I sat with a group of XR rebels outside Whitehall, surrounded by police, trying to mix protest with emails from work.

Will our protests work?

Well, they have already helped to raise the profile of the climate emergency. Will we prevent climate change doing massive damage? No, it has already happened.

Will we prevent more damage and help leave a beautiful planet to our children? I pray so.