The Conversation: “A Single [Climate] Radical Gets More Media Coverage Than Thousands of Marchers”

Essay by Eric Worrall

University of York PHD Candidate Andrew Macdonald pushing the case for climate extremism.

Climate change protest: a single radical gets more media coverage than thousands of marchers

Published: May 4, 2023 1.18am AEST
Andrew Matthew Macdonald
PhD Candidate, Climate Activism, University of York

At the end of April, live on ITV the animal rights protesters Animal Rising delayed the country’s biggest horse race, the Grand National, by 15 minutes. And then two Just Stop Oil (JSO) protesters halted the snooker world championships during a live broadcast on the BBC by dumping orange poster paint over one of the tables.

Just Stop Oil’s protest led to a spokesperson appearing on GMB, GBNews and Talk TV to promote its cause and call Piers Morgan a “manbaby”. Both groups will probably see these outcomes as a success.

But what media coverage can peaceful protest generate? Just a few days later we had a chance to find out. 

From April 21 to 24, Extinction Rebellion (XR) held four days of peaceful protest in central London attracting an estimated 60,000 people. The so-called Big Onewas XR’s first mass protest since the group announced a few months ago it was pausing disruptive protests.

But it’s not clear that Extinction Rebellion’s new approach actually worked. Certainly if the idea was to attract more or better headlines, the results seem underwhelming. 

In my research, young activists often mention the Swedish academic Andreas Malm and his book How To Blow Up A Pipeline, a provocative polemic that has now been adapted into a fictional ecological thriller with climate saboteurs as the “goodies”. 

Read more:

What a bunch of losers.

It is the knowledge they are losing the battle for hearts and minds which is what is driving radical greens to ever more frantic attempts to grab public attention. In the very near future they will be completely isolated – attention is already shifting to the next great fake crisis, the threat of malevolent AI.

One day soon, in the not too distant future, we will look on green radicals as just another kind of quirky survivalist, just another bunch of frightened people holed up in their bunkers, wasting their lives away waiting for the apocalypse which never arrives.

via Watts Up With That?

May 6, 2023 at 12:59PM

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