Some believe the stunt discredits the wider climate movement. I don’t buy that second. Instead, I suspect it is more likely to have a beneficial radical flanking effect, making more moderate forces in the climate movement, like the UK’s Green Party, more attractive to the mainstream. In fact, a recent study found that unpopular aggressive tactics by climate activist groups can indeed increase support for more moderate factions.
I emailed University of South Carolina sociologist Brent Simpson, lead author of the study, to ask if he thinks it applies to sunflower protest. He saw a connection. “Certainly, we did not study these behaviors precisely in our study,” he wrote. “But yes, our findings definitely suggest that these more aggressive protest tactics can increase support for groups that use more moderate tactics to pursue the same general climate action goals.”
If protesters continue to demonstrate in high-profile fashion, they will continue to push the issue into the national conversation and open the Overton Window even wider. We’ve seen this happen in the U.S. with the recent passing of the Reducing Inflation Act, which includes climate provisions that until recently were seen as the radical left, but passed by a moderate Democrat in the White House. This change is happening not because of climate activism, but because of it.
Most people now believe in climate change, and in the 2010s support for policies aimed at tackling climate damage has grown considerably. Even though most people agree that sprinkling food on pretty paintings is a silly way to fight the climate crisis, it does raise an obvious follow-up question: So, what’s the best way to combat climate change? Throwing canned food may not be the most important thing, but it’s not doing nothing either.
in the next week sunflower Stunt, Just Stop Oil has been busy. Activists blocked a busy bridge in Essex, east England, for days.Margaret Klein Salamon, executive director of the Climate Emergency Fund, said: “More protests are coming, it’s a rapidly growing movement and I hope the next two weeks will be The most intense time for climate action to date, so fasten your seat belts,” the group, which mainly funds Just Stop Oil, told protector. OK! It’s soup season, baby.
This seems like a good time to revisit a 2018 WIRED titled, “Pipe Busters Are Reinventing Climate Activism.” Here’s a fascinating dive into another stunt-driven climate action. The story follows the environmentalists who destroyed Minnesota’s oil pipeline, and how they were able to use a “necessity” defense in court, claiming that the government was doing so little to mitigate the harm of fossil fuels that citizens had no choice but to Can intervene:
It was a cold morning, and the aspen swayed a dull golden color under a gloomy sky. Ben Joldersma, a fellow activist, broadcast live on Facebook as the two women cut the chains around the fence fence that houses the massive pipelines of two oil pipelines owned by Canadian multinational Enbridge. Shut-off valve. These pipelines transport crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands (also known as oil sands) deposits to Lake Superior. Because making petroleum products from this sticky substance called bitumen releases more global warming emissions than most other oil sources, activists will do what they can to keep it in the ground.
Enbridge knows they’re there: About 15 minutes ago, an activist named Jay O’Hara at the Seattle Climate Disobedience Center called Enbridge staff and warned them that protesters were about to shut down Lines 67 and 4. Line of valves, each delivering 33,000 gallons of crude oil per hour.
What only a few people know, however, is that Johnston and Clapstein are involved in a nationwide operation called #ShutItDown that will also cut off three other states in North Dakota, Montana, and Washington on the same day. Pipelines at the site, moving from east to west. Calling themselves the Valve Turners, Reuters called their effort “the largest coordinated action by environmental protesters on America’s energy infrastructure.” That day, in addition to Johnston and Clapstein, five leading activists — Michael Foster, 54, Ken Ward, 61, and Leonard Higgins, 66 — cut off 70% of the oil in the tar sands flowing from Canada to the United States.
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