It’s all over the news. The spontaneous protests in the streets of London to urge the government to act now to save humanity and the planet. The emotion behind the seriousness of the threat to humanity from catastrophic climate change. The celebrity pronouncements to act (lest we be judged by future generations). The chilling horror of die-ins and hunger strikes to balance the joyful carnival nature in the streets as “the people” rise up.
They are comparing themselves to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
To a passive observer, this looks like humanity at its best and people who resist them, their message, the science and their hope for the future are merely ignorant climate deniers (old white men who are so emotionally weak that they need to “attack” a young Swedish girl). If I were a journalist, I would get my teeth into this polemic – the story writes itself.
Except … it is a charade.
The “science” Extinction Rebellion are building their movement on (catastrophic annihilation of humanity within a decade) is not accepted as climate science but rather cataclysmic alarmism (worst case scenarios twisted to irrational ends). The increasing political chatter about the coming extinction of humanity was dispelled by the head of the World Meteorological Organization – one of the two partner organisations of the IPCC (in an interview and press statement). That other well-known climate scientists have not spoken up to try to calm the situation can at best be considered regrettable, at worst, opportunistic and manipulative.
The activist group leading this elaborate stunt, Extinction Rebellion, was formed less than a year ago in an attempt to reframe the campaign arena around political rebellion / revolution rather than climate policy change.
The Extinction Rebellion leader making the claims of imminent mass starvation and slaughter of large populations lest we act now, Roger Hallam, has a long history of attempting to overthrow the state (he is a rebel who has finally found a cause he can exploit). Roger is presently in prison for trying to bring down airplanes at Heathrow airport (in a non-violent manner).
The goal of the movement is classic revolutionary strategy:
- Create a perception of immanent crisis generating widespread public fear.
- Show that the state is incapable of protecting the population.
- Make a series of demands the state cannot meet.
- Do not articulate your alternatives or get stuck in technical debates.
- Organise widespread civil disobedience and disruption.
- Provide a promise of citizen assemblies to take over once the system is over-run.
The strategy involving climate change as the imminent threat works for the extreme left. Were the extreme right to attempt a revolution, they could have fabricated another imminent crisis (like immigration). The public is afraid, they are encouraged to rise up, empowered, and are reassured the solutions are in their reach once the powers and institutions that obstruct them are removed. The British Parliament bear-pit is so weakened from the Brexit scandal that these little tin-pot revolutionaries may just succeed on the back of public apathy (think October Revolution).
These anti-capitalist rebels will occupy the streets and disrupt life until their demands are met. So what are their demands?
As Extinction Rebellion has only been in existence for a year and has been busy for the last six months “inducting” people into their activist cult, it is no surprise that their concepts and objectives have been changing. They started with Roger Hallam’s 12 values (that with a swipe on a whiteboard became 10). This October campaign has been built around three demands on the British state (because any communications consultant will advise you three is the maximum number). They are as follows:
On the first demand, to declare an environment and climate emergency, the British government had already done that in April the last time these anarchists made a mess of the British capital.
On the second demand, for the government to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, the British government declared their intention to achieve net-zero by 2050. The UK is one of the global leaders in this commitment (2025 is far too soon given the CO2 emissions that would be released in the decarbonisation process, eg, producing all of those solar panels). If Extinction Rebellion were seriously committed to fighting climate change, they would concentrate their protests in Washington or Riyadh.
So the first two Extinction Rebellion demands have already been more or less met. What about the third demand? To give up power and be led by a “Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice”. Oh, so that’s all. Why didn’t they say they wanted a Bolshevik revolution in the first place?
There doesn’t seem to be any room for compromise on this one.
Brother Roger, Comrade Rupert
Hiding behind a proposed Citizens’ Assembly to govern society and solve all of the climate problems is a ruse. Climate change is not something a panel of citizens can easily assess and in cases in the UK where public consultations have been applied, their decisions were hardly laudable (think “Boaty McBoatface”). When Extinction Rebellion talk about sortition of sample populations for the Assembly I think of jury selections and how public fear and anger has been weaponised in the US tort legal system for anything but just, rational decisions. And who would propose advisers to this panel, George Monbiot? Good God! Citizen Assemblies as a viable solution to the present system is absurd (unless you are on the extreme left).
Furthermore, their logic is that decision-making via Citizens’ Assemblies will be justified once the capitalist system has been overthrown. Extinction Rebellion ideologues like Rupert Read and Roger Hallam speak openly about the collapse of the capitalist system, the need to stop international trade and finance and cut the power of corporations through an implementation of their desired ecocide regulations. How will an assembly of citizens rebuild the structures of a divided, decimated society they brought upon themselves and then solve climate change?
Who will provide the innovative technologies humanity will need without businesses and massive private sector investment? How will we address the needs and challenges of a changing climate with decisions made by easily-frightened members of the public guided by some single-minded politburo?
The answer is simple: They won’t. Earlier this year I wrote that the worst consequence of two decades of the precautionary mindset is the belief that all problems will be solved if we merely stop doing everything that we’ve been doing. For them, we won’t need agritechnologies or large farms when we all stop eating meat. We won’t need industry when we stop driving cars and expecting progress and economic growth. Once we stop investing in air transport and international trade, we won’t need global financial mechanisms. All of this will be determined by a few thousand virtue signalling inhabitants from an isolated movement in London, the City of Woke. … Until the people in the real world surely do wake up (and don yellow vests).
You can call me alarmist myself but Brother Roger and Comrade Rupert, the intellectual leaders of Extinction Rebellion, have been declaring so much. Tut-tutting what they actually are saying as a means to ignore warning signs is, ironically, what Extinction Rebellion was founded to fight against. The challenge though is that people like the Risk-Monger have been trying to shine light on this through the usual communications channels while this group has unleashed the power of social media and a certain population’s need to virtue signal. They are a movement acting to save the planet and humanity from a near certain annihilation. In questioning their strategy or their myopic solutions, I am, simply put, dismissed as a climate denier.
Redefining “Climate Denier”
I’ve discovered recently on social media that being a “white, middle-aged male” makes the likelihood extremely high that I am a climate denier. But what does this mean?
- I’ve been called a climate denier because I do not believe a mass extinction (starvation, slaughter) of humanity is imminent.
- I’ve been called a climate denier because I do not believe the switch to renewables will do much to stem the increase in CO2 emissions.
- I’ve been called a climate denier because I challenge the numbers put out by certain activists on the level of GHG production from agriculture.
- I’ve been called a climate denier because I have not fawned over the movements manipulating young Greta and feel there are many activist groups who are using this teenager in an unethical and exploitative manner.
I have not been called a climate denier because of my views on the science on climate change. Climate change has moved from being a scientific debate to a social justice debate pitting the left against the right.
It seems calling an opponent a climate denier is the new “Monsanto jeer” to try to chase a person with a challenging viewpoint out of the discussion. Censorship by mob ad hominem attack. You can’t question those activists hiding behind a Swedish teenager, you can’t question the disruptions on the streets of London, you can’t question anything if you disagree with the movement. Standing up to social justice warriors is as futile as it is ridiculous.
At best, I am expected to shut up and go away while the activists decide how our children will be forced to pay for their ideological opportunism. At worst, Extinction Rebellion need a goat to sacrifice to their gods and I seem to be wearing hooves.
This is madness. The world of rational discourse has gone completely dark and we are being led by an army of pure reactionary, politicised stupidity.