Ever since I started the podcast I wanted to talk about sailing. So I was truly honoured when my invitation was accepted by Irish national hero, Damian Foxall. Damian is a veteran of ten round-the-world races, which include four 1st place finishes. He has sailed in no less than five Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, and was also part of a team that set an around the world sailing record. In this podcast I had an opportunity to ask Damian many question related to his sailing exploits and to hear his stories from the high seas. We also spoke about the natural environment as Damian is actively working on issues related to Ocean conservation and is an ambassador for the nonprofit Sailors For The Sea.
There is a lot of buzz, at the moment, around the activist group called Extinction Rebellion. The group is organizing direct action campaigns and acts of civil disobedience in a protest against governmental inaction on climate change and disappearing wildlife.
As concerned as I am about the environment and wildlife I have mixed feelings about that group and their actions. So let me break it down for you.
I do recognize the role of such campaigns in environmental advocacy. Showing dissatisfaction about governmental inaction has its place in democracy. It can raise awareness of an issue in the minds of the general public. However, actions like these don’t make a difference on their own. In addition, they can give ammunition to the opponents, making it easy to label legitimate NGOs, lobbying for the cause, as “extremist”. That is especially true, if peaceful demonstrations deteriorate into vandalism resulting in arrests and disruption of public order. That just annoys people.
Unfortunately, that turn of events is quite likely, when the group behind the campaign has a strong anarchist background. And that’s exactly the case with Extinction Rebellion. Their leaders actually speak openly about their previous involvement in the anarchist community in Britain. It is also hard to miss their carefully curated, parallel media campaigns and personal attacks on public figures to push a socialist political agenda. All that makes me question the real motivation behind their actions. Do they really care about the environment? Or are they merely puppets in the hands of higher level political actors, used to rally unsuspecting people to create confusion and weaken the political structure?
Because of these questions, I was deeply concerned to see a reputable conservation organization and even a political party getting behind such events. We should exercise great care to make sure we’re not helping push hidden agendas that would work against our cause in the long run.
As always, I welcome discussion and I am curious about your thoughts on the issue. I would be more than happy to be corrected. So if you would like to be my guest on the podcast and have a conversation on the subject, please get in touch. Leave your comment or contact me through the social media channel of your choice, and let’s talk.
Patrick Mercie is an avid runner and ultra-runner, a businessman, a life coach and owner of The Intentional Academy. In the podcast Patrick is sharing with us his unique approach to life which he applies to all aspects of it, including his running. While listening to this episode, you will not only hear interesting stories, tips and advice for runners, but you might also get a glimpse of Partick’s life philosophy, “Do more of what you love”.