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.
5 thoughts on “Extinction Rebellion”
The goal of groups like the one you describe have nothing to do with the environment. It’s about government control of everything (which is truly ironic coming from anarchists, when you think about it). The groups tend to be anti-science and anti-reality to the point of being comical – and that’s why they’re so angry… You’re right to be nervous about mainstream groups caving to the pressure. That’s a new, decidedly scary turn for the worse.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi! As someone who’s been to various XR events and made lots of great connections with other attendees I’d love to know where you’re coming from with these comments as they don’t match up with my experience of XR at all.
I think you need to read the post again, and maybe look up the definition of socialism. Environmental groups tend to be unsuspecting puppets of bigger players. Here in the US we have the Sierra Club, largely funded by Russia to battle against US energy production. Russia doesn’t care that the environmentalist is a true believer, and they certainly don’t care about the cause. They just know what works to stifle American production so they can charge more for their oil and natural gas. It’s definitely not rocket science.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi! Came across this after searching for music from the rebellion online. Now posting on my blog from my time Madagascar. I would really love to respond to some of the points you’ve made here and would like to talk ‘voice to voice’ about it – not feeling motivated to type/edit massive coherent responses right now. I’ll happily talk about it for your podcast from the perspective of deeply concerned and grieving lover of nature, the world and its peoples who has knowledge and experience of XR ❤
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Iain, thanks for the interest in coming on the podcast to talk about the issue. Is the email from your blog contact page still good? Otherwise use contact form on this blog or message me on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll agree the date and time to talk.