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”. 

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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.

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Tom Abbott
May 6, 2023 10:30 am

History won’t be kind to these people.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 6, 2023 12:20 pm

Historical books are written by far left activists, it’s kind with the bad actors

Tom Abbott
Reply to  niceguy12345
May 7, 2023 5:32 am

I was hoping (and still am), that far left activists would be history themselves. 🙂

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 7, 2023 7:22 am

Usually, the actual in-depth documentation of an historic event comes too late. By then the “unkinded” people are dead and gone.

Which brings up an interesting question … how much time passes before an event becomes “historic”?

May 6, 2023 10:38 am

People have many pastimes. Much of my life I found I had a good deal of free time with nothing to do so I spent my time learning about anything and everything. When I ran out of things to read, I worked on reasoning by putting together individual facts to make a whole picture.
That is what’s lacking today. People learn a few facts that interest them and then think they know everything. Without sufficient facts, they are unable to develop their reasoning ability because they don’t encounter conflicting facts.
To resolve the problem we will have to alter the education process and challenge children at home. It will not be easy and frankly I am not sure if its too late to make a difference.

Tom Halla
May 6, 2023 10:41 am

The Brits should send them off to the Falklands to herd sheep, and keep warm over dried dung.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 6, 2023 10:55 am

Good plan.

However, if they were true Greenies, they would eschew burning the dung because that would return the carbon to the atmosphere.

Much better to freeze in the dark – oh wait, that is what they want the peasants like us to do!

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 6, 2023 1:16 pm

What do you have against the poor sheep?

Reply to  MarkW
May 6, 2023 3:03 pm

It isn’t the sheep themselves, and I may be a small minority, but mutton has never tasted good to me.

Reply to  AndyHce
May 6, 2023 3:29 pm

2-tooth (hogget) leg spit-roasted over coals for 3 or 4 hours is superb.

Mutton needs slow cooking as a curry to make it acceptable.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mr.
May 7, 2023 10:48 am

But … but … that was Sarge’s girl.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 6, 2023 6:13 pm

Or the punishment of the eco-terrorists in Tom Clancy’s 1998 novel “Rainbow 6”.
[Clancy was rather prescient]: Hint: Amazon jungle while naked. Cosmic Justice! lol

Peta of Newark
May 6, 2023 10:58 am

Quote:”threat of malevolent AI

Too late – climate models have done far away too much damage already

May 6, 2023 11:10 am

Better to waste away in Margaritaville.

May 6, 2023 11:16 am

A minority represented by a minority braying phobia, genocide, and climate change.

It is the knowledge they are losing the battle for hearts and minds

We live under a democratic/dictatorial regime, where demos-cracy doesn’t matter, and are summarily aborted or denied civil rights when deemed politically incongruent.

Dave Fair
Reply to  n.n
May 7, 2023 10:51 am

Democracy is mob rule. That is why the U.S. Founders established a Representative Republic. Our Constitution is the only thing standing between us and the tyranny of the mob. Even then, it fails sometimes.

May 6, 2023 11:22 am

I wouldn’t walk across the street to accommodate these people, their goal isn’t to make the world a better place but rather to protest.

Reply to  Bob
May 6, 2023 1:53 pm

These people are not making the world a better place.
They are living in the best time ever when we look back even the last 80 years.
Fossil fuel has lifted the majority of the worlds population out of poverty , food shortages and grueling manual work.
These people are living in a golden age when compered with what has gone before.
When I look back in time and wonder why my great grand parents boarded sailing ships in England and Scotland to seek a new life in the untamed country of New Zealand on the other side of the world .
They had to start from scratch hacking out farms from the scrub and bush with saws and axes, living in a canvas hut ,cooking over a wood fire.
Would these people ever consider going fossil fuel free in a foreign land ?
They are just spoilt and have become indoctrinated with the constant news media and green politicians telling them that fossil fuels are evil .
If that is what they believe, emigrate to Africa and try living off the land using no petrol , diesel or electricity .
They could start a commune and take all the XR mob with them and show the world how they can live without fossil fuel or any tools made using fossil fuel.

Reply to  Graham
May 6, 2023 2:54 pm

one of my fantasies is to have a Star Trek transporter to send crazies to live in yurts in a remote area of Outer Mongolia where there is no sanitation and to have to collect and dry Yak scat for fuel.

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  czechlist
May 7, 2023 12:57 am

And Zippo cigarette lighter not allowed

Reply to  Graham
May 6, 2023 3:04 pm

So? It is probably boring to them.

Reply to  AndyHce
May 6, 2023 4:21 pm

Please elaborate Andy .
They have not thought past dinner time.
When food supplies start declining because of their actions some common sense might prevail.

Reply to  Graham
May 6, 2023 7:52 pm

You assume that they have enough intelligence to connect their actions with their lack of food. More likely they will declare that capitalists and oil companies are sabotaging their efforts and only more government intervention can save the day.

Reply to  Bob
May 6, 2023 1:59 pm

I would literally get out of my car and start swinging these pukes. I can-not-stand-this-crap!

It doesnot add up
May 6, 2023 11:43 am

That’s a matter for the media. Why not relegate it to a paragraph in the local press about the fine imposed in the magistrate’s court for disruptive behaviour? Instead, they go overboard, publishing extremist manifestos and “statements”. Deny them the oxygen of publicity for their cause. Report simply as Ecoloons inconvenience the public again. Report public opinion of those affected if you must – but de-platform the loons.

Another feature has been the support from the police and courts for Ecoloons. Instead of getting on a remvoing them from blockading the King’s highway, or preventling them from throwing paint etc. they are encouraged to do what they want to do, offered cups of tea, etc. by the police. Then the courts sympathise with them and refuse to sentence them for their actions. These are the things that need fixing.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 6, 2023 1:49 pm

The media is very selective about which cults it treats with disdain and which ones it adulates.

The Climate Crisis Cult is obviously one of the favored, until one of their prophets uses the wrong pronouns on a journalist somewhere.

Then they will get the Ezekiel 25:17 treatment.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 6, 2023 2:04 pm

Um, the media are the enemy. My sworn enemy.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
May 6, 2023 3:05 pm

You don’t seem to understand the purpose of modern media.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  AndyHce
May 6, 2023 5:46 pm

Perhaps I do? I’ve had plenty of experience with it in different countries around the world. At times, I’ve interacted with it and experienced first hand how it behaves. The rare examples of good media could be given a briefing, and go away and add to it and give all a fair hearing, while digging for insight and truth. Reuters was still mostly like that 30 years ago. Others would simply look for words they could twist. Where they are propaganda merchants they are very resistant to undermining their propaganda by correcting even the most blatant lies. Yes, that includes the BBC, as well as media in dictatorships. Now Winston Smith is alive and well.

May 6, 2023 12:01 pm

Talking down to people doesn’t work.

Yet that’s all they do.

Hoyt Clagwell
May 6, 2023 12:39 pm

Just more evidence that extinction rebellion and the like are far more interested in begging for attention rather than gaining supporters or achieving a practical goal.

May 6, 2023 1:15 pm

They won’t be like survivalists.
Survivalists are concerned only with the survival of themselves and close friends and family.
These activists are determined to change the world, even if the world doesn’t want to change.
It’s much more likely that they will go out the way groups like the Weather Underground and the PRI (Puerto Rican terrorists) did.

Reply to  MarkW
May 6, 2023 3:11 pm

Except, for the most part, unfortunately for sanity, they mostly have the support of law enforcment, the media, and most of the talking heads not explicitly part of the major media.

Rud Istvan
May 6, 2023 1:32 pm

Two separate observations.

First, there are two ways to know we are slowly winning the climate war.

  1. The alarmists like XR or this PhD candidate resort to ever more desparate measures.
  2. The powers that be mandate ever more impossible solutions. NY no new gas stoves or furnaces from 2026–but they will be short electricity. EU now new ICE after 2035—but they will be short new cars. cA no new diesel trucks after 2035—but that will utterly stall their economy.

Second, it is hard to take AI as the next great alarm seriously when Kamala Harris is made Biden’s AI czar. Putting natural ignorance in charge of artificial intelligence is not a good look.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 6, 2023 3:04 pm

“cA no new diesel trucks after 2035—but that will utterly stall their economy.”
CA ports are the major route of commerce from Pacific trade routes. CA, WA, OR environmental law has an affect on the entire US economy. I have suggested to my Senators that transit through tose statesis in effect interstate commerce and s/b subject to federal law – but they never respond

Reply to  czechlist
May 6, 2023 3:33 pm

The sale of new trucks in CA may not stop trucks from servicing the ports of California. All they need is to have fuel tanks large enough to get them from the border, to the ports and then back to the border.

Reply to  MarkW
May 6, 2023 7:49 pm

That might make them as heavy as electric trucks will need to be to get a couple of hundred miles on a charge.

Then again it might not.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  MarkW
May 9, 2023 4:33 am

Build a California bypass from San Diego via Tijuana and Mexico.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
May 6, 2023 3:13 pm

But it is in keeping with the Climate czar, the Energy secretary, the head of the military, and other executive appointments.

May 6, 2023 2:56 pm

Putin has competition in setting up chaos.

May 6, 2023 3:29 pm

The climate radical may get more coverage, but that doesn’t mean the coverage will help your cause.

May 7, 2023 2:35 am

The true greenies, the real greens that actually live a life that in practice eschews their values and beliefs I have respect for.

The radical “urban” eco-zealots that break the law, glue themselves to roads, throw paint around, are simply lost, suffering childish people. They are filling a void in their lives with a cause. Many of these people I believe, when they get older and wiser (most are teenagers or very young adults) will be ashamed of their actions. Some will “die” for the cause.

michael hart
May 7, 2023 5:33 am

“I am now in the 3rd year of an ESRC funded PhD student at the University of York sociology department researching youth climate activism as a novel form of protest.”-Andrew Matthew Macdonald

What I would give to be the bureaucrat charged with eliminating useless expenditure when the UK decides it can no longer afford such frivolities.

Andy Pattullo
May 7, 2023 7:30 am

Perhaps this research is intended as an explanation for why psychological and cognitive sciences are mired in a swamp of unreliable and unreproducible results. Starting with a foundational premise that is all conjecture and bias, and which is at odds with objective facts is a sure way to reach idiocy in record time.

Steve Randle
May 7, 2023 10:26 am

Looks like it is this Mr. Macdonald, a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, York University.

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