After several months of watching a middle-class, predominantly young and increasingly erratic group of individuals in the climate change movement of Extinct Rebellion, I think it is time we address the hypocritical nature of this potentially dangerous group.
The above picture shows that the environment only matters when it fits their agenda. The Alton Barnes White Horse, located Wiltshire, is an iconic piece of Wiltshire's amazing history. Carved from chalk, it has stood for over 200 years, even through WW2 where it was concealed successful from German bombers. But today, it has been defaced with the Extinct Rebellion logo in a selfish, hostile and damaging act. This has not been the first time Extinct Rebellion, in all their self-righteousness, has believed it to be appropriate to cause massive public disruption.
We must respect their right to democratically protest. We are, after all, a liberal democracy. But the amount of time consumed in terms of police resources, disrupted public transport and travel for everyday people, is resulting in the hardening of opinion against them. When you stop traffic, block runways or glue yourself to buses and trains, you're actively turning people against you. They seem to forget that the UK, led by the Conservative Party, is the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency. Not only this, but we have cut emissions by 25% since 2010, reduced our coal dependency from 40% in 2012 to less then 2% now and have put extensive money into the low-carbon sector. These, of course, are not echoed as world-first achievements by the left-wing, ideological fanatics of Extinct Rebellion. When they can come to the table like Conservative grassroot-groups such as Tories for Climate Action (@ClimateTories), the British Conservation Alliance (@BCA_eco) and Blue Beyond (@blue_beyond_), then we can have a civil discussion about how we can improve our fight against climate change without costing massive public outrage. But for some, such as a man from Bristol who could not see his dying father due to Extinct Rebellion blocking traffic to the hospital (which ironically is causing more emissions), the damage has already been done and will stay with that man for the rest of his life.