Extinction Rebellion, a radical environmental organization based in the United Kingdom (UK), has been digging up lawns.
Why? To protest against people who invest in or otherwise support the use of fossil fuels.
But are such protests really centered on saving the environment? Do radical environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion help or harm society?
The Face of Radical Insanity
Extinction Rebellion (ER) has become the new face of climate protest with its extreme and innovative protests.
It interrupted operations at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2019. It has organized radical protests, blocking roads and convening disruptive gatherings in London.
Lately, it has been caught digging up lawns. First, it was lawns outside the office of the UK’s Secretary of State in London. Then it was lawns at the famous Trinity College in Cambridge.
Then it disrupted the Cambridge city council meeting, forcing council members to abandon the meeting.
Screw the Environment and the People
Extinction Rebellion’s disruptive protests raise serious questions about its intentions. Some of its methods have drawn criticism even from leaders who support other climate protests.
If you really intend to save the environment, why destroy it? If you really care about the future and people’s lives, why disrupt, over and over, the regular lives of ordinary people commuting to and from work?
Such actions reveal ER’s intentions. Its aim isn’t to protect the environment. It’s to destroy it and cause inconvenience to the general public in the name of climate alarmism.
Though they are often dismissed as fringe elements, ER protesters’ methods add to pressure from other groups like “School Strike for Climate” for younger generations to turn from productive endeavors to empty protests of no benefit to the environment or to people.
Not Just Extinction Rebellion
This kind of behavior is not unique to ER. Many globally renowned environmental groups passionately advocate for policies and laws that harm the everyday lives of people across the world.
Greenpeace, for example, opposes developmental projects and commercial fishing in Japan.
Other organizations’ anti-fossil and anti-development actions may not be as dramatic as ER’s, but they pose a higher threat to economies. They stall key developmental projects that have proven capability to propel the economy and make life better for billions.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) opposes exploration and extraction of natural gas in various countries. Yet natural gas is a game changer in the global energy sector, providing clean electricity while reducing emissions of the carbon dioxide NRDC blames for global warming.
NRDC, along with Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, the Northern Plains Resource Council, the Bold Alliance, and the Center for Biological Diversity, fought critical pipeline projects that transport the much-needed fuel across the contiguous U.S.
The radical environmentalists’ war against fossil fuels and energy development has a global footprint: blocking oil projects in Canada, opposing coal plants in the Philippines, stalling hydrocarbon projects in India—and the list goes on and on.
The biggest of these anti-developmental lobbies is the United Nations (UN). Its Paris climate agreement calls for reduced use of fossil fuel in all member countries.
It also requires member states to make a transition to less reliable, more expensive renewable energy sources that cannot meet sudden surge in demands or provide adequate electricity during the winter months in cold countries.
For these and other reasons, the U.S. is leaving the controversial Paris agreement, which provides no benefit to the planet or the climate situation. Other nations, like India, China, Japan, and Poland, continue to defy the agreement’s call to reduce coal intake despite pledging to do so.
The more the radical environmentalists try to extend their control, the more countries will leave international policies that are energy restrictive.
The more lunatics like ER display their theatrics, the more people will realize the ugly roots of the climate protests.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), is a Research Contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.