Climate change protestors tied up rush hour traffic for hours in my city yesterday. How much extra carbon dioxide emissions came from all those idling cars? How many passengers were discouraged from using public transport after being trapped in overcrowded buses and trams? This seems counterproductive.
Even more disturbing was the extinction rebels who joined in, splashing bucketfuls of red paint (“blood”) everywhere, declaring that next time it will be real blood. I’m having flashbacks to last year when animal rights activists were quite literally terrorizing local farmers, with threatening phone calls and burning farmsteads.
I’m concerned about the escalation of rhetoric and the increasingly frantic media coverage. It’s not enough to predict disaster within our lifetime anymore. Now they’re predicting catastrophe by the end of next year. This is how movements turn violent – it’s all fun and games until they call out the riot police… or someone makes a bomb.
The point is that all these protest marches and slogans on t-shirts and signs are so last century. Today’s young people are the “internet natives,” right? I’m very sure they could be more effective in contributing to actual solutions if they would join in collaborative work online. They all have access to social media and google. That’s a perfect platform for exchanging ideas and building solidarity and commitment, and a much more promising use of all that youthful energy.