2021 Sep 05 - Extinction Rebellion

This week let’s compare and contrast two different protests.
In Kabul, there was a women's’ rights protest, they are demanding the right to have an education and a job and the government responded with tear gas and weaponry but I guess is not terribly surprising, the White House after all left behind a bountiful collection of equipment for the new government to brutalize the crowds with. There was a video this last week of the Taliban flying around in a a captured US helicopter and I’m not sure if the US Air Force still paints glamour models on the side of it’s warplane, if so then they'll have to get out a paintbrush to edit them. it wouldn’t surprise me if one day we saw lady in a veil painted onto the lady on the side if a captured F16. All things considered, the situation is deeply unpleasant, especially for the Russian & Chinese arms dealers who’ve undoubtedly missed out on a lot of sales opportunities.

What is the reaction to all this in Islington? Workers and feminists of the world unite, perhaps a march down Whitehall or a demand that the UN or the EU step in? Well there was a protest in London this last week over that most British of topics, the weather. Extinction Rebellion are blocking the entrance to the science museum over the decision to let the oil company Shell sponsor an exhibit. There is of course a sense of irony in that these same people normally spend their time pleading with the public to listen to the science and trust the science and yet are now actively preventing access to the science.

This is the same style of deeply annoying yet not terribly effective protesting the Fathers For Justice types did a few years ago, I’m waiting for one of them to dress up as Issac Newton and scale the side of the science museum with a banner about how the public don’t understand the ‘gravity’ of the situation, geddit? Instead we’re left with a bunch of left wing student activists and bored housewives throwing paint on buildings, blocking roads and using spurious environmental reasons to attack things they don’t like anyway, like the thought of working class people going on a beach holiday to Spain. Fast food is another target of their wrath and I saw someone on the news complaining about the carbon cost of how McDonalds ships meat from industrial plantations in Latin America - this presumably implies that they’re getting their avocados not from Waitrose but from an allotment in Surrey. It’s very easy to suggest banning gas heating but not all of us have the luxury of spending January at our second home in Tuscany. There is a sense of “do as I say not as I do” that is only really bettered by being told to take personal responsibility by Boris Johnson, father of seven.

But logic and reason play no part in this and it never has. Many in the environmental movement would look at the struggle of Rosa Parks and see it not as a civil rights issue but about someone trying to use a bus that uses petrol, the sort of thing should be banned anyway and replaced with a lane. Perhaps the deafening silence over the human rights abuses in Afghanistan specifically and Asia generally, is due to a solemn respect for people who are following Greta Thunberg’s advice and actively dragging their country back to a pre-industrial way of life. Subsistence agriculture, no air travel, no consumer goods and shanty towns made from recycled materials.

There are people in the UK making lucrative careers out of suing the government over green issues like whether or not schools should serve meat or whether fixing the roads constitutes a hate crime against the planet. I’m waiting until they try to ban Santa Claus because he hands out coal to the naughty kids. It’s all a good example of how those who complain most about society are generally the people that contribute the least to it. I just wish that when it came to Extinction Rebellion they’d get on with the first part of their mission statement
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