I went on a lot of the marches in London that were protesting against the huge government overreach regarding COVID19 and vaccines. I even made the front page of the Telegraph – not my photograph sadly, but I was in the photo, outside Downing Street. Captioned as an “anti-vaxxer”, which is interesting because I’ve never considered myself as such, and I believe the majority of people with me were protesting the grievous injustice of vaccine mandates.
Anyway. I went on those marches. Along with a hell of a lot of other people. The first one was probably heading towards the million people mark. (Which makes it all the more impressive that the media managed to pretend that it didn’t happen.) On the marches that went past Downing Street, it took several hours for the entire protest to move through. There really were a lot of people.
Purely by accident I stumbled straight into an Extinction Rebellion protest today. I had been wanting to cycle up Whitehall to Soho, but the road was blocked at Parliament Square by police. I walked through, and found a cluster of maybe a thousand people (I’m perhaps being rather generous there) clustered around the entrance to Downing Street. They had some drums and were making some noise, but it really was quite a modest little gathering of people. There were probably more people at the infamous Downing Street parties.
My own feelings are that Extinction Rebellion is a useful puppet. I’m not sure if XR’s members have noticed, but the government has already committed to doing basically everything they want, and in a very short timescale. Therefore, I find it quite inexplicable that they were all waving banners decrying the “criminal government” etc. However, XR give the illusion that there is popular support and demand for these Malthusian policies.
The thing is, I agree that humans generally treat the environment very shabbily. From companies causing vast amounts of harmful pollution through to the selfish idiots who think nothing of throwing their McDonalds litter on the ground (it’s always junk food – which to me says a lot about the kind of people who eat that rubbish). Humans treat their environment with very little regard on the whole, and that’s very sad.
What I – and large numbers of other rational, decent people – disagree with XR on is that we are in a “climate emergency” and that said emergency is being caused primarily by carbon dioxide emissions.
Climate has been changing ceaselessly ever since there was a climate to change. Stasis is not what nature does. Rather, nature is an unimaginably complex collection of interconnected systems that are in constant flux. And nature has never put a foot wrong. It always finds its correct balance if left to its own devices. And on a planet wide scale, human activity probably has little to no impact on climate. Certainly not “carbon emissions”, which any genuine science will point out is actually rather vital to life on earth.
And anyway: nature doesn’t care whether we find any changes to our liking. Nature is certainly not there to serve our desires or maintain our current status quo. Since our ancestors first wandered out of Africa 100,000 years ago, we have adapted successfully to the constantly changing climate. (Indeed, the history of human migration around the planet from Africa is one that is told concurrent with the history of climate change. Just read the fascinating book, Guns, Germs and Steel.)
Sadly, modern humans think they know better than nature, and can use technology to supersede nature. However, human meddling in natural systems is at best futile and hubristic, and at worst deeply dangerous. That should be obvious to any sane person from the pointless yet massively destructive NPIs and vaccines deployed to “fight” COVID19 – as if a virus was something that humanity could choose to vanquish. COVID19 had its useful idiots who espoused that “Zero Covid” was the moral choice – and lo, the fact that these aims coincided exactly with massive pharmaceutical companies’ balance sheets was pure coincidence!
“Zero Covid” and “Net Zero” are both equally insane policies, and XR are some of the latter’s useful idiots. Is it a coincidence that the business of sustainable energy and lowering carbon emissions has become exceedingly profitable in recent years? I even noticed that my old company seems to have got in on the act, and I can guarantee that they wouldn’t be doing so unless it was very lucrative in the short term.
Sustainable and clean energy is actually a truly vital aim for humanity. Nobody should be arguing that fossil fuels are beneficial or even neutral for the environment: they all emit pollutants (carbon dioxide not being one of them) and cause harm to both the environment and human health. But the hugely rash and premature rush to abandon fossil fuels for the mirage of sustainable energy will cause economic devastation, and devastate lives and health and wellbeing for billions. The West has for decades adopted an energy policy of closing its eyes and hoping a miracle came along. Well, it hasn’t, and our crumbling energy production and supply infrastructure is now close to collapse. (Well done those forward thinking people who have already removed themselves from grid reliance…)
Until we get our act together and knock together a Dyson Sphere (go and read about them), fusion power is the hopefully achievable goal that the world should be aiming for. Just think of the research and development that could have been achieved with the tens of trillions of dollars that have been squandered on COVID19 nonsense and a proxy war against Russia.
Instead, we are where we are right now, and it’s really not looking good for the future.
I get the feeling that the XR crowd I saw today are all fairly affluent, predominantly Home Counties types. Lots of ex hippies, and general do-gooders. They probably aren’t struggling to pay their bills even with the serious price increases in the last year. I wonder what they might think when further decades go by without the constantly promised environmental Armageddon, but instead they and their children become increasingly cold and poor as our society judders to a halt due to their ridiculous Doomsday cult ideology. We are heading back to the Dark Ages, in more than one way.
I don’t doubt that the majority of people I saw today have good intentions. The problem is, the road to hell is paved with them. And we’re barreling along it at speed.