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Climate Change Protests - will they make a difference?

(791 Posts)
crystaltipps Wed 17-Apr-19 08:28:34

There has been so far 3 days of climate change protests in Central London and other locations. They’ve disrupted traffic and inconvenienced a few, but have been in the main peaceful and has had a festival atmosphere. It looks like these protests will continue. Personally I feel climate change is a really important issue and should be the one that our esteemed politicians should be acting on and discussing but they aren’t. I’m in no way part of this group but, with some reservations, applaud their efforts and hope it does bring the issue to the fore. It does highlight how far our police resources are stretched that they can’t be stopped though. If you don’t live or work in the capital you probably don’t care about the protest , but hopefully you do care about the issues, and these protests it may be coming to a town near you. What do others think?

M0nica Wed 17-Apr-19 08:38:23

I doubt it will make any difference at all. There is always a group of people in society who find protesting easier than doing.

I hasten to add I do not mean that all protesting is pointless but in a case like this I would be far more impressed if the protesters could show us how they had changed their lives in order to drastically reduce their energy consumption. Not using any road transport to get to their protests, but walking or cycling everywhere, only buying locally produced foodstuffs, even if it meant doing without coffee, tea or sugar. Furnishing their houses entirely with recycled furniture.

I find it difficult to take people seriously when they propose all these drastic measuresfor everyone in five years time but haven't already started living the future in their own lives now.

Urmstongran Wed 17-Apr-19 08:43:28

Sadly, no it won’t change anything until our world leaders agree to do more.

It’s not such a peaceful demonstration either -
‘Climate change campaigners plan to disrupt London Underground services today as a fortnight-long protest continues with nearly 300 people already arrested in the capital.’


notanan2 Wed 17-Apr-19 08:49:04

Sadly, no it won’t change anything until our world leaders agree to do more.

I think their point is that there is no point in waiting for world leaders to decide to do more. "No one is coming to save us" is a quote from them. People cannot continue to hope for other people to make it easier for them to live a lower emission life, we all have to act now and that does mean inconveniencing ourselves.

crystaltipps Wed 17-Apr-19 08:52:31

Part of the plan is to get people arrested and draw attention to the protests - it’s not for doing anything violent it’s for sitting in the road I think. So I think that is peaceful. I think the plans for disrupting the underground haven’t gone ahead. Just doing your own bit for the environment isn’t really enough is it? We’ve all been to eat less meat, avoid single use plastics etc and many of us try, but until people have to do something they often don’t. So while sitting at home growing your own veg and riding a bike is good on an individual level, that won’t change national policies.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Apr-19 08:54:13

We all have to do our bit to help where possible.

XR bringing parts of London to a standstill I do not think is particularly helpful or informative.

Alexa Wed 17-Apr-19 08:54:15

In full view of the alternative they'd better make a difference! !

National and international lawmakers need to concentrate on this colossal disaster rather than on lesser matters such as brexit.

notanan2 Wed 17-Apr-19 08:57:36

If we are to make a dent it does mean inconveniences. There IS NOW WAY to continue to live as we do AND slow climate change.

It will mean disruption. That is the only way.

Wheniwasyourage Wed 17-Apr-19 09:42:09

Let's hope they make a difference - something has to!

janipat Wed 17-Apr-19 09:55:03

I had to travel to central London for my gruelling cancer treatment, thank goodness it wasn't while these protestors were causing holdups and delays. I fully support that it needs World leaders to come on board ultimately, but pray tell, why will disrupting London get Trump etc to change their ways? It does start with the individual doing all they can to limit personal impact, no snowflake in an avalanche ever felt responsible.

Alexa Wed 17-Apr-19 10:14:27

Individuals doing their bit cannot be sufficient. Corporations must also be controlled by law , so that for instance all new houses are insulated,and heated by solar panels.

Travel industries have to be reined in so that holidays are spent near one's home. Aircraft use an awful lot of fossil fuel.

Perhaps most of all the oil extractors such as Shell must be controlled by law so that they permit research and development of alternative power sources.

Gonegirl Wed 17-Apr-19 10:38:09

My 17 year old GS has been in London at this demo. He cares tremendously about the environment. He organised a group of kids from his school to attend the Friday demos too. He also made an appointment with his head teacher to discuss a list of things the school should be doing. Yes, he has enjoyed his couple of days in London but, nothing wrong with that. Yesterday he was with welfare team handing out drinks and biscuits. I'm really proud of him. Was worried at first in case he got himself arrested, but he's got his head screwed on the right way.

However, I do think the three goals are unattainable. sad

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Apr-19 12:32:38

XR are targeted the wrong country China 29% of world CO2 emissions, UK 1% and falling.

Jabberwok Wed 17-Apr-19 12:40:47

Perhaps demonstating outside Embassies of countries that are sadly lacking any inclination of even attempting addressing the impending disaster of climate change, ie India, China Russia and so on would be more applicable than causing real disruption/hardship to peoples daily lives.
Disrupting cancer treatment can be a matter of life and death, as my DH and I know full well, and people who hold up the traffic etc during the week should perhaps think carefully about the unintended consequences of such action.

Callistemon Wed 17-Apr-19 13:09:01

Jabberwok I agree; I think that Europe including the UK is making more efforts regarding this than many other countries.
America too, as Trump is a denier.

It would be interesting to know how the protestors made their way there - walked or by pedal cycles?
Also, I am not sure just how much pollution the Underground causes so why disrupt that?
Does anyone know?

I think that disrupting the lives of ordinary people who may in fact be trying their best themselves is not the way to go.

Riverwalk Wed 17-Apr-19 13:11:16

Disrupting public transport seems rather perverse!

Gonegirl Wed 17-Apr-19 13:11:56

Yes. I agree.

Gonegirl Wed 17-Apr-19 13:12:24

Some are taking it too far.

Callistemon Wed 17-Apr-19 13:16:12

crystaltipps you say that we all try to avoid single use plastic and everyone I know, from very young children to old people, is careful to recycle, litter pick etc - so who are the people who throw so much plastic waste out of their cars along the roadsides and dump waste in the countryside?

It does seem to be a "them and us" scenario - those who care and those who do not.

Seeing thousands upon thousands of new cars yesterday waiting to be exported or just imported here was quite an eye-opener too.

Are we losing the battle? These protestors will not make any difference and nor will our government - it is big worldwide businesses and other governments of powerful countries who need to be brought on side.

Riverwalk Wed 17-Apr-19 13:17:28

It will lose them public support.

With a few notable exceptions, the great and the good don't travel by bus and tube.

gillybob Wed 17-Apr-19 13:44:22

I am wondering what, if anything do these protesters do for a job?

I happen to think most of us are working hard at tackling climate change here in the UK and short of changing our entire lives I don't think there is one single thing we could all do that will make enough difference.

Stopping the public from getting to and from work or going about their daily tasks is NOT going to win support.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 17-Apr-19 13:46:45

One thing is for sure though, with or without protest, climate change is the biggest challenge we face.

It is almost certain that it will not be addressed and so as the pariah species of this planet there will be poetic justice as we wipe ourselves out, leaving the earth to breath a sigh of relief.
It will come much quicker than people assume.

lemongrove Wed 17-Apr-19 13:51:55

Good post gillybob, my thoughts entirely.

janipat Wed 17-Apr-19 13:53:36

They are hurting ordinary people, causing untold misery to thousands, but feel they have the right to do just what they want. I cannot understand disrupting public transport, when that is supposed to be the go to form of movement. They are also tying up so many police, many of whom are having their rest days cancelled and while they're arresting these protestors not able to be dealing with other issues. I read they're intending to continue "shutting down" London until 29th April. What on earth have we Londoners done to deserve this long term action?

sunseeker Wed 17-Apr-19 14:13:21

I think we all agree the climate change is a huge problem, but I don't see what these protesters can achieve, except the disrupt the lives of ordinary people attempting to go about their lives.

I think peaceful protests outside the embassy of the most polluting countries would gain them more support from the general public - instead I have heard there have been calls for the use of water cannon and even tear gas.