For the third time recently, so-called climate activists are trying to destroy great works of art. All I can say is, WTF?
Do you remember ISIS? As they took over parts of Iraq and Syria, they blew up ancient heritage sites treasured by humanity for thousands of years. To what end? Purity, power, and publicity. Today, ISIS is in the background, yet ancient sites are lost forever.
These climate activists are acting like ISIS. They attack art that has nothing to do with climate change and then revel in the media attention. It is the worst kind of publicity stunt. They get media attention while damaging the overall sympathy of the world toward climate action.
At best, these attacks are a distraction. At worst, an active detriment to the cause.
How Art Destruction Damages the Climate Movement
When ugly events like these art destruction stunts get identified with “climate activism” it means that real climate activists have to defend themselves against accusations of being affiliated with the art destroyers. They have to explain the difference. It becomes necessary to clarify that you are a climate activist but not an art destroyer. In essence, these morons hijack the term climate activism, which describes what real activists are doing, so no one will describe what the destroyers are actually doing, which is hedonistic nihilism.
Here’s the thing: This kind of destruction does nothing to advance the cause. It doesn’t make solar cells more efficient. It doesn’t reforest the land. It doesn’t motivate people on a large scale. This kind of action does not stop oil from flowing and it doesn’t provide a single policy solution. No carbon is prevented, and none is removed. Rather, art destruction does very effectively the one thing it was designed to do: Draw attention to the perpetrators. No one would know who Roger Hallam is except for these actions, and that is precisely the point.
But as the leader of Just Stop Oil, Hallam made it onto FoxNews. Here’s how Fox described the group and its leader:
Roger Hallam — the founder of Just Stop Oil, a far-left British climate activist organization — once downplayed the Holocaust as a “normal event” and said climate change was a more serious threat.
Then, they quoted a Hallam essay:
“You will only be successful when you break the rules and break the laws,” Hallam wrote in an essay in April 2021. “You will start to be successful when you throw off the outlook of life of older people.”
“You need to realize that you are going to get harmed anyway,” he continued. “Putting yourself in harm’s way is in fact the only way you can reduce the far greater harm coming down the line. When you act, your despair will lift in resistance to the death which is planned for you.”
When the media do this, they create a parallel implication. They love to put the words “far-left” next to “climate activist” because it seers into the mind that climate activists are all far-left radicals. Socialist. Even Communist. Or radical art destroyers. Thus, the media create fear that climate activism is actually disguised communism.
The Destroyers’ Distraction
While Hallam is gleefully garnering attention after these publicity stunts, real climate activists are being challenged about their affiliation with Just Stop Oil and their tactics. After the event with the Van Gogh painting, a friend of mine met some new people and was telling them about his activism — he is also a writer on climate. One of his new acquaintances said to him, “What is your favorite soup to throw at a painting?” It wasn’t a real question or discussion, like “What do you think can be done?” Or, “Do you think we can reverse it?” Or, “Is solar really cheaper than oil now?” No. All those questions got skipped. Instead, the friend asked about the best soup to throw on a painting. How pathetic. That’s the contribution of Roger Hallam and Just Stop Oil.
I hope these groups will stop attacking art, but I fear they won’t. This kind of absolutism never goes well, and the attacks turn off the millions of centrists who want to contribute to climate solutions. We need those centrists; we do not need the distractions of the art destroyers.
This post was previously published on ILLUMINATION-Curated.
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