Hey Extinction Rebellion… have you heard of consumption?
The blind hypocrisy in the messages presented in recent climate change movement protests fails to amaze us at Consume This. They rally thousands to come out and protest the pending doom of our planet while seemingly having no real plan – or desire to constructively develop one – to address the issue. And they seemingly have absolutely no clue that they, as consumers, represent 80 percent of the problem.
Protesters recently blocked major roads, bridges, squares and tourists attractions in various cities, including Sydney, Berlin, Amsterdam and London. Canadian chapters of the movement disrupted major points in Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.
Consume This took time to consider the following quotes we found in a piece picked up by the National Post covering the Extinction Rebellion’s recent protests.
“In a car-dependent city, interfering with traffic is one of the best ways of interfering with business as usual,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.
“We are not attempting to shame or blame drivers — we all live in a toxic system and have few good options in our daily lives without system change.”
Consume This Comment: Really? All those commuters aren’t to blame that they are by themselves in a vehicle with a combustion engine and not on the subway, Go Train, LRT, bus or tram? Because there are no commuting options in Toronto right? And who is the consumer (person using the gas in their car in this case) that accounts for about 80 percent of emissions from a barrel of oil? No… I guess we shouldn’t blame those drivers.
“I think this is a huge success,” protest organizer Patrick Yancey said just moments before he was arrested.
“I think it’s going to be great for the whole world to see all of the people who are willing to make this sacrifice in order to get some action on this climate crisis.”
Consume This Comment: Sacrifice? What sacrifice have you made other than getting a free meal in jail and taking up valuable public safety resources? How’d you get to the protest? That’s not your smartphone is it? Nice camera! I’m guessing all those affordable designer clothes you’re wearing are second hand and weren’t made in a Third World country. Going to the hockey game or pub tonight?
Starting before dawn, the protesters in Amsterdam held pamphlets saying “SORRY that we blocked the road, but this is an emergency.”
“The climate crisis is not being taken seriously enough by politics, and also not by the companies. That’s why I joined,” said one protester, who gave his name to Reuters as Christiaan.
Consume This Comment: Not being taken seriously by politics and companies? What about all the wonderful stuff you consume that makes up 80 percent of the problem? Maybe you should start taking the issue seriously!
“We have tried petitions, lobbying and marches, and now time is running out,”
“We have no choice but to rebel until our government declares a climate and ecological emergency and takes the action that is required to save us.”
Consume This Comment: Holy shit! Rebel until our government takes the action to save us from our over-consumption. Maybe common sense is going extinct.
While these messages play well as news quotes, unfortunately they are meaningless with respect to fighting climate change. Expecting a handful of First World democratic governments to change policies that will hurt the economic well-being of their citizens in the name of their concocted ‘climate emergency’ isn’t going to happen. When the economy tanks because of harmful policy, they aren’t getting re-elected and that affects policy. When everyone has to pay more for everything, they aren’t getting re-elected on that one either. And the fact that any measures taken (especially in smaller nations) will have minimal, if any, impact on the broader issue of reducing climate change causing emissions, we can only hope a country like Canada takes that seriously.
Then we must consider the nations where protestors cannot, or will not, protest in fear of reprisal. It’s easy to go after Canada, Australia and European democracies. But how about China, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, Iran etc. Because that’s where the vast majority of world emissions come from and they are not listening.
And finally, we must consider the two thirds of the world that currently has very little compared to what all those protesters have. Are we going to tell them they can’t develop their economies and have at least a small share of all the wonderful stuff we’ve enjoyed while putting most of this carbon into the air since the beginning of the industrial revolution?
I’m sure they’ll appreciate that in the name of preventing our extinction.