“Personally , I’ve now reached a point where I believe breaking the law for the climate is the ethically responsible thing to do.” (- Chris Packham, UK Wildlife TV presenter & conservationist)
Andrew Griffiths and Verel Rodrigues, UK climate activists, refuse to question climate alarm and forced energy transformation. They are frustrated despite major (anti-commoner) government intervention for not doing enough. And this in a country that produces about one percent of global GHG emissions.
Instead of checking their premises, Griffiths and Rodrigues (and others) want to double down. So what is the floor on despair–when you “hit bottom” in the vernacular of addiction? Is it open-ended violence?!
Watching this eco documentary just after watching Rishi Sunak’s roll back on climate policies genuinely restored hope that there is a significant shift coming. I am grateful for Chris Packham showing leadership and pledging full support to those who break the law for climate.
This documentary is incredibly powerful and well worth a watch.
The Guardian, of course, gives the eco-documentary a favorable review. Jack Seale’s “Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? review – the bravest, most anguished TV of the year comes with the subtitle: “This extraordinarily honest eco-documentary sees the nature presenter wrestle with an existential crisis – and he’s so desperate he risks his entire future.”
He goes to state:
Documentary presenters don’t usually make a virtue out of bewilderment, but these are confounding, confusing times. Chris Packham: Is It Time to Break the Law? – an extraordinary, anguished think piece – opens with an audio montage of Packham’s desperate thoughts about the climate crisis, arranged so they chaotically overlap. This chattering inner monologue is accompanied by the unforgettable sight of the presenter’s face slowly being smothered in thick, black crude oil.
OK, the “oil” is probably treacle, but Packham’s film does involve the idea of putting his own safety and future on the line. It is beyond merely thought provoking: it follows him as he deals with a profound dilemma about how to live his life, and what that life is for, and it tells us that this is a decision we at home must also now make. The climate apocalypse is here and, despite fires and floods around the world, there is still – maddeningly – little sign of the change needed to avert the deeper catastrophe that is coming. Voting hasn’t worked. Peaceful protest hasn’t worked. Rational debate hasn’t worked. What now?
Bring on the violence, the article and its subject continues:
Packham, however, is deeply sympathetic towards the ordinary people who have become some of Britain’s most hardline climate activists, via actions organized by the guerrilla pressure group Just Stop Oil. … Packham opines that society ought to feel shame at putting principled people behind high walls and razor wire.
But the risks these pioneers are willing to brave are not confined to retaliation by the state. Viral clips of the actions of Just Stop Oil increasingly feature members of the public taking grim pleasure in reacting with violence, from shoving activists out of the road to driving heavy goods vehicles at them. Packham states that those people have been riled up by “the rightwing media”, referring to a Mail Online article in which Just Stop Oil activists are called “zealots” who have formed a “mob”.
Knowing what is at stake, Packham is still inclined towards extreme measures – not just approving of them, but participating in them himself…. Self-confessedly lost and uncertain, he seeks further counsel. He meets the Swedish ecology professor Andreas Malm, whose book How to Blow Up a Pipeline is worth the publishing deal just for the title. Malm stresses that he doesn’t mean literally blowing things up. Well, not necessarily. But he does advocate sabotaging pipelines or other fossil-fuel infrastructure….
In the end, Packham does not make TV history by publicly announcing his intention to commit an imprisonable offence, though he does reiterate his support for climate activists who cross that line. There is one obvious reason to hope he doesn’t get himself sent to jail: it would stop him making programmes as honest, as challenging and as urgently relevant as this.
Reaction on LinkedIn
Instead of spending hours sitting in the middle of the road stopping others’ important travel, which may well include someone reaching hospital in time for an urgent operation or giving birth, spend the time and resources raising money for and deploying one of these in permitted river locations around the country to deliver clean very low cost 24/7 energy to local communities nationwide.
It’s important to understand that the solutions to all are problems are already here, but they are being delayed by lack of awareness, lack of funding, and delay tactics by the fossil fuel industry. The most important thing is social change. How do we change ourselves if we are not aware of how pressing the issues we face are? Most of the population is just trying to survive, they don’t have the mental capacity to think about how climate change is going to affect them 10 years down the line.
Assuming that technology is going to fix all of our problems without fixing ourselves, is only going to create more problems. It’s a deadly cycle. Worth reflecting on this for a few days
Which garnered this response:
They don’t have the mental capacity. Well, that pretty much says in all about you, does it not? We know, you are special, you are mentally capable. We bow down to your genius.
This critic added:
Given that you are already committed to that reality, you are not open to reason, logic, or fact based-dialog. In other words, your mind is closed and you have moved on to justifying violence in the name of the “greater good.” That makes you no better to the millions who have come before you. They all thought they were right as well.
I had to add my two cents at this point:
Verel: For goodness sakes, check your premises. Don’t assume, study. Human betterment is just the opposite of what you are proposing as the God in the Machine. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Another wise comment:
Yes – there are times when governments pass laws that go against basic morality and those with morals should disobey. However regarding the use of energy to live that some say will bring disaster sometime in the future is hardly a moral imperative. Especially in light of the ongoing debate by good and honest skeptics. It is in fact immoral to silence those who may in fact be right.
I don’t see sitting in the road to raise awareness about how climate change is going to kill so many people across the world as violent. Allowing and being complicit with climate change to killing millions of people is not moral, and I support those who are doing their best to raise awareness about this crisis in whatever way they can, as long as they are not violent.