What the climate movement’s debate about disruption gets wrong

Read this article in Nature magazine exploring the fact that debate about climate activism typically focuses on the public’s reaction to protesters, rather than the more important question about whether a given tactic imposes disruption on elite decision makers. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-023-02507-y

Its conclusion states:

“Disruptive activism is essential for achieving the climate movement’s goals. In fact, it is even more essential than it was for the Black civil rights movement, given that the climate movement is trying to shut down a whole industry. Yet the debates about whether climate activists should employ disruptive tactics often reflect confusion about definitions, targets, and the mechanisms underlying policy change. The debates often focus on the public’s reaction to protesters, but the more important question is whether a given tactic imposes disruption on elite decision-makers.”

Exeter Extinction Rebellion Plants Seeds of Change:
Wildflowers Over Plastic at Flowerpot Playing Fields

In a vibrant display of peaceful protest, activists from the Exeter Extinction Rebellion biodiversity group have taken a stand against proposed plastic turf at Flowerpot Playing Fields.

We symbolically planted wildflowers in the shape of the Extinction Rebellion’s iconic ‘Hourglass’ logo, advocating for natural biodiversity over artificial solutions – while there is still time.

The event unfolded beside the river, at the heart of Flowerpot Playing Fields, where Exeter College’s controversial plans to replace a natural grass rugby pitch with plastic turf have sparked ecological concerns.

Armed with a variety of native wild seeds and bulbs, we created a living artwork that not only opposes the artificial turf but also serves as a beacon for biodiversity. This action highlights our commitment to preserving natural habitats and raising awareness about the environmental impacts of synthetic materials.

The initiative is part of a broader campaign to promote ecological sustainability and combat climate change, emphasising the need for community involvement in environmental decision-making, especially in areas that directly affect local ecosystems.

Shout out!

Do you want to help protect the planet for a liveable future but not want to get arrested/ be out on the streets/ upset your family? There is plenty to do to help: organisational, record keeping and communication skills, both digital and personal (phone, zoom etc) are particularly needed.

Do get in touch for a phone call with a real person here: pathways@XRExeter.org

Page last updated on 13/10/2023