February 2, 2023 1:42 am

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Just Stop Oil: Decoding The Ultra Climate-Activism 

The world took notice as climate activists smeared Britain’s King Charles’ waxwork model in Madame Tussauds Museum in London on Monday.

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Just Stop Oil

The world took notice as climate activists smeared Britain’s King Charles’ waxwork model in Madame Tussauds Museum in London on Monday by Just Stop Oil activists.

Recently, Climate activists in the west have been vigilant against the authorities over their demands. ‘Just Stop Oil’, one such group, has been demanding that the government ends all new and future fossil fuels projects. For this, they have chosen some questionable methods, such as vandalism and road blockage.

Understanding Just Stop Oil

The new tier of climate activists — such as Just Stop Oil — believe in assertive and sometimes even violent methods to further their goals.

The group came under attention after two activists threw soup over a famous painting in London’s National Gallery. The two women activists — of early 20 age — were heard asking whether art was more valuable than life itself.

Two activists of Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers at London’s National Gallery
Two activists of Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers at London’s National Gallery

The Definition

As per their official website, “Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to ensure that the government commits in ending all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in the UK”.

The website of Just Stop Oil

A band of engineers, doctors, lawyers, and students — the group claims to be a rapidly growing movement.

According to a Guardian report, the volunteers of the group can remain non-violent under pressure. “ The goal is to raise awareness on a massive scale”, it said.

Their Demands

As proclaimed several times by the activists and mentioned on their website, the group is against new projects of fossil fuels.

“That the UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in the UK”, reads their website.

On the right of the above-mentioned ‘demand’ column, we found another paragraph titled ‘Why’, which attempted to explain the group’s intentions.

It read, “It’s the first step to ensuring our survival. We already have more Oil and gas than we can afford to burn.

“Let’s end our reliance on fossil fuels completely: by powering ahead with renewables and cutting energy demand; by insulating Britain and rethinking how we travel; and by ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone’s voice is heard”, it further read.

However, we could not find any scientific reasoning or remedial steps to combat climate change as we ignored the distracting donation button.

Their Actions

Just Stop Oil’s recent activities, as per a report, have included acts such as blocking traffic, climbing bridges, and throwing soup on buildings of Government institutions.

The famous sign outside the New Scotland Yard was painted orange after an activist sprayed it with paint.

Vandalised sign of New Scotland Yard

The law enforcement and even car showrooms were unsafe as several structures of luxury car brands were vandalised.

Vandalism has been the latest tactic, but before that, the group favored obstructing events and matches. In a football match between Everton and Newcastle on 17 March this year, an activist stuck himself with the goalpost.

Days before the match, protestors donning Just Stop Oil t-shirts had disrupted the BAFTA red carpet.

The Globally Rising Ultra Climate-Activism

Earlier this year, a visitor vandalised a famous 16th-century painting, the Mona Lisa after he threw a cake on it.

Another work by Leonardo da Vinci – The Last Supper, was targeted by climate activists this year. The 1612 painting The Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens as well as the 15th-century paintings Primavera/Spring by Sandro Botticelli in Italy, and the ancient Laocoon sculpture in the Vatican drew the wrath of the activists.

German law enforcement removed protesters from a coal power plant and train lines near Hanover in September this year. Over 100 climate activists occupied the coal-fired power facility Datteln 4 in 2020, which is owned by the utility firm Uniper. 

Last year, another climate change group Extinction Rebellion disrupted a Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris. The disrupters carried banners with messages such as “Overconsumption = Extinction”.

Future of Climate-Activism

In recent years, climate change has been a burning issue in the western hemisphere.

The UK has been a hotspot with specific organisations such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil taking the lead. However, they have drawn more negative rather than positive responses.

The recent actions by the climate-activists indeed display worrying signs. The activists of organisations such as Just Stop Oil seem to be more fixated on grabbing media headlines and orchestrating the social media revolution rather than representing the actual issues.

The younger generation of climate activists — idolising Greta Thunberg while glued to walls, should read more about Gaura Devi, an Indian woman clinging to trees, determined to save them, at the very cost of her own life.

Yash Rawat
Yash Rawat

Its been hard to express myself so here I am.. writing.

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