Climate Catastrophe Demands Action

The looming risk of climate armageddon is dawning on more and more people. And so visceral action to do something about it is picking up some desperately needed steam.

Earlier this year, UK-based activists Tyre Extinguishers sparked off a campaign that has spread throughout continental Europe. Their tactic? Letting the air out of the most egregious gas-guzzlers’ tires. Their aim? Making luxury cars such as SUVs seem less like fun, fuming toys and more like the deadly liabilities they truly are.

We tried to get something similar to take off this side of the Atlantic. But in North America, mainstream culture still clings stubbornly to its fossil-fueled deathtraps. Not only did our call to #DeflateTheRich inspire bloodthirsty vitriol among the rabid Right (including Fox, Hannity, Gingrich and all). As far as we know, no one on our side even took the plunge.

For half a century, we environmentalists faced the raw facts of climate change but couldn’t get our shit together when it came to pressing for solutions. Now that we’re closer than ever to the edge, we’ve finally seen fit to escalate our tactics. Could this be the moment things start to go right on Planet Earth? With the most revolutionary tool ever invented in the palm of our hand, we must push for an intensified heave to steer humanity onto a sane sustainable path — just like we’ve always talked about but never quite managed to get around to actually doing.

Underground in the name of just stopping oil.

Back across the pond, direct actions on the part of XR-affiliated group Just Stop Oil put us Yanks and Hosers to shame once again. In April, they shut down no fewer than 10 major oil plants across the sceptred isles, leading to over 1,000 arrests. One couple went underground, staying put in a tunnel under an access road for five whole days to prevent tank trucks from accessing an oil-storage facility in Essex. Their demands? No more fossil-fuel subsidies, no more fossil-fuel investment, no more new fossil-fuel projects — in short, an embargo on the financing and extraction of oil. Right on.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to stop talking and start acting. All there is to lose is the certainty of marching toward a long dark age.

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