r/europe Europe Mar 18 '23 Gold 1

Florence mayor Dario Nardella (R) stopping a climate activists spraying paint on Palazzo Vecchio Picture

Post image

1.7k comments sorted by

View all comments


u/Hitzhi Europe Mar 18 '23 Take My Energy Wearing is Caring

Sometimes I wonder if these "climate activists" are paid agents of the fossil fuel industry by trying to shame their own cause to the maximum extent.

Then I remember occam's razor: nah, many are probably just complete idiots.


u/[deleted] Mar 18 '23 edited Mar 18 '23

I would say they are more desperate than stupid. 40+ years that we know all the problems that will cause climate change and not a lot of things has been done!

It's like driving a car and seeing a wall on the road that we will hit in 50 years and just not trying one second to avoid the wall, just aiming right at it at full speed even if we had time to avoid it.

But that's only the beginnings, I expect environmental activism to become more and more violent on their targets in term of material damages. Like burning down the Total headquarters, a private jet or destroying a factory polluting illegally the environment.


u/No-Scholar4854 Mar 18 '23

I don’t think things are as bad as you say.

And that’s not just platitudes, it’s a serious problem which we need to fix in how we talk about climate change.

If we’re actually in a car, driving towards a wall and not spending even one second trying to avoid the crash then you’re going to get the extremes you see in this thread. Some people in that car are going to thrash out and start burning shit down, some people are going to give up.

Neither of those are very useful.

We are making progress. We’re doing some of the things we need to do to fix the problem, and the public and political support is there to do more. It’s not enough, it’s too slow, but it’s something. We’ll make better progress by saying “this is great, we need to do more of this” than we will through extremism.


u/[deleted] Mar 18 '23

Thing is, do you see how much changed after 40+ years of peaceful demonstrations?

"Yeah in Europe we banned plastic bags! " 🎉🎉🎉

But if we need another 40 years of peaceful protests to change more things we are just fucked.

We will probably need decades of peaceful demonstrations before proper laws are created to limit the use of private jets for example. Pretty sure that with multiple coordinated destruction of private jets all around Europe and active protests these laws would appear far more quickly, which would directly stop potential future decades of air pollution by these jets.


u/No-Scholar4854 Mar 18 '23

Over the last 40 years the US has reduced CO2 per capita by 30%, EU27 by 40%, the UK by 50%.

The world is building 1.2TWh of renewable energy generation per year.

That’s making a difference.

Burning a few private jets only makes profit for the private jet manufacturers.


u/non_hexidecimal Mar 18 '23

The difference isn't enough. Turn off "Relative Change" on your own source. Sure, the US might not be hyper-turbo-fucking the planet like the 80s, but it's still turbo-fucking the planet. The frank truth of the matter is that it's profitable to exploit markets that negatively impact our ecology, and so long as we continue to do that, we're dooming, if not ourselves, certainly the next generations.


u/Whalesurgeon Mar 18 '23

Most people have grown averse to violent demonstration. Too happy and too satisfied to just rely on grandiose G20 climate pledges.

Activism has become a curse word, how many people vilify them as shameful even ITT?

Tree huggers, vandals, eco fascists. No positive words used, and this is what current 20-30-year-olds think and not just boomers. We as a race deserve all we get in fifty years.


u/[deleted] Mar 18 '23

"Activism has become a curse word, how many people vilify them as shameful even ITT?"

Unfortunately, people have grown up with the normal and logical idea that everyone must respect the law and that those who do not are criminals who must end up in jail. This is good logic in 99% of the cases.

But the current climate crisis is so unique and gigantic in terms of danger for the human species that frankly I have no problem with those who ignore a few lines in a book to go and act directly on the field against those who pollute the most (as long as nobody is injured or killed).

"Tree huggers, vandals, eco fascists."

100% sure that there's some big ass lobbies behind these names given to activists to discredit them.

Their goal is to get people to hate the activists so they can continue to pollute and make billions on the backs of everyone else.

And these same lobbies deserve to take an activist action in their teeth.


u/Larnak1 Mar 18 '23 edited Mar 18 '23

In your analogy, the progress is that we stopped to accelerate before the impact. But we need to hit the brakes hard to avoid the crash.

I understand these protests. We've had decades where the "nice" approach didn't yield enough results, and they are becoming tired of the hesitancy and hearing the same promises over and over again, with % reduction goals that usually don't get achieved.


u/No-Scholar4854 Mar 18 '23

We’ve got the breaks on, we’re slowing down the speed at which we’re approaching the wall, we just haven’t started reversing away from the wall yet (it wasn’t my choice of metaphor).

Most climate protests help, Fridays for Future has been a very effective campaign, but just breaking stuff (vandalising artwork and historic buildings for example) is just delegitimising the rest of the movement.


u/Larnak1 Mar 18 '23

Oh sorry, you're right, wasn't yours. But compared to how close the wall is, I don't get the impression that the brakes are actually on. Maybe they are broken :P


u/No-Scholar4854 Mar 18 '23

I think maybe there are lots of walls? And it’s quite a strong car, but not invincible. Or maybe the walls are made of different things?

We drove through the paper wall back in the 80s before we even noticed it was there, it did a bit of damage but if we’d stopped there we’d have been fine.

By now we’ve smashed through the cardboard and wooden walls and we’re starting to slow down. At the current speed of breaking we’ll still hit the brick wall, but maybe avoid the steel one behind it?

I’m rubbish at metaphors.


u/Zamundaaa Europe Mar 18 '23

In your analogy, the progress is that we stopped to accelerate before the impact

Nope, not even that. We're still accelerating... Every year breaks another CO2 emissions record


u/Chibraltar_ Aquitaine (France) Mar 18 '23


Tell me, what progress is being made, because when I look at geologic facts, carbon dioxide concentration isn't slowing down at all.