Climate change protests rise in U.K.


Photo reprinted with permission from Nicole Larie photography

Broadcast Editor-In-Chief Sara Norton’s senior photo.

Climate change is a big problem, but it is only getting worse. England has had significant protests and rioting through the climate change organizations ‘Just stop oil’ and ‘Enough is Enough.’ Defacing art and public property is never the answer, but if this is what has to happen to bring light to such a big issue, then so be it.

‘Just Stop Oil is a protest group defacing big corporations and prized possessions in museums. They do this to show society that valuable items are replaceable, but our world is not. Big corporations need to change their ways now before it is too late. But unfortunately, this has only caused these companies to ignore the message spreading to them.

“The issue is global warming with all the fossil fuels and gases emitted into the air. Big corporations aren’t doing anything about their businesses. They are ruining our world,” junior Imani Cofield said.

‘Enough is Enough’ is the other protest group that is having protests in the streets of London. These groups have been mostly peaceful, but violence still comes with it. This organization is taking a better approach to shedding light on climate change. Defacing stores and art will bring more attention to the media, but more people will listen to the message they have to say if they take a calmer approach.

Cofield said she thinks peaceful protesting is much more successful in conveying a message, “People that are already against climate change definitely won’t listen to the message if they are destroying art.”

Though these organizations have a good message, defacing precious art pieces, even if protected, is never the answer. These protesting tactics have brought huge media attention to climate change, making people realize how much these companies impact the Earth. It is saddening that defacing art and buildings gets attention from the media. However, worldwide, people are alert to the climate change crisis happening in the world because of this media impact.

French teacher Jackie Parr explained how she 100% supports their message, but they do not need to “deface cherished artwork in museums.” She explained how there could be another way to do it than defacing things that have been reserved and valued.

The U.K. has been facing horrible conditions these last few years. Having no air-conditioning is a cultural norm in this part of the world. As a result, the temperatures rise from their typical summer 70 degrees to a hot and sweaty 90-degree average, causing great distraught in their lives. People are living in horrible such horrible conditions because of this. They do not use plastic bags, are good at recycling, along with turning off lights and running water. Taking these steps has improved their living, but they need more and will not stop until they get it.

Parr sympathizes with those who live in the U.K. because she has family that lives out there. Parr said, “they are really feeling it,” as daily life is difficult because there is “no escaping the heat.”

Climate change has fallen into a political debate over the years. Unfortunately, conservatives tend not to believe in climate change or global warming. People with these beliefs tend to think that temperatures are rising like they should, not that humans are causing this. Yet, climate change is a real problem caused by fossil fuels and humans not caring for the planet. At the end of the day, there is only one Earth, and people need to realize that this is not some silly issue to make into a political debate. Climate change is much more significant than people think; there must be change before it is too late.

Sophomore Lucy Noah-Kramer stated that she cares about climate change because it is not entirely about us. Instead, it is about future generations. “Climate change will keep progressing, and if we as a society don’t turn it around, future generations will suffer immensely.”

Though the protests are violent and not spreading a good message, they bring media attention to climate change. It is saddening that these are the lengths people have to go to feel heard. Society needs to change soon before there is more irreversible damage done.