The New York Times published a guest essay on Thursday by radial environmentalist Andreas Malm defending climate change protesters who smeared a Vincent van Gogh painting with tomato soup at London’s National Gallery earlier this month.
Malm is the author of “How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire,” a book that advocates ecoterrorism and criticizes pacifism among more peaceful climate activists.
“As a general rule, I tend to think that sabotage is more effective when it’s precise and serious,” Malm wrote in the New York Times essay.
He praised Just Stop Oil, the group of protesters for the paint, for the way they “destroyed petrol stations in April this year”, saying that for this action, “they have hit the nail on the head. Gasoline, unlike a Van Gogh painting, is a global warming fuel “that “must be stopped to save humanity and other life.
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Malm said that while he was initially skeptical of the group’s effectiveness in moving from gas station attacks to priceless works of art, he has since changed his mind.
“There could also be room for this kind of action,” he wrote.
“By doing something so outrageous, Just Stop Oil has forced the media and the general public to pay attention to the fact that the UK government is about to distribute 100licenses for new oil and gas projects when it cannot not be one more,” he said. continued.
Europe is experiencing devastating energy shortages amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and political leaders’ decision to move away from oil and gas and towards other sources of energy. energy. UK inflation is at its highest level in forty years amid rising food and energy prices.
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“The climate movement in the North appears to be reading its history. Over the past year, activists have embraced the tactic of sabotage and property destruction on a spectrum from symbolic to serious,” Malm said, after compared their actions favorably to those of the British suffragettes.
He wrote that Boston University’s so-called “leading energy scholars” “discuss the pros and cons of climate activism and come out, remarkably, in favor of examining a full range of ‘options, including civil disobedience and guerrilla warfare’.
While noting that it was important to “ensure that no one is physically harmed in the process”, he justified extreme action, saying: “As for the ethics of destroying property, it is not , in this case, very complicated Fossil fuels kill If you disrupt the flow of these fuels and damage the machines they power, you prevent deaths.
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Malm concluded: “We don’t know what, if anything, will work, which is why, perhaps, the movement needs both: flippant attention as well as surgical stops, in a diversity of disruptions. We don’t we can’t afford to give up on creative methods that might further the cause.”