Extinction Rebellion’s tactics ‘counter productive’ says expert
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Days of “disruptive action” are planned, with the activists planning “occupations” and a “digital rebellion” as they demand an immediate end to all new fossil fuel investment. Countryside Alliance spokesman Mo Metcalf-Fisher called on the public to support farmers rather than the protesters who say they are intent on targeting the “political economy”. He said: “This isn’t about the environment, it’s all about their own brand. They thrive off the publicity and anger.
“Rather than helping them further cement their status as one of the most annoying, publicity hungry outfits in the UK today, you can help do your part for our environment by supporting British farmers instead.
“By buying their produce, you are helping to sustain viable agricultural businesses who can in turn continue protecting and preserving our countryside for future generations to enjoy. Surely enjoying a delicious Great British steak is better than feeding Extinction Rebellion’s ego.”
Mr Metcalf-Fisher said farmers have been “working flat out to reach the ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040”.
His call comes on the heels of figures showing that policing Extinction Rebellion protests has cost the taxpayer more than £50million since 2019.
The threat posed by climate change to life on the planet is a high political priority, ahead of the landmark COP26 summit due to take place in Glasgow in November.
The Prince of Wales has said the recent wildfires in Mediterranean countries must push leaders from politics and business to take substantial action “before it is finally too late”.
He said: “We now have no alternative – we have to do all we possibly can in the short time left to us to avoid the enormous climate catastrophe that has already begun to show its face in the most terrifying ways, most recently in the Mediterranean.”
Op-ed by Countryside Alliance spokesman Mo Metcalf-Fisher
Yet again, Extinction Rebellion are boasting about a new wave of disruptive protests they have got planned for London.
Rather than respectfully demonstrating outside Parliament, we are told to expect their followers to start out in Trafalgar Square and then make their way over to the City.
As we rebuild from the pandemic and people return to their workplace, the last thing any of us need are selfish activists holding up the roads and causing chaos.
Since 2019, the cost of policing their protests has reached an eye-watering £50 million. From this week, that figure is likely to rise even further. The mind boggles at where this money could be better spent, if only the group took all steps to prevent carnage and public disruption.
While London may have enjoyed a relatively short break from their antics in recent months, parts of the countryside have not been so lucky.
In March this year, they targeted landowners and farmers by organising mass trespass of the countryside; spouting anger at a ‘tiny minority of aristocrats, oligarchs and corporate interests that control the land.’ In short, blatant anarchism.
What they deliberately will not tell you is that everyone is welcome in the countryside. In England and Wales there are 140,000 miles of rights of way as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of open access land for people to use. Rules around access are there for a reason, not least to protect crops and livestock.
While their followers have been exploring new ways to annoy people, our farmers have been working flat out to reach the ambitious goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040.
These stewards of the countryside routinely expand and maintain hedgerows which provide a habitat for wildlife. They carefully plant trees to create additional woodland. Many have diversified to produce renewable energy that helps power millions of homes. They do all this while producing some of the finest, sustainable meat from cows and sheep which are predominantly grass-fed, from grass which cannot be used to grow other types of food.
Next week Extinction Rebellion will predictably attract new, outrageous headlines which will make many of us feel frustrated. You only need to look at the reports of ambulances being caught up in their foolish road blockades previously to be concerned about what to expect this time. Sadly, however, that’s what the group want and desperately crave. This isn’t about the environment, it’s all about their own brand. They thrive off the publicity and anger.
Rather than helping them further cement their status as one of the most annoying, publicity hungry outfits in the UK today, you can help do your part for our environment by supporting British farmers instead.
By buying their produce, you are helping to sustain viable agricultural businesses who can in turn continue protecting and preserving our countryside for future generations to enjoy.
Surely enjoying a delicious Great British steak is better than feeding Extinction Rebellion’s ego.
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