July 19, 2024

Extinction Rebellion street art, July 2023, Madrid

Extinction Rebellion definitely have the wind in their sails. When you feel like you are on the side of the right, it can give you fearlessness and determination.

Certainly it seems clear that contrary to what Belinda Carlisle once sang, we are creating an ‘infierno’ on planet earth. And there’s very little that humans, as a group, seem willing to do about it.

The sacrifices are too large. Nation states, individuals stand to loose too much. So at best we resort to tokenistic gestures. At worse we deny it’s happening, vote against politicians who want to do something about it and get increasingly irate with people who come over to our country because there’s nothing to eat or drink in theirs. Or we respond impassively to the news of record breaking heat, rising oceans, as if it was a remake of a film we’ve already seen, continuing to book our flights, drive our cars and buy our plastic.

But the Extinction Rebellion crowd are something different. They seem to think they’ve got the moral upper hand in this, and that they have every right, in the name of future generations to block roads, disrupt major sporting events and generally piss people off. If doing these things saves the environment, then they probably do. But will it really make any difference – or will it just make people feel a bit angry?

I don’t know, but in Madrid, they’ve shown themselves capable of coming up with some rather nifty posters, which they’ve stuck to various walls in Lavapies.



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