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Protestors are aiming at the wrong target

Lord Digby | Published:

I’VE always believed that climate change is the result of both ends of the disagreement spectrum operating at the same time. The planet’s environment and atmosphere were going to change in any event, but man’s selfish and ignorant behaviour has seriously exacerbated the natural situation.

(Mr.anaked/Shutterstock.com)

If there’s one part of the world that has definitely ‘done something about it’, it’s Europe – and if there’s one major country in Europe that is doing more than any other, it’s the UK. Perfect? No. Going at a fair lick in the right direction? Certainly.

Sadly, that doesn’t fit the narrative of the Easter Protesting Brigade. Inconvenient really. ‘I feel like a demo; let’s cause some chaos; let’s feel important; let’s get on the telly! What’s the subject this time? Ah! Climate change! Always good for getting a load of the well-intentioned luvvies on board... and the Met will be nice to them.’

So I’m with Adam Boulton of Sky News when, live on air, he said to Robin Boardman-Pattison, a 21-year-old former pupil of £17,500pa Trinity School in Croydon and attendee of Bristol University: ‘You’re just a load of incompetent, middle-class, self-indulgent people who want to tell us how to live our lives’.

The reply of Mr BP (unfortunate initials, Robin, if you’re a climate change campaigner) was illuminating: ‘People are not going to be able to put food on their plates and I won’t stand for that. And I won’t stand for people who won’t stand up for what it means to live on this planet, and I won’t stand for anything else.’

Confused of Croydon or what? Quality fodder for the Professional Demo Brigade.

What with sitting down in protest and not standing up for anything, ol’ Mr BP will be getting bed sores before long. But that’s not what all this is really about. As that veteran anti-business, class warrior George Monbiot said as the London protests moved from square to bridge, the purpose of these protests is ‘to go straight to the heart of capitalism to overthrow it’.

What paid for your privileged education, Robin? Moonshine? Don’t let the Reds know you didn’t avail yourself of a comprehensive school education, or you’ll be troll-fodder before sundown.

But the genuinely-motivated, well-meaning protesters are sadly aiming at the wrong target.

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No one can argue that nature has had anything whatsoever to do with the appalling man-made scourge that is plastic in our seas and oceans.

Consider this:

  • By 2050, there’ll be more plastic in our oceans by weight than fish.
  • Already, 25% of all fish caught in the world have plastic particles in them – and they go straight into our food chain.

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All this plastic comes from the rivers of the world ... BUT 90% of all the plastic in the oceans comes from just 10 rivers and seven of them are in Asia:

  • The city of Dhaka in Bangladesh puts 4,500 tons of solid waste into the Buriganga River EVERY DAY.
  • 1.2 billion tons of plastic are dumped into the Holy Ganges River in India EVERY YEAR.
  • 4.3 billion tons of industrial waste and sewage have been dumped into the Yellow River in China over the past 10 years.
  • The Yangtze River in China dumps a third of a million tons of plastic into the East China Sea EVERY YEAR.
  • The Citarum River in Indonesia has levels of lead in its water 1,000 times the international legal limit.

So I have two suggestions for the London climate change protesters:

1) Move your protest to the London Embassies of Indonesia, India, Bangladesh or China – or better still, go to the banks of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers in China; they are very tolerant with protesters and dear Robin can do all the standing up or not standing up he likes... in prison.

2) Take off those trainers, Mr BP; remove that shirt; stop buying the stuff that created the plastic in the first place. Insist it’s all made in Europe – and then happily pay much higher prices for all your clothes and cause mass unemployment in developing countries.

If you want to make a real difference, boycott all such products until the Asia-based manufacturers change their plastic-junkie ways and campaign for the withholding of international aid until the citizens of these countries start to respect their own environments.

Oh, and don’t forget to walk home when your demo ends, Mr BP – sell your car and you wouldn’t want to be using fossil-fuel-burning buses or trains, or tube trains run on electricity generated by gas, now would you?

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