The Climate Camp draws to a close. The result? A vandalised depot, a besieged office block and a day off for its employees, and more than 40 protesters arrested, some of them grumbling about their treatment by the police. (What did they expect?)
But what was this protest really about, apart from a ‘fun’ week of eating lentils, recycling urine, and playing at planet-saving superheroes? All of the UK’s political parties are moving in the way that the protesters want. They are not really at odds with the government, nor the opposition at all. If the most important issue is a 90% cut in CO2 emissions, the Conservative Party intends to see CO2 emissions cut by 80% – wouldn’t it be better for the Climate Camp protesters to swallow their pride and join them, than get arrested or beaten up by the police?
For those of us who think that being able to fly to almost anywhere in the world is something worth celebrating, the Manifesto Club have started a campaign to do just that. They are calling for stories about the life-expanding possibilities that flight creates – something which the miserable 2,000 protesters have forgotten during the last week, while 1.4 million travellers have passed over their heads.
It’s not something that Richard Madeley from Channel 4’s Richard and Judy show has forgotten. Last Friday, the show broke from the safety of the chat-show routine format to host a robust exchange between Richard, Climate Camp protester Tim Lever, Green Party spokesperson Jenny Jones, and Mirror Journalist Kevin O’Sullivan. Richard and O’Sullivan took issue with the protester’s arrogant self-importance, and condescending attitude towards people who just want to go on holiday – a rare sight on British TV, which all too often buys into global warming orthodoxy, and portrays climate change activists as saints.