Opinions On Climate Change Protest Watch

Zasty
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I've posted on 2 threads but i want to premote a discussion regarding the today's protest.

I find it difficult to understand how skipping school is a direct protest to the government's inaction on climate change.

I'm all for protesting, however,

Activism fundamentally fails if your entire group is seen as tards before the strike begins.

This was shown in the old people tweeting about how skipping school just adds extra workloads on teachers and hinders the children's education.

Although it took place on a Friday, before half term which is known for being a useless period for students, this still functions as a near flawless criticism

because it allows old people to invalidate the protest regardless of the intended nature of the protest.

1. Teachers are not the direct cause of climate change so making their job harder just harms them and so gives students +1 negative point.

2. Students are known for making garbage excuses for skipping school so when the entire power of the protest revolves around that one point it's really easy to dismiss the march as just a "bunch of kids looking for a reason to skip school"

3. There is absolutely zero correlation between attending school and climate change. So the intent of the protest can be interpreted as an indirect protest on "going to school" rather than a protest on climate change

4. This is a weaker point but many protesters saw the protest as an opportunity to protest against Theresa May's lack of interaction with young people. This is fine, but when your protest has too many causes, it's difficult to determine which ones are sincere and which ones are more important for the government to take action on.

5. I know guys who went just because it looked like a "fun motive for a Friday afternoon" lol


Protests work better if it's difficult to criticize the group which is protesting.

Look at MLK's Selma march for an extreme comparison, it's difficult to criticize a bunch of black people walking on a bridge, but it is easy to criticize a bunch of students, skipping school and shouting "oi oi, fucc Theresa, do something about climate change".


I feel like the message would have been much more successful if we did it on the half-term. This is because we could back it up by saying "I sacrificed my holiday to protest." Which regardless of whether it's true it would be an unbeatable point that the government couldn't rebuke.

TLDR I'm not saying the protest is wrong, but the organization was disgraceful and Greta Thunberg is not qualified to have the role as an activist to represent young people for as long as she can't understand these simple rules of activism.
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IlonaMcD
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Honestly you make a good point, but i also think the protest was supposed to be at a disruptive time. If it causes any form of backlash it means people have to pay attention. This is why it was probably less about skipping school and more about making people with the power to do something listen to their voices. I mean, like you said, they could have done it on a day in the half term but im guessing both that many kids go away wuth their families (so there'd be less protestors and ergo less impact) and also that people were inspired by the school walkouts in america.
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r05i2.71828
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One of the main ideas behind the strikes is that climate change will damage our future if there isn’t enough action to stop it. Therefore going to school, which is supposed to prepare us for the future, will be pointless without climate action. Hence the striking from school.
I don’t think it fair to say the organisation is a disgrace, they have managed to create a very large movement across the whole globe, I don’t know of any other youth organisations that have managed anything near this scale. Even if they don’t achieve their aims, they have inspired many young people to be more politically involved which will be beneficial in many ways later on.
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Libtardian
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The left is using kids to push their agenda, it's basically child abuse.
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modifiedgenes
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Protest all you want; it won't change anything.

If you want to save the planet, stop buying so much, stop wasting so much and don't ever have kids.
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Underscore__
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The main problem is that protests almost never change anything, they’re an incredibly inefficient way of bringing about change
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DSilva
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(Original post by Underscore__)
The main problem is that protests almost never change anything, they’re an incredibly inefficient way of bringing about change
What a bizarre response.

Obviously a protest by itself, cannot single-handedly bring about the change it desires - only the legislature and/or executive have the power to do that.

But protests are certainly an effective way of drawing attention to an issue, gaining media coverage and thereby getting politicians to talk about it. One obvious example of protests working were the poll tax riots, that led to the abolition of the policy shortly after it was implemented as they demonstrated how unpopular it was. All a protest can generally do is keep an issue live and ensure it stays on the radar.

But really, what other way do ordinary people have to 'bring about change' - the only option your average, non-politican, person has at their disposal is to attend a protest and do their bit to draw attention to the issue.
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Underscore__
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(Original post by DSilva)
What a bizarre response.

Obviously a protest by itself, cannot single-handedly bring about the change it desires - only the legislature and/or executive have the power to do that.

But protests are certainly an effective way of drawing attention to an issue, gaining media coverage and thereby getting politicians to talk about it. One obvious example of protests working were the poll tax riots, that led to the abolition of the policy shortly after it was implemented as they demonstrated how unpopular it was. All a protest can generally do is keep an issue live and ensure it stays on the radar.

But really, what other way do ordinary people have to 'bring about change' - the only option your average, non-politican, person has at their disposal is to attend a protest and do their bit to draw attention to the issue.
Why do people always point to the poll tax riots? It’s a complete anomaly. Climate change doesn’t need more publicity in order to be driven to the top of the political agenda, everyone already knows it exists (I doubt a few school children are going to convince those who believe it’s a hoax or not largely because of human activity). The problem is that governments seldom think beyond the life of that government, being as climate change is unlikely to have a significant impact on the UK before the next election it slides in importance.

If you want to bring about change protesting hasn’t been shown to be the way to bring it about. With the exception of the poll tax riots I’d challenge you to name three successful protests on major issues. If people want climate change to be driven to the top of the agenda vote in those who’ll put it to the top of the agenda.
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DSilva
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(Original post by Underscore__)
Why do people always point to the poll tax riots? It’s a complete anomaly. Climate change doesn’t need more publicity in order to be driven to the top of the political agenda, everyone already knows it exists (I doubt a few school children are going to convince those who believe it’s a hoax or not largely because of human activity). The problem is that governments seldom think beyond the life of that government, being as climate change is unlikely to have a significant impact on the UK before the next election it slides in importance.

If you want to bring about change protesting hasn’t been shown to be the way to bring it about. With the exception of the poll tax riots I’d challenge you to name three successful protests on major issues. If people want climate change to be driven to the top of the agenda vote in those who’ll put it to the top of the agenda.
You said 'never', you were incorrect. The protests in East Berlin were also rather successful in bringing about serious change. The Florida protests last year played their part in encouraging various states to pass various (albeit limited) restrictions/checks on purchasing guns. I would argue that protests regarding tax avoidance/evasion have been successful in drawing attention to the issue and encouraging various measures to attempt to tackle such.

Again, I'm yet to see you suggest more efficient or better ways for ordinary people to 'bring about change' than by protesting.

Climate change very much does need to be kept a live issue, especially in places like America where the President and his party mostly deny climate change or are completely indifferent to tackling it.

Protests draw attention to an issue and get it talked about. The more that happens the more the media and politicians talk about it. That's all you can ever expect from a protest.

Arguing that protests are dumb because they can't single handedly change government policy is stupid logic, that's not generally what protests claim they will achieve. All they can do, generally, is keep an issue on the radar and get politicians talking about it.
Last edited by DSilva; 6 months ago
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Underscore__
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(Original post by DSilva)
You said 'never', you were incorrect. The protests in East Berlin were also rather successful in bringing about serious change. The Florida protests last year played their part in encouraging various states to pass various (albeit limited) restrictions/checks on purchasing guns. I would argue that protests regarding tax avoidance/evasion have been successful in drawing attention to the issue and encouraging various measures to attempt to tackle such.
I think you should have another look, I actually said ‘almost never’. I would say in the minor changes to gun legislation in a handful of states had more to do with the Parkland shooting than the protests. Those tax avoidance protests were so successful that Starbucks paid a whopping 2.8% tax last year.

(Original post by DSilva)
Again, I'm yet to see you suggest more efficient or better ways for ordinary people to 'bring about change' than by protesting.
Really? You must have ignored the final sentence in the post you just quoted then.

(Original post by DSilva)
Climate change very much does need to be kept a live issue, especially in places like America where the President and his party mostly deny climate change or are completely indifferent to tackling it.
What evidence do you have to support your conclusion that most Republicans deny climate change?

(Original post by DSilva)
Protests draw attention to an issue and get it talked about. The more that happens the more the media and politicians talk about it. That's all you can ever expect from a protest.
Climate change is talked about all the time, there’s no reason to think a few more articles in the Guardian are going to convince people who don’t care that it’s a big deal.

(Original post by DSilva)
Arguing that protests are dumb because they can't single handedly change government policy is stupid logic, that's not generally what protests claim they will achieve. All they can do, generally, is keep an issue on the radar and get politicians talking about it.
1. I never said they were dumb, I said they are inefficient.
2. Can you provide an example of a large protest that had the stated aim of making politicians discuss an issue and create more public awareness? I would say protests such as the anti Iraq war protests and the protest against bombing Libya were intended to directly influence the decision of the government.
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DSilva
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(Original post by Underscore__)
I think you should have another look, I actually said ‘almost never’. I would say in the minor changes to gun legislation in a handful of states had more to do with the Parkland shooting than the protests. Those tax avoidance protests were so successful that Starbucks paid a whopping 2.8% tax last year.
Your whole argument appears to be based on the premise that protests are only worthwhile if they achieve wholesale change by themselves. Which is obviously silly. Only a tiny handful of protests will ever achieve that, but if a protest can make any change at all, it's still worthwhile.

Minor changes are still better than no changes, and even if a protest achieves minor changes, it has been successful. There has been plenty of mass shootings, the response and protests after this, in my opinion, certainly had an impact in encouraging some change, which is really all anyone could reasonably expect from ordinary people.


Really? You must have ignored the final sentence in the post you just quoted then.
Sure, but then what if you live in a Tory safe seat and the person that most represents you is in the green party? Or what if, as often happens there isn't a candidate supporting the issue you should support. Protests can obviously be useful in showing an existence of support for a certain position, which those seeking election can then seek to promote.

What evidence do you have to support your conclusion that most Republicans deny climate change?
I never said most 'deny' it. I said most would either deny it or are completely indifferent to it, shown by the Republican's opposition to just about any laws protecting the environment, their withdrawal from the Paris accord, and the removal of existing environmental protections.

Climate change is talked about all the time, there’s no reason to think a few more articles in the Guardian are going to convince people who don’t care that it’s a big deal.
The more it's talked about, and the bigger issue it has, the more likely politicians of all persuasions will take it seriously. Particularly on the right, their exists a combination of denial, scepticism and indifference to climate change. If it obviously becomes a more decisive issue to voters, that may well change.

If a protest gains publicity and has politicians and the general media, not jsut the Guardian, talking about it, it's obviously a good thing. Though again, you appear to have adopted the ludicrous position that unless a protest changes everything by itself, that it's a failure.

1. I never said they were dumb, I said they are inefficient.
2. Can you provide an example of a large protest that had the stated aim of making politicians discuss an issue and create more public awareness? I would say protests such as the anti Iraq war protests and the protest against bombing Libya were intended to directly influence the decision of the government.


1. I don't doubt they're inefficient, i've merely said generally there are few more effective or efficient things ordinary people can do to bring about change, or raise awareness of an issue.

2. Obviously all/most protests want the government to change policy, that's a given. But obviously people going on protests know that they don't have the legal power or authority to do that. All they can do, is do their bit to raise the issue and get it talked about. Then it's up to the politicians.
Last edited by DSilva; 6 months ago
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Underscore__
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(Original post by DSilva)
Your whole argument appears to be based on the premise that protests are only worthwhile if they achieve wholesale change by themselves. Which is obviously silly. Only a tiny handful of protests will ever achieve that, but if a protest can make any change at all, it's still worthwhile.

Minor changes are still better than no changes, and even if a protest achieves minor changes, it has been successful. There has been plenty of mass shootings, the response and protests after this, in my opinion, certainly had an impact in encouraging some change, which is really all anyone could reasonably expect from ordinary people.
No, my argument is that protests are inefficient because they rarely seem to bring about any change and seem to be ignored by the government. So far you've provided one verifiable example of a time when a protest has had any effect.

(Original post by DSilva)
Sure, but then what if you live in a Tory safe seat and the person that most represents you is in the green party? Or what if, as often happens there isn't a candidate supporting the issue you should support. Protests can obviously be useful in showing an existence of support for a certain position, which those seeking election can then seek to promote.
If the Tory isn't campaigning with the policies that you want to see implemented but the constituency is a safe seat then you have to consider how high a priority that is for everyone else. If no candidate represents your views then clearly you don't have a very mainstream opinion and given that we live in a democracy that matters. Protests are rarely in favour of things that politicians are unaware people support; I'm sure everyone hoping to be elected in the next general election knows that the environment is a big issue for some voters.

(Original post by DSilva)
I never said most 'deny' it. I said most would either deny it or are completely indifferent to it, shown by the Republican's opposition to just about any laws protecting the environment, their withdrawal from the Paris accord, and the removal of existing environmental protections.
So you logic is this: if you are against a particular policy intended to combat a problem it means that you don't want to combat that problem. It couldn't possibly be because they don't agree the policy is the best way to tackle the problem or because it unduly interferes with another belief they have.

(Original post by DSilva)
The more it's talked about, and the bigger issue it has, the more likely politicians of all persuasions will take it seriously. Particularly on the right, their exists a combination of denial, scepticism and indifference to climate change. If it obviously becomes a more decisive issue to voters, that may well change.
As I've said, politicians are aware that climate change is a concern for some voters, they don't need 10 year olds (who aren't even part of the electorate) to tell them.

(Original post by DSilva)
If a protest gains publicity and has politicians and the general media, not jsut the Guardian, talking about it, it's obviously a good thing. Though again, you appear to have adopted the ludicrous position that unless a protest changes everything by itself, that it's a failure.
Again, not my conclusion. There is one verifiable example that you've given of a protest having any effect whatsoever.

(Original post by DSilva)
1. I don't doubt they're inefficient, i've merely said generally there are few more effective or efficient things ordinary people can do to bring about change, or raise awareness of an issue.
Then why exactly are you arguing? My point from the very beginning was that protests are inefficient, if you agree why argue?

(Original post by DSilva)
2. Obviously all/most protests want the government to change policy, that's a given. But obviously people going on protests know that they don't have the legal power or authority to do that. All they can do, is do their bit to raise the issue and get it talked about. Then it's up to the politicians.
Yes, people on protests know they don't have the authority to change things. Their intention is to make the government change things, they almost never succeed in that aim.
Last edited by Underscore__; 6 months ago
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