Tuesday 28 June 2022

Blocking traffic in order to

"protest" about "climate change" is about as irresponsible as you can get.  It actually endangers lives.

Yesterday some idiots - and there is no other word for them - blocked a major route in and out of the biggest state capital in Downunder. We were treated to footage of someone who had locked herself to the steering wheel of a car. I suppose it was her car and she had used fossil fuel to drive a considerable distance to get there - but that would be beside the point. There she was blocking a highway. The traffic was banking up. People wanted to get to work, to drop children off at school, get to medical appointments, care for the elderly and much more.

Now I am all for using public transport if you can. Brother Cat and Nephew Cat both studied for their university degrees on trains in this way. It took them no more time to travel by train than it would by car and they could use the time. I use train travel for similar purposes even now. 

I also know that not everyone can do that. There are people who need to use other forms of transport. Our cities are not so compact that everyone can walk or ride a bicycle to work. Public transport needs to be greatly improved everywhere - and this will almost certainly never happen.We are a car owning country. Most people can and do drive - probably far longer than they should. 

Trying to change that by "protesting" isn't going to work. It can't be done. Demands for more people to use electric vehicles are also unrealistic. Those vehicles are expensive and not as clean, green and versatile as we are often told. That may come but, right now, we need other vehicles as well.

All this seems to mean nothing at all to those protesting. For them it seems there is only one answer - action must be taken immediately. The cost is something they don't even consider. They don't see themselves as bearing any of the cost. It is somehow "other people" who need to do that.

And it is other people who are bearing the costs of their actions too. The cost to the taxpayer of the police operation, of the delays  caused and of the arrest of even a few are immense. It could have cost someone their life if an ambulance was delayed. 

There are other ways to protest. There are much more effective ways to protest that do no harm to anyone. Those ways require real research, time, and sustained effort. They don't provide the same short term adrenalin fix - but in the end they are much more effective.  Perhaps it is time to teach "Effective Protesting 101" in school? 

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Okay, I disagree with this. I think in order for change to come we need real fighters who do things that are noticed. In general historically speaking, the way to make real change supported by the population at large is to diminish its radicalness by placing it against something more extreme. I hope that makes sense! Take for example the Vietnam War. When the radical position was simply to be against it, the population at large was not so supportive of the anti-war movement until the Maoists got going and then there was another extreme. So people could say oh well, I don't approve of those Maoists, they are going too far, but I'm against the war. It seems like that to me....