John Rigby says direct action such as that by Insulate Britain will backfire, while Tim Burton says we need to make clear that capitalism can only ever be the cause of the crisis, not its solution
John Harris says “the case for … extra-parliamentary activity feels beyond argument” in addressing climate breakdown (Politicians talk about net zero – but not the sacrifices we must make to get there, 31 October). While I understand the sentiment, there is a danger that this becomes the only route for trying to convince the country that radical action is needed. The case needs making repeatedly, even though it’s tedious for those of us who have long been convinced. What we miss is that many people have barely got their heads around the need for radical action and others completely reject the idea. Despite earlier optimism that Covid would engender a major change in outlook, the dominant narrative now is business as usual – with a modest green makeover.
Direct action may feel right to activists but, to those affected, the disruption to their daily lives creates hostility to even thinking about the need for change. It’s no good telling them that blocking the road is a minor inconvenience compared with climate breakdown – they will just regard activists as zealots.