Extremism Rebellion

A new report Extremism Rebellion – A review of ideology and tactics from the think tank Policy Exchange looks into the behaviour and background of Extinction Rebellion.

It’s also discussed in the Telegraph here and here:

As the paper shows, the leaders of Extinction Rebellion seek a more alarming agenda than pure environmentalism, one that is rooted in an ‘open rebellion against the government’ and in the political extremism of anarchism and anti-capitalism. The ‘civil resistance model’ they espouse is intended to achieve mass protest accompanied by law breaking, leading eventually to the breakdown of democracy and the state. Obscured from public view, these objectives mark Extinction Rebellion’s campaign out as a subversive one that seeks to break down the established civil order and liberal democracy in the UK.

One of the authors of the report, ex-counter-terrorism officer Richard Walton, was interviewed on the Today Programme on Wednesday, see clip here or the full 6-minute interview here from about 1:33. Later in the same programme (about 2:36) they interviewed Rupert Read from ER (and UEA). Read said “what this is about… is creating a real democracy”. When John Humphrys challenged him about what this meant he continued “the real democracy is the democracy we want to create” and tried to make a bogus comparison with Gandhi, which Humphrys quite rightly shot down. Read’s Orwellian attitude reminds me of Mark “we need to fix democracy” Maslin.

BBC Radio Bristol say that a man phoned them to say that he couldn’t get to see his dying father because of the ER road block.

On a more positive note, one brave 73-year-old man took matters into his own hands and took down an ER road block. Ben reckons he deserves a pint and a lot of people seem to agree.


In the Times today, Democracy and progress are facing extinction. “Climate activists are bossy extremists who feel they have the right to wreck the economy without even consulting voters”.  In case of paywall issues, almost all of it is at GWPF.


  1. I was in Waterstones bookshop yesterday. At the checkout, for your convenience, was “This is not a drill: The Extinction Rebellion Handbook”, piled high. Next to it was an equally impressive pile of “Greta Thunberg: No one is too small to make a difference.”

    I thought to admonish the sales assistant for pushing such subversive tosh but I was with my mother, and I think the sight of her son being thrown out onto the pavement might have upset her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. John, I think I might have enquired why a bookseller was selling fuel for woodburners at the checkout. Had they got wind of a harsh winter forecast maybe? 🙂


  3. Rupert referred more than once to the ‘science’ that proves his coming apocalypse, the latter of which is the justification for everything that XR are doing, including their aims to bring down the government, capitalism, and replace existing democracy with ‘their’ democracy. Interviewers can never object to this, because they have no idea that mainstream science does not support said apocalypse. Mainstream scientists have a lot to answer for, in not pushing back against this false justification in their name. Will most of them stay forever silent, even as their own rights and economic well-being are threatened along with the rest of us?


  4. “Mainstream scientists have a lot to answer for, in not pushing back against this false justification in their name. Will most of them stay forever silent, even as their own rights and economic well-being are threatened along with the rest of us?”

    The evidence suggests that many are happy to go along with the deception Andy.


  5. Jaime:

    ‘The evidence suggests that many are happy to go along with the deception Andy.’

    Some very vocal catastrophist-supporting scientists are; indeed I’ve collected their quotes on same. But they appear to be a very small minority relative to the 831 scientists who integrated the AR5 technical chapters, and a tiny minority compared to the thousands whose papers are sucked into the bottom of the process. If the the big majority remain silent, we obviously can’t know what they think. But for sure their continued silence hands the field to the catastrophists, whose theories directly contradict the mainstream output produced by that majority.


  6. John. When contemplating ignominy in front of Mother, you could have explained the risk factors, and their calculation, of the booksellers possible future actions. I know of few who might explain them better.


  7. So the XR claims that the existential crisis of climate apocalypse is nigh.
    And according to XR, the best thing people can do is to destroy the government, the society, and the means to deal with the existential crisis and replace it with….
    Extinction indeed.


  8. Alan,

    I took one look at the assistant’s shaggy beard and dreadlocks, and that told me everything I needed to know about the risks entailed. I’m afraid that bookshops are no longer a safe space for deluded, reactionary, flat-earthers such as you and I.

    The children are become the teachers; the subversives are the institution — and I should feel humbled in their presence.


  9. The Mail carries the boat story
    BUT “Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article”
    ..that’s the Mail protecting XR from criticism


  10. Paul: There are indeed very many of these. It may be shonky attribution science, it may be appalling attribution science, or not even science at all, but even if any such characterisations are true, it does not say that, to use Willis E’s version of the catastrophe narrative, the sky is falling and will kill us all. It says there will be health impacts and that it helps city authorities to plan (hence implying a relatively normal future rather than global catastrophe, even if our emissions are allowed to follow their scenario). So from an XR PoV this paper would be a betrayal of catastrophe, for instance, a sell-out. And indeed, absent a near decades shut-down of emissions, the dominant narrative of imminent catastrophe from rafts of authorities / leaders the world over for 20+ years does say that we face imminent catastrophe: no planet B, end of civilisation, etc. And it is exactly that narrative which provides the fundamental justification for groups such as XR and individuals such as Greta. Per above, a tiny but very vocal minority of climate scientists go far further than the above shonkyness, and literally propagate the catastrophe narrative themselves, in all its emotive and terrible forms. Not only by this do they directly contradict mainstream science, they explicitly say that they disagree with the IPCC. Within that mainstream science, not only is certain global catastrophe not a conclusion, the great majority of input seems very mild indeed compared to papers such as your example above that really hit the public / media profile (and appetite for disaster), whatever group-think and bias has moved the IPCC science process towards alarmism. This is essentially a (cultural) hi-jack; a tiny minority touting catastrophism have captured the public (and authority) imagination, and moved a smaller minority within science towards, but not in agreement, with them. It remains the case that the great majority of climate scientists (there are thousands) do not appear to make public pronouncements regarding their position, and certainly not in opposition to a catastrophe narrative that the IPCC output most definitely does not support. So we can’t know what they think regarding XR calls and similar, yet I suspect strong disagreement because otherwise the mainstream science would look radically different to AR5.


  11. On Jaime’s point about XR representing the establishment, the whole XR thing reminds me of something Ed Miliband was calling for back in December 2008, where he urged Green campaigners to create ‘popular mobilisation’ surrounding the climate change issue.


    A few quotes from the article (which is free-to-view, it dates before the Telegraph introduced a pay-wall for most of ther articles):

    “He added: “I think back to Make Poverty History … and that was a mass movement that was necessary to get the agreement. In terms of climate change, it’s even more difficult. There are people who have legitimate concerns, whether it’s businesses in Europe who are concerned about competitiveness, or people who [ask] is it really necessary to do this now.””

    “Mr Miliband was a close adviser to Gordon Brown at the time of the Make Poverty History campaign and he said something with similar public backing is needed now. He said: “When you think about all the big historic movements, from the suffragettes, to anti-apartheid, to sexual equality in the 1960s, all the big political movements had popular mobilization. Maybe it’s an odd thing for someone in government to say, but I just think there’s a real opportunity and a need here.””

    My interpretation of this in 2008 was that Miliband might be a bit concerned that there didn’t appear to be any real public demand for action on climate change. The action was all coming from the British political class in cahoots with Green campaigners. The Climate Change Act had been introduced a month or two earlier without mention of such potentially very expensive legislation in any of the 2005 General Election manifestos.

    The reaction of the Green NGOs to Miliband’s request was not very co-operative. They even appeared to make a sly dig at Miliband by carrying out some of their climate change-related stunts with the female activists dressed as suffragettes. An example is this incident in 2009 where horse manure was dumped at the gates of Jeremy Clarkson’s house:


    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if British politicians have been encouraging the popular mobilisation idea again, but this time doing it a lot more discreetly than Ed Miliband did back in 2008 (where he announced the idea to the press). I think XR seemed to start up around the same time that the French “Yellow Vest” protests started, and I can imagine Green-leaning politicians in Western countries arguing that they need a Green popular mobilisation to counteract the possible threat of an anti-Green popular mobilisation like the Yellow Vests.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alinsky rules! The “threat” is more terrifying than the thing, by gosh. Pick yr target, freeze it, bamboozle it. Propaganda is yr ‘scientific’ method. Keep the pressure on, never let up. Way to go, UN Agendarists!


  13. Paul,

    “One alternative is more deliberative democracy, which would allow individuals with different points of view to engage with each other directly, free from partisan representation. They might not end up agreeing, but at least they would be speaking for themselves and encountering new opportunities to reach consensus. In citizens’ assemblies, school-age children and their grandparents’ generation could jointly participate in political discussion and decision-making—so long as policymakers agree to bind their own decisions to the outcomes of these deliberations.”

    The ‘random selection’ of citizens didn’t last long did it? Now they want to draft in brain-washed kids to dictate policy via assemblies. Presumably, they’ll be excused from attending school so they can fix democracy and fix the climate.


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