On Wednesday 19th June 2024 Just Stop Oil protestors sprayed part of the UK’s iconic Stonehenge monument with orange paint powder.

It’s most definitely not the first time the stones have been decorated:

Non-Violent Civil Disobedience does work. In fact democracy has been driven by it – just think about the fight for Women’s Suffrage (right to vote) and the Poll Tax Refusal (to pay).

But really what this action says for the first time, is that a cleverly engineered stunt can make sense:

  • The lack of damage – no permanent damage has been caused – the paint powder was removed by the use of a blower.
  • No third party was affected (think motorway blockages and ambulance delays)
  • Beautifully timed around the Summer Solstice (Thursday 20th June 2024 at 21:50pm) when the Druids and media always gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise on Friday  21st June 2024 (15,000 people attended)  
  • PR- Just  Stop Oil’s message to stop the use of fossil fuels has been made.
  • Climate Emergency: A reminder that Fossil fuel usage is killing us all.

Most people agree that it would be impossible to suddenly turn off the oil and gas tap. But what CAN be done, is to massively increase the speed of green energy transition. (wind, sun, nuclear, hydrogen, waves, tide). Our government still hasn’t been able to present all of us with an affordable option to switch to an electric car, switch our heating systems or even insulate our homes.

BUT having watched the film “Under Poisoned Skies” (BBC iPlayer) about gas flaring in Iraq and seeing the massive profits that oil companies are making – It does seem ridiculous that Governments around the world aren’t at the very least, forcing gas and oil companies to cease this practice- it can be done but requires investment. (haven’t we heard this before with our water companies?)

So Just Stop Oil have cleverly reminded us to put pressure on our Governments to massively speed investment into the green energy sector and in the meantime insist that oil companies no longer open new fields for exploitation and clean up their existing infrastructure including stopping-flaring NOW!

The clock on our existence is very much ticking.

(Header Image: © juststopoil.org


©Ateliers Verts Ltd. 2024

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