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Just Stop Oil Protests

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Edited by Claire Williams, Sunday, 16 Oct 2022, 09:42

Recently, Just Stop Oil - an activist group calling for the downright termination of new oil and gas projects, has hit the headlines again. Subsidised, in part, by rich American philanthropists; the scope and scale of protests have now ventured into many territories; from busy roads to oil terminals, a football stadium (complete with fans), New Scotland Yard headquarters, supermarkets and, yes, The National Gallery (sorry, Vincent).

Now I still remain questionable and, before I don an orange Hi-Viz and wave the banner high alongside my fellow 20-something activists, I would like to gain clearer knowledge specifically about how this is to be a completely viable option and as to what the alternative solution(s) may be? 

An online video of a documentary by *sigh* a newspaper, The Guardian, shows the presenter seemingly 'joining forces' with the activists to 'inform' the viewer as to what all the commotion is about and to what the plans of the protestors may be. Given the title alone depicts a negative vision - 'Locking on and breaking in: the climate protestors who want to Just Stop Oil' - you can already glean somewhat of how they will be represented within the visual imagery. I found that the 'answers' to questions were quite hazy and vague - with hand-held evidence serving mostly to condemn or condone actions by the activists, and to try and get the viewer to agree with this envisioned synopsis. It is simply hard to sympathise with the activists when the footage is so cut-and-paste courtesy of some Guardian editors busy whittling it down to images of activists eating in McDonalds at around 3.30am or hitching a ride in a diesel van - or highlighting the emotional reaction of an oil-truck driver whose tyres have just been deflated by protestors. 

Locking on and breaking in: the climate protesters who want to Just Stop Oil - YouTube 

One comment below this video stood out to me and this is what someone had put -     

"Just stop oil"? 
Goodbye plastics (needed for medical equipment, electronics, clothing, appliances) 
Goodbye lubricants (required to run all sorts of machinery) 
Goodbye natural gas (used for heating and cooking in many homes) 
Goodbye diesel (currently required by most trucks for transporting of essential goods) 
In short, just stopping oil will result in many deaths. Transition from fossil fuels will take decades, don't expect it 'now' 

This hit me - this person had just described the many ways and uses of oil - of which will surely only increase unless *unspeakable* action takes place pretty soon. 

I thought 'has the organisation thought about this? as demand grows for some, if not all of these (and more) due to increasing population numbers, what is the solution? Is there a solution? and, if so, could Just Stop Oil gain more insight into how to successfully win in their ongoing campaign? Will the rich American philanthropists throw their money in the direction of downright solution(s) instead of fuelling retribution (whether right or wrong)? and, ultimately, I pondered upon how deep we now seem to be in social, political and environmental unrest.   

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Image source: stoppOIL: no more greasy oil bottles! on Behance

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