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How to blow-up a pipeline: radical climate activism gains traction

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By illuminem

· 2 min read

Driving the news: Environmentalist Andreas Malm, author of climate best-seller "How to Blow Up a Pipeline," expressed no hope in international climate diplomacy as the film adaptation of his book is released.

  • Malm's ideas challenge the mainstream environmental movement's commitment to non-violent civil disobedience, suggesting that targeting fossil fuel infrastructure and property through sabotage could be more effective.

Why it matters for the planet: This idea has gained traction with activists, thereby influencing the direction of climate activism.

  • Over the past year, activists Europe & North America have run campaigns to deflate SUVs’ tyres.
  • In Lutzerath, Germany, protesters clashed with police to oppose an opencast mine expansion. 
  • In Sainte-Soline, France, activists under Les Soulèvements de la Terre initiated sabotage campaigns against environmentally harmful projects, recently battling police to resist a groundwater-harvesting mega-project for industrial agriculture.

What’s next: Monitoring the evolution and momentum of these radical movements is crucial. As protests intensify, public support and opposition may grow, potentially leading to clashes among activists, law enforcement, and policymakers.

  • George Monbiot, while sympathetic, warns in a Guardian opinion piece that such an approach risks alienating a critical part of the public opinion.
  • Case in point: France Interior Ministry quickly dissolved the movement The Soulèvements de la Terre over “violence and property destruction”.

One quote:  "The superyachts, private jets, SUVs, coal-fired power plants or gas pipelines kill people" by emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, so "it is therefore a form of harm reduction and death prevention to destroy them." (A. Malm).

Click here for more on climate activism.

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