Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Quiet Desperation Of Woke Fanatics

What’s driving them? And how can they be defeated?

Protesters with “Just Stop Oil” after throwing tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London, October 14, 2022. (Photo Credit: Just Stop Oil.)

“The fiercest fanatics are often selfish people who were forced, by innate shortcomings or external circumstances, to lose faith in their own selves. They separate the excellent instrument of their selfishness from their ineffectual selves and attach it to the service of some holy cause.”

— Eric Hoffer, The True Believer


Over the last few weeks, climate activists in Britain have blocked highways (because cars emit carbon dioxide), poured milk onto the floors of supermarkets (because livestock emits methane), and thrown tomato soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” (because climate change is more important than art. Or something). The activists are a kind of reboot of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate protests in the UK in the fall of 2019.

People in the UK are at risk of dying from natural gas shortages. Still, the climate activists with “Just Stop Oil” think it’s outrageous that their government is desperately trying to produce more natural gas for its people. But without more natural gas, there could be three-hour-long blackouts, which threaten the operation of medical equipment, and thus the lives of vulnerable people.

The various media stunts appeared authentically grassroots but were, in fact, financed by a $1 million grant from a philanthropic group called Climate Emergency Fund, which is funded by their heirs to the Getty and Rockefeller oil fortunes, and founded in 2019. The Board of Directors consists of a who’s-who of climate alarmism including “Don’t Look Up!” film director, Adam McKay, who donated $4 million, New Yorker writer Bill McKibben, and New York Times columnist David Wallace-Wells. The Fund and their grantees have been cheered on by the Secretary General of the United Nations and much of the mainstream media.

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