REVIEW BY ANDREW INGRAM
The recent illegal tactics adopted by Just Stop Oil and other such groups have split public opinion and sent news media like the Daily Mail into a proper ragin’ fury. Continual photos of long traffic queues on the M25 were accompanied by stories of key workers such as nurses who were unable to get to hospitals, relatives who could not attend funerals etc.
There is no doubt these activities caught the public’s notice, but left many feeling alienated from the cause because of the seeming unfairness of the results.
Photo: Proper Content
Intelligently, Chris Packham does not start by taking sides in the debate. He just asks the question: in the ever-worsening environmental crisis is it time to go beyond lawful protest into civil disobedience and illegal activities?
The resulting programme is more of a think-piece than a documentary. If the legal and governmental structures we have are proving unresponsive to the climate crisis, there is a case to consider more direct action. As we know, it can work (suffragettes) but it doesn’t always (anti-abortion protests in US).
Tragically, Packham partly blames himself for the current situation: as a high profile conservationist and spokesperson on environmental issues, he has failed to bring about the changes needed.
One of the most anguished parts of the programme is Chris Packham talking about his intense disappointment when attending COP 26 in Glasgow – the only truly global mechanism for dealing with these challenges. There, despite consistent and alarming evidence about the climate emergency, decisions were ducked, agreements were botched and national financial interest constantly put ahead of global responsibility – encouraged by the highly-paid and persuasive voices in the fossil fuel lobby. So we wait and watch to see what comes out of COP 27.
We rate this programme very highly and encourage you watch it if you haven’t already (link here). Not everyone liked it, with the Daily Mail reporting “Suella Braverman slams Chris Packham”. Well, that’s that sorted out then.