by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Dumping milk onto floors. Hurling food onto walls. Refusing to eat. Gluing body parts. Threatening to pee and poop in your pants. Are those the behaviors of a toddler? Yes. But they’re also the dominant tactics of today’s climate activists.
Consider the case of Gianluca Grimalda. On Oct. 19, Grimalda, along with 15 other members of a climate activist group called Scientist Rebellion, glued himself to the floor of the visitors center next to a Volkswagen factory in Germany.
Although the VW security guards brought pizza to all the activist scientists, Grimalda, an economist who has published work in prestigious publications including the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, felt disrespected. He declared a hunger strike and went on Twitter to express his outrage.
“VW told us that they supported our right to protest,” he complained in a since-deleted tweet, “but they refused our request to provide us with a bowl to urinate and defecate in a decent manner while we are glued, and have turned off the heating.”
On Twitter, many pointed out the highly childish nature of his demands. “I’m a serious scientist protesting against fossil fuels,” wrote one user. “Now turn the gas heating on and bring me my potty.”
The activists claim such childish tactics are necessary. On Sunday, after climate activists in Germany threw mashed potatoes on a Monet painting, they screamed at the nearby museum-goers: “We won’t be able to feed our families in 2050” because of climate change.
Grimalda tweeted that he and his colleagues are protesting “until our demands to decarbonise the German transport sector are met.” But Volkswagen already agreed last year to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035.