We interviewed four climate activists outside The Guardian / Observer offices this week, about the newspaper’s dodgy credentials as a flagship for climate change news.
The supposedly left-leaning broadsheet (which supported the Iraq war, continues to give regular platform to Tony Blair, seems to have blatantly lied about Julian Assange, and is no longer a Trust but a private company) is widely regarded as one of the better corporate outlets for climate change news.
But all four of our interviewees point out the paper’s hypocrises and short-comings, starting with this from the director of the Climate Media Coalition, Donnachadh McCarthy.
He describes how on the day that the Guardian proudly announced it was switching its magazine wrapper to a non-plastic starch, it also carried dozens of pages of high-carbon related advertising.
Next up is Dr Larch Maxey, who is standing as an independent candidate in the South West constituency of the European elections, one of several Climate & Ecological Emergency Independents using the platform to highlight the need for rebellion.
He talks about research which shows how our brains work on a non-rational level, and are fooled into passivity due to the disjuncture between alarming articles on the urgent need for radical change, against pages and pages of carbon-intensive ‘business as usual’.
Next, we spoke with Claudia McDowell, a young Guardian reader who is also standing as an independent Climate and Ecological Emergency candidate, this time in the London constituency.
She believes a “so-called liberal newspaper” should be in rebellion against a government which is committing genocide on her generation. Instead, she sees a paper betraying the people by promoting a high-carbon lifestyle, despite its articles on, for instance, the 60% loss of all species on our planet since 1970.
Claudia wants The Guardian to do more, and to stop backing or advertising any thing which is contributing to the end of life on our planet.
We finish, for now, with an uncompromising call to rebellion by Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and currently also a ‘Climate & Ecological Emergency Independent’ candidate as a London MEP. He speaks about his demands from a supposedly climate-friendly newspaper. At the very least, the paper should be holding public meetings all over the country to discuss the climate emergency, but better still, its editors and sub-editors should be ‘leading from the front’ in open rebellion against a government that is so ineffective on this existential issue.
The Climate & Ecological Emergency Independent MEPs are using the election as a platform for further civil disobedience, and are asking people NOT to vote for them, but to vote for Daze Aghaji, a 19 year old who wants to bring a young and ecological-focussed perspective into the European parliament. Watch out for her interview with Real Media soon.
Until our media is funded in ways that don’t rely on fossil-fuel and high-carbon sponsors, or on state-controlled ownership, then we have a serious problem in conveying the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis.
It’s time to support and expand the independent media sector as part of the battle against human extinction.