Monday, September 03, 2007

Did anyone in U.S. cover U.K. climate protests?

This is now old news but I want to write about it before its really old.

On Saturday, August 18th, and the week prior, groups of protesters conducted a coordinated protest of global warming over multiple sites in England including Heathrow airport where early rumors the protests would shut the airport down didn't pan out. It all went peacefully.

Despite getting lots of coverage in the U.K., I didn't see anything in the traditional U.S. media except for this story in the L.A. Times.

The traditional media missed a great story. From the L.A. Times article:
The greatest show of force was a midday parade through this village's streets -- shadowed by Heathrow's lumbering jets overhead -- as demonstrators carried placards reading, "No Third Runway," "Altitude Sickness" and one of the catchier slogans of modern protest, "We Are Armed Only With Peer-Reviewed Science."
Heh, heh. I love British humor.
From the same article:
Over the last week, an estimated 1,200 activists set up makeshift tents, a fleet of bicycles on loan and a sophisticated recycling center in the Camp for Climate Change near the site of the proposed runway. In addition to preparing for Sunday's showdown, camp leaders conducted workshops on civic activism and environmental science and oversaw a series of earlier protests leading up to Sunday's clashes.
This was a large, well coordinated protest. Besides Heathrow, there was action at other places. From The Guardian:
Demonstrators from the Heathrow Camp for Climate Action today glued themselves to the Department of Transport in the latest action to highlight their protest against the airport.

Around 11 protesters arrived at the building in Horseferry Road, central London, at around 8.15am.

Six superglued their hands to its rotating doors, police said, while another two climbed on top of them with a banner protesting against airport expansion. A further three chained themselves to the doors
. Clever. Also from The Guardian:
Climate change activists who set up a camp at Heathrow airport nine days ago yesterday began to wind down their protests after a second day of civil disobedience which saw financiers, oil and nuclear power companies and even carbon offset firms targeted. In the past week there have been 12 separate actions and 71 arrests.

The climate camp's promised 24 hours of direct action, which began with protests at Heathrow against the aviation industry on Friday evening, spread to protests in Oxford, the City of London and Essex. Targets included organisations which campaigners said were contributing to climate change through their emissions at Heathrow or which they judged were not offering solutions
Here's my favorite story:
Two carbon offset firms staffed by committed environmentalists also found themselves targeted. Climate Care in Oxford was invaded by people dressed as red herrings and the CarbonNeutral Company in London was leafleted. Both offer to "neutralise" the emissions of consumers and companies by investing in projects which lower emissions elsewhere.

"Carbon offsets are ineffective, based on dubious science and lead people to believe they are helping when they are not," said Sophie Nathan, who took part in the CarbonNeutral Company action.
Now I realize that U.S. newspapers usually ignore domestic events in other countries but this particular domestic event involves an issue that affects all of us so maybe that should change.

You can catch up with this story at Google News and YouTube.

Update: H. E. Taylor of GW News has provided a collection of links to coverage, mostly on non-traditional media. I've put the summary here.

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