EEither we act now or it’s too late. That’s what the “last generation” says. The members of this group believe it is necessary to “resist” so that the climate catastrophe is stopped and humanity is not annihilated. In a lecture they want to use to recruit fellow campaigners, they talk about a system that tells people unrealistic stories so that they remain calm and stay the course. But this course leads people to annihilation.
The government accuses the group of financing the sinking. A crude world view reminiscent of conspiracy theorists and extremists on the right and left.
The means of “resistance,” the “Last Generation” claims, are meant to be peaceful. Their members block roads. In Berlin, in Frankfurt, elsewhere. There were hundreds of blockades this year, and the demonstrators often stuck their hands to the asphalt. The self-declared goal: to become more and more, create an avalanche of resistance and save the world.
How to blow up a pipeline
But do you do that by blocking roads? The “last generation” caused a lot of resentment and a stir, for example because an ambulance didn’t make any progress because of them. However, the alliance is far from mobilizing the masses, as Fridays for Future managed at times. It is a huge problem that the radical climate protectionists face: the majority does not join them. For the few activists, it must look like a herd of indifferent cattle trudging towards the slaughterhouse.
In this situation, parts of the climate movement are becoming more and more radical. Fridays for Future were mainly the nice students. The “last generation” is no longer that, but an aggressive disruptor in rush-hour traffic. The question is what comes next if this group has also failed with its “resistance form”.
The influence of violent left-wing extremists in the climate movement is increasing. Activists have long been discussing violence – and what violence actually is. How far can and should one go to save the world and humanity? Create an eco-dictatorship? Destroy what is destroying the world? Luisa Neubauer, the German face of Fridays for Future, recently quipped online that they’re thinking about blowing up an oil pipeline. A bad eco-terrorist joke, but it shows how deeply such thoughts are already rooted in the movement.
“How to blow up a pipeline. Learning to Fight in a World on Fire” is a book by Swedish climate protection activist Andreas Malm. He calls for sabotage and is in favor of an escalation of the protests. Things, according to Malm, can be damaged. It is the meaningless narrative that has long been known from violent left-wing extremists: Violence against things is not violence, but in their case a kind of legitimate self-defence.
Romance with a pull effect
For Malm, the limit that must not be crossed is violence against people. Fortunately, crimes like the assassination of oil executives only existed in the imagination of a few insane, he claims.
But even members of the climate movement see that there is the romanticism of a green RAF on the fringes of their movement and that this romanticism is definitely having a pull effect. Climate activist Tadzio Müller predicted such a terrorist organization last year. A small part of the climate movement will go underground. Müller blames society. If they continue like this, they choose militancy, not those who become militant. An absurd justification and shifting of blame.
However, the idea of a climate RAF is actually not that far-fetched. If, like the “Last Generation”, one assumes that the end of humanity is imminent, some might be willing to go further than gluing their hands or blowing up a pipeline. What’s a human life if you have to save the world? Perhaps Malm is right when he says that there are few insane people with murder mind games. Unfortunately, even that can be enough for terror – but it certainly won’t save the world.
It is all the sadder when well-known activists prepare the ground for violence with bad jokes and confused shifting of blame instead of doing everything to prevent it. Not only do they ignite with such words, they also ensure that more and more people turn away from the climate movement, although they actually know that action must be taken now. But not like that. So we can only hope that in the end those in the climate movement who have recognized that radicalization only causes damage will prevail.