Is civil disobedience justified in the fight against climate change?

Extinction rebellion  wide

More than 100 people were arrested in the latest round of Extinction Rebellion protests, which blockaded roads in London.

These were the latest acts of civil disobedience carried out by a growing number of activists who say time is running out to contain and reverse the catastrophic damage caused by human caused climate change.

Their tactic – which include the recent series of school pupil strikes – are deliberately militant.

But is this the best way of getting the message across?

We’re asking: is civil disobedience justified in the fight against climate change?

Vote now and join in the debate by leaving an answer below.

Graham Martin's photo

16th April 2019 by Graham Martin 6 Comments

Is civil disobedience justified in the fight against climate change?

Poll results (total votes: 117)

Is civil disobedience justified in the fight against climate change?
Answer:
Yes
Votes:
85
Ratio:
72.65%
Answer:
No
Votes:
32
Ratio:
27.35%

16th April 2019 by Tiiu Miller

The question 'But is this the best way of getting the message across?' is confusing. Civil disobedience may be justified but nonetheless not always be the best way. Conversely, one might consider it unjustified even if it is the best way

16th April 2019 by Lok tue

The climate has always changed and will continue to do so. Destroying private property might be fun for some but frankly does no good

16th April 2019 by Jake

Time is running out and globally those in government are dragging their butts as usual. We poor trillions in to weaponry to kill each other because we do not trust our neighbor. What a madness.

17th April 2019 by John

This is not civil disobedience. Gandi never smashed windows and caused damage to public and private property

18th April 2019 by Claire Bastin

It’s great to see people standing up to frankly useless - in fact damaging- governments who have done so little to tackle climate change, plastics waste and habitat loss.

18th April 2019 by Lok Yue

Not so great seeing the mess these people leave behind when they have finished disrupting the lives of people trying to go about their daily work of putting food on the family table. And frankly counter-productive since most of the population thus affected gets a thoroughly negative view of the protest. Right to demonstrate is not a right to disrupt the lives of tens of thousands of people. The demonstrators may not stand to lose anything but what about those whose businesses rely on deliveries of goods or people?