Mark Dolan: Extinction Rebellion are the ones who should face extinction
'Going green has to be done smartly and not at the expense of either your wallet, your livelihood, the nation's financial stability or common sense'
Extinction Rebellion have brought London's West End to a standstill after erecting a giant pink table in the middle of the road. Protesters, carrying chairs with them, are staging a sit-in protest around the huge piece of furniture, which has the words 'Come To The Table' written on it.
This is the focal point for XR's two-week long climate change protest. Notwithstanding the enormous disruption this will cause to anybody trying to go about their business or get to work – taxi drivers, security guards supermarket workers, doctors, nurses - and setting aside the millions of pounds worth of damage to businesses and the wider economy as a result, these avocados chomping numpties, who seem to be on a permanent gap year, have come to the wrong place.
Yes there's more for the UK to do in tackling our carbon footprint but we are currently responsible for 1% of global emissions, so why can't they chain themselves to public buildings in India, Brazil, the United States or perhaps they fancy a trip to Beijing, where they can make their voices heard. Good luck with that. I'm no climate change denier and I'm horrified by the amount of plastic that we needlessly use, including food packaging, carrier bags and yes these scientifically debatable face masks which are non-recyclable, and 52 million of which we throw away every day.
We should take care of the planet, particularly for future generations. But this has to be a global effort, and with the likes of China building coal-fired power stations every week and with air quality in cities like Beijing and Mumbai so bad, citizens are often told to not to exercise outside, there is no justification for us to shoulder the enormous cost of decarbonising our economy when others do nothing.
Ex Chancellor Philip Hammond told then prime Minister Theresa May in 2018 that it would cost a trillion pounds to go green. And the rest. It’s especially unjustified, to place enormous costs on hard up Brits trying to recover from the financial Armageddon of the pandemic. Millions of people in this country just don't have the money to install a 15 grand boiler system or find 35 grand down the back of the sofa, to buy an electric car.
Plus where do you charge it? As well as other countries doing their bit, I'd like to see the enormous corporations who are responsible for these emissions pay their way, not joe public. The green revolution, if approached correctly can be a great opportunity.
I'm hugely excited about the possibility of millions of jobs generated and the massive potential long-term income created for the country by embracing eco technologies, in which we are already a world leader. But going green has to be done smartly and not at the expense of either your wallet, your livelihood, the nation's financial stability or common sense.
And as for those unwashed XR numpties, currently blocking up Central London, they’re the ones, that should face extinction.