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The Ruttle Report - When activists dig deep, people dig deeper

The Ruttle Report for this week.
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Were you ever told something by someone, and the way in which the message was delivered just made you angry and only resulted in you digging your heels in even more?

Right now, I feel like that's the biggest problem facing the issue of climate change.

Now look, before you read further and try to come up with some angle in which yours truly comes off as a "non-believer with my head in the sand who denies all the science", let me just get this out of the way right now - I do believe in climate change. I do believe we can all make easy, effective choices here and there that hopefully do their part in making sure grass stays green, the oceans stay blue and the air stays clear. I do believe that there are people who are a lot smarter than you and I who've done decades worth of science on this thing and who have miles of data that can't be shunned or denied.

It's real, it's a thing, and it can't be ignored.

There, with that out of the way, let me get to the meat of my little soapbox here for this week.

I don't believe that people are keeping the attention of the masses when it comes to climate change. In fact, I do believe that while activists are certainly capable of GRABBING attention, keeping it is a whole other argument, and they're failing at doing just that.

From my point of view, the problem seems to be this certain attitude that too many activists have these days. Apparently, the "only" way to grab the attention of the public is a ludicrous act that sees people veering straight from 0-10 on the "this is pure insanity" scale.

Care for an example? OK, then.

Just a few days ago, police in Germany arrested a pair of protesters who, in an apparent bid to bring attention to the issue of climate change, threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting that had once sold for more than $110 million. The protesters are still being investigated for property damage and trespassing at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, located maybe 20 miles or so from Berlin.

Luckily, the painting sustained no damage from the publicity stunt as it lies behind a layer of protective glass. Monet painted "Grainstacks" in 1890 and it had sold for the eye-popping $110 million at an auction in 2019. The painting was set to be back on display as of Wednesday of this week, the museum said.

Video footage of the incident was posted to the Twitter account of the Last Generation, a German climate group who claimed responsibility for the stunt. In addition to hurling the spuds at the painting, the two protesters also knelt down in front of it and seemed to glue their hands to the wall.

I assure you, friends, I'm not just making this up as I type it.

This particular stunt was very similar to one that happened earlier in October at London's National Gallery, which saw another couple of protesters from the UK group Just Stop Oil throw what appeared to be tomato soup at a Vincent van Gogh painting known as "Sunflowers", which had sold for nearly $40 million in 1987, in order to protest the country's cost-of-living crisis. Once again, yes, that painting was also behind a layer of protective glass and was ultimately unharmed.

If you're looking for something that's at least happened in Canada, I can tell you of one incident that happened in Victoria, BC in late July of this year. Apparently, some folks ate some extra Elitist Crunch for breakfast that day and decided that people just weren't jumping aboard the Crazy Train fast enough. During the course of one night, 34 SUVs had their tires deflated, and the culprits were the self-promoting Tyre Extinguishers, who weren't even trying to get people to drive electric - they just think people can get around solely by biking, walking, or public transportation.

Just a second......public transportation? Like city buses, with those huge tires and gas-guzzling engines, making all that noise and such...? Anyway, I digress.

The group even left smarmy little notes behind for the SUV owners to find and read, and I'm sure the blood of 34 owners could be heard boiling on Vancouver Island that day.

“We are a worldwide direct action environmentalist group with the goal of eliminating SUVs from urban areas. We do this with one simple tactic: deflating the tires of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners without endangering any lives in the process. Your gas guzzler kills. You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally.”

Wow, some cocky and arrogant Generation ME'ers are going to commit a crime against my property, but hey, I shouldn't take it personally! Nevermind the fact that deflated tires means I could be late for work, or late for an appointment, or late for taking my loved one to an appointment, or maybe even late for a loved one's funeral, get where I'm going with this, folks?

The issues that our world is facing on a daily basis DO exist. But the issues that our world is facing DON'T need someone acting like a self-important, self-promoting, holier-than-thou imbecile in order to help others see how important these issues are.

Do such tactics even accomplish anything, aside from having an article written about them and being the subject of a whole lot of ridicule for a few days, and then forgotten about? Do people not realize that this kind of extreme behavior will only cause the public to not only get angry, but most of them will then simply avoid their cause altogether? Whatever happened to the most patient approach, in which you show people the finely tuned numbers and results that dictate exactly where the world's heading?

Extremists, you're only failing yourself and the world you're trying to protect with stupidity such as this.

The scale going from 0-10 probably isn't the right formula to use. It's more like 0-1000 these days.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.

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