VIDEO. Climate: journalists put together a live performance against an activist. A surreal series.

When reality imitates fiction… Miranda Whelehan, college student and British climate activist experienced on television the fate reserved for Jennifer Lawrence’s character in don’t look up, American satire that has been on Netflix since December 2021, in which the scientist tries to warn the media of the catastrophe that is about to happen on Earth. Faced with ridicule and accusations from the host and talk show host, the character played by Jennifer Lawrence loses her temper, further discrediting her struggle to hear the inevitable: a comet will crash into Earth and destroy all human beings. destroy life.

Miranda Whelehan, for her part, was invited to the set of Good morning Great Britain to talk about the “Just Stop Oil” campaign, which is asking the UK government to stop all new oil extraction and invest in renewable energy sources to combat climate change. But confronted by the speech of the activist, the presenter and the presenter of the program took on a paternalistic and accusatory tone… Much to the despair of the main stakeholder, visibly shocked by the treatment in front of her.

The Eternal Chorus of Militant Purity

For example, when Miranda Whelehan tries to explain her presence, the alarming conclusions of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), host of Good morning Great Britain, Richard Madeley, prefers to point out that the slogan she is championing is “childish”, throwing her the verse on militant purity: the clothes she wears are indeed made of petroleum, how can she defend the climate in the light of this display of hypocrisy? Activist demonstrations disrupt the daily lives of honest citizens: isn’t it irresponsible to attack such people?

Facing the student, the show invited a counterpoint in the person of Lowri Turner, a former fashion journalist who has since become a nutritionist and hypnotherapist, as recalled. to miss† The dude is clearly getting the favors of her former colleagues and goes there with her personal shovel too: “We had a winter without demonstrations and as soon as the sun comes out, oh it’s the eco fair, it’s a festival, and then it continues on social networks, let’s have a demonstration with a sign, let’s show how point we are a good person, while we normal people, who have to work, can’t go there! »

“Intentional Blindness”

In a column published on the website of the Guardian the day after the broadcast, Miranda Whelehan looks back on that television moment. She admits she hadn’t seen the movie don’t look up before also bearing the costs of a television channel that prefers sensationalism to scientific facts. †Now that I’ve seen the movie”she adds, “I understand the references people have made. What’s worse is that these presenters and reporters think they know better than the scientists or academics who have been studying the climate crisis for decades, and they refuse to hear anything else. This is willful blindness and it will kill us.”

Despite this bad experience, the activist wants to continue her fight and encourages everyone who has defended her on social networks to take action: “If the thousands of people on Twitter who disagree with Madeley’s approach joined the actions of Just Stop Oil, the possibilities for change would be endless”she says.

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