In an attempt to stop the distribution of the climate change message, a group of climate campaigners blocked the entry of a New York City printing plant. New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other corporate-owned newspapers to protest their failure to cover the planetary emergency with “the frequency it deserves.”
The activists who were operating under the banner Extinction Rebellion emphasized in a statement that the blockade was targeted not at individual journalists, but “at the board of directors and senior management at these institutions that determine what to include and exclude in each publication.”
“Extinction Rebellion stands behind the right to free speech and a free press, and views the breaking of certain concrete mundane laws as a public plea for societal change,” the statement reads. “The climate and ecological crisis is already here — destroying people’s homes and livelihoods with extreme weather, droughts, and fire — yet governments and corporations, influenced by mass media corporations, are complacent by continuing to ignore the root causes of the crisis and the dire situation humanity is facing.”
The demonstration singled out News Corp, The New York Times Company, and Gannett — which respectively own the Journal, Times, USA Today — for “enabling the government’s gaslighting of the public” by burying critical climate stories below the fold or in later pages. The outlets have also come under fire. plasteringAdverts from fossil fuel companies alongside their coverage actively perpetuating climate disinformation.
Such failures, the campaigners argued, make it “easy for government to act like the climate and ecological crisis is years away, ignore scientists’ urgent calls to action, and refuse to take the steps we need to start transforming our systems from finite and fragile to strong and resilient.”
“They must be clear about the extreme cascading risks humanity now faces, the injustice this represents, its historic roots, and the urgent need for rapid political, social, and economic change,” the activists continued. “This includes more front-page coverage of the climate emergency.”
#BREAKING – Extinction Rebellion blockade at @nytimes @WSJPrinting plant to be used to report on major US newspapers’ failure to cover the climate crisis with the frequency it deserves. pic.twitter.com/oZw7g1q9S4
— Extinction Rebellion NYC 🌎 (@XR_NYC) April 22, 2022
Extinction Rebellion @XR_NYCMajor U.S. newspapers are being criticized for their lack of coverage on climate.
— FreedomNews.Tv FNTV (@FreedomNTV) April 22, 2022
The demonstration was held as scientists and youth climate activists across the globe celebrated Earth Day with rallies. non-violent civil disobedience to condemn their governments’ continued supportFossil fuel production as a means of accelerating global warming wreaks havocAll over the globe
“This is not a ‘happy Earth Day,’” Swedish activist Greta Thunberg tweeted Friday. “It never has been. Earth Day has turned into an opportunity for people in power to post their ‘love’ for the planet, while at the same time destroying it at maximum speed.”
— Rise up Movement (@Riseupmovt) April 22, 2022
Peter Kalmus is a U.S. climate expert and has taken direct action in recent days as part of a growing worldwide mobilization, wrote Thursday that “the more we threaten the fossil fuel status quo, the less the media covers it.”
“Our experience with the global Scientist Rebellion was almost no media coverage, and then only a little after it had already gone viral,” Kalmus added. “The revolution will not be televised.”
The media tends to ignore the fact that we are threatening the status quo in fossil fuels. 41 @XR_NYCClimate activists were arrested in New York this week. Only the Village Voice, Common Dreams and Common Dreams had coverage.
We must encourage and support climate disobedience via social media. @ScientistRebel1
— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) April 21, 2022
An online database unveiled earlier this week shows that financial institutions in G20 countries — many of which have pledged meaningful action to combat runaway warming — provided 2.5 times more financing for oil, gas, and coal projects than clean energy between 2018 and 2020, yet another example of governments’ refusal to heed the increasingly dire warningsClimate scientists.
“The truth is, we have been poor custodians of our fragile home,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres saidFriday’s statement. “Today, the Earth is facing a triple planetary crisis. Climate disruption. Nature and biodiversity loss. Pollution and waste.”
“This triple crisis is threatening the wellbeing and survival of millions of people around the world,” Guterres continued. “We need to do much more. And we need to do it much faster. Especially to avert climate catastrophe.”