Will XR’s actions focus politicians’ minds?

Extinction Rebellion‘s spring rally in Bristol

Simon Pawley responds to a letter in the Financial Times, in which Helen Jackson describes the Extinction Rebellion movement as having ‘extra-democratic tendencies’, which deserve to be challenged.

He points out that one of Extinction Rebellion’s three central demands is for the creation of a deliberative citizens’ assembly to formulate recommendations that can inform debate about policy and enables ordinary citizens to get involved – a fundamentally democratic and constructive proposal.

The power exercised by industry’s lobbying of government – a recurring theme on this website – is highlighted by Pawley

Stressing that any realistic assessment of the battle for political influence must acknowledge industry’s “extra-democratic” force, he makes three points:

  • In private, some energy companies continue to resist regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, notwithstanding their public commitment to renewable energy (BP is a recent example).
  • The energy industry has also distorted public debate by secretly funding climate change denial organisations.
  • Environmentalists cannot fund lobbying efforts on such a scale.

He ends, “Instead, their protests are attracting media attention and promoting discussion of how to address the crisis. This has rapidly begun to highlight the strength of public opinion on this issue; we may hope that this will focus the minds of politicians”.

 

 

 

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Posted on May 23, 2019, in Democracy, uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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