Letter: Some dangerously misleading narratives

This letter sent to the Star was written by Darcy White, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield, S1

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 30 July, 2019, 08:47
Extinction Rebellion protestors 'Die' at Sheffield Town Hall to force the council into more action on climate change

Extinction Rebellion operates under an ethos of respect for others. With this in mind, and despite very considerable provocation, I respectfully point out to Mr Neville Martin, (Letters Page, July 20), that the utterly trivialising language he employs in relation to the environmental emergency is disturbing in that it entirely underestimates the seriousness, scale, complexity and urgency of the situation we are in, a dual crisis of climate breakdown and catastrophic loss of biodiversity.

Furthermore, the characterisation of Extinction Rebellion campaigners as ‘frenzied fantasists’ and ‘noisy fanatics’ engaged in mere ‘virtue signalling’ insults the level of commitment and considerable personal sacrifice demonstrated by many protestors. While the charge of ‘noisy’ indicates a profound lack of self-awareness from this ardent letter writer, whose flamboyant use of hyperbolic language suggests a craving for the oxygen of publicity that the Star affords him.Mr Martin writes in what appears to be a complacent manner of his constant awareness that his own ‘life might end at any moment’ appearing to believe that his God is protecting him from the possibility that the ‘sky may fall in’. However, I would ask Mr Martin to think rather more seriously, if not of his own future, then of the countless people on this earth who are already succumbing to the deadly effects of over consumption that create the greenhouse gasses that now pose the most serious and urgent of threats to all life on this planet.

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Mr Martin clearly holds strong opinions and he is entitled to them of course, no matter that they are ill informed. However, my central concern is the irresponsible manner with which The Star is providing a platform for Mr Martin’s dangerously misleading narratives, for the letter last Saturday was by no means the first of its kind from this individual.

In times of emergency such as war, the press is expected to operate in the national interest. The current situation is a different kind of emergency of course, but to undermine the seriousness of the situation in this way is surely also against the national interest. I am not particularly familiar with media law but I aim to educate myself on the matter. In the meantime I respectfully ask the Star to conduct itself with greater regard for the seriousness of the situation, simply because, morally speaking, it is the right thing to do.