There is a scene from the movie Don’t Look Up in which the PhD student Kate Dibiaskyplayed by Jennifer Lawrence, in a television talk tries to warn the world of the imminent catastrophe due to a gigantic celestial body that will impact the Earth. In response, the conductors ignore her message, mocking her.
If that’s a metaphor for how society seems to ignore science’s messages on climate change, a similar episode really happened in Britain, sparking a dust storm of controversy. Protagonist Miranda Whelehan20-year-old climate activist invited to the ITV broadcast Good Morning Britain. In comparison the conductor Richard Madeley and other guests, including the journalist Lowri Turnerthey pressed Miranda Whelehan who was trying to tell why in the UK the “Just Stop Oil” campaign has led to peaceful demonstrations in some oil plants in Essex against the use of fossil fuels.
The scientific arguments brought by the activist were of no use, explaining how the protest of the protesters was the “level of action that must be taken when the government is failing with its energy policies and climate commitments”. After the first few sentences, in fact, the host turned to Miranda Whelehan asking her sarcastically if the slogan “Just Stop Oil” was “extremely childish, a bit like Vicky Pollard”, referring to the parody of teenagers in the well-known show. Little Britain.
“We, scientists against climate catastrophe: you have to believe it, it’s not just a movie”
by Marco Tedesco *
The host then addressed Whelehan with phrases such as “do you agree that these are complex topics?”, With a tone defined as denigrating and misogynist by those who criticized the interview on social networks. “Just Stop Oil, come on … is there anything else to say besides this or is there nothing to add?” Madeley insisted mockingly.
While the British activist replied that “in reality the answers are very simple: we have to stop the new oil licenses”, the presenter first used phrases such as “but how do you go forward with these arguments?”, Then he focused on the fact that viewers of Good Morning Britain (GMB) were sending only “complaints” about Miranda and the “Just Stop Oil” campaign and “not even a message of support”. Interventions that in the following day resulted in the conductor being accused of “bullying, misogyny and denial “.
Despite the provocations, with phrases such as “the clothes you wear exist also thanks to the oil industry”, Miranda has not lost her temper and citing recent IPCC reports on the climate crisis recalled that “the future of young people is at stake”.
The episode of GMB relaunched on social media has not gone unnoticed. The clip with over 3.5 million views was also relaunched by Greenpeace Uk and Extinction Rebellion with the hashtag #DontLookUp precisely by virtue of the film that has turned the spotlight on how the mass media often trivialize the climate emergency.