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IQ2 Debate: Is Climate Activism Working?

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Time 19:30
Date 12/07/23
Price £25

Throwing soup at famous artworks. Halting traffic in the streets. Scaling bridges and disrupting famous sporting events. Smart headline tactics or doing more harm than good?

‘If you don’t upset people enough, then nothing happens.’ – Roger Hallam, Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion



Phoebe Plummer

Just Stop Oil activist who threw soup at Van Gogh's ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery.


Ben Okri

Booker prize winning novelist passionate about the connection between art and climate activism


Dr Rupert Read

Former Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and author of Why Climate Breakdown Matters 


Tom Harwood

Journalist and commentator



Ritula Shah

BBC journalist and broadcaster


Throwing soup at famous artworks. Halting traffic in the streets. Scaling bridges and disrupting famous sporting events. For some climate activists these radical tactics are the only way to make a difference. There’s a reason Just Stop Oil is at the top of the news agenda every couple of weeks. It’s because their disruptive protests are having the desired effect.These activists are determined that the public should be made aware of the urgency of the climate crisis and what needs to be done to avert catastrophic warming. You may not like them but, as they would argue, their tactics are doing just what they were intended to achieve. 


But others argue that the radical environmental activism of these groups is actually doing more harm than good. Their extreme demands to ‘stop oil’ or to ‘overthrow capitalism’ overshadow more moderate solutions to climate change that the public could get on board with. Constant doom-mongering about humanity’s imminent extinction just makes people feel depressed and powerless. And if these activists really wanted to change the world shouldn’t they be taking the democratic route of running for parliament? 


Who’s right and who’s wrong? Join the panel of activists and experts to debate live at the Southbank Centre on July 12.


COMPETITION: Win 1x pair of tickets to Greenberg at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, at 19:30 on Wednesday 12 July.

To enter the competition, send an email to with the correct answer in the ‘subject’ line. The winner will be randomly selected. 


Q. Which British industrialist has donated funds to Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and the Labour Party? 

A: .1) Jim Ratcliffe .2) Christopher Harborne  .3) Dale Vince .4) Mark Bamford

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