Environmental activist group Insulate Britain have been blocking major roads up and down the country with human barriers in attempt to spread their message that immediate action is needed by the government to tackle the climate crisis. Though I’m sure many people agree with their message, their main tactic of civil disobedience is causing people to become impatient and annoyed due to the major disruption they are causing to day-to-day people who cannot implement the major changes needed.
Unsurprisingly, social media has been set alight with videos from angry motorists trying to reason with the protesters who have mainly taken to sitting in front of people’s cars. I’ve seen videos of people unable to get their children to school, unable to get back to university, ambulances unable to take patients to hospitals and even claims of people being unable to take sick and dying relatives to get treatment. Though I believe that we need to act now if we want to reverse the effects of climate change on the earth, I am frustrated by the inhumane tactics which these organisations have decided to take. I can’t help but thinking that their actions are arguably causing more harm to the environment. By blocking roads, cars are getting stuck in traffic jams which are therefore causing their engines to be running for longer. One protester took to gluing his hand to the road to prevent anyone from dragging him off it, however is the glue that was used not going to cause harm to any wildlife which meets it?
I understand that now is the time action to reverse the effects of climate change, however I believe that by using different tactics, the same message could have been spread even more effectively and would have got more people on board with it. As we know, social media is any PR professional’s best friend for spreading messages to mass amounts of stakeholders quickly. Insulate Britain could have taken inspiration from other successful campaigns such as ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ to create a poignant video which is sympathetic towards the people of Britain whilst posing important questions to the audience. The ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ campaign run by Police Scotland in October 2021 used a simple video to highlight situations and sentences men may ask to women which make women feel uncomfortable and heighten a feeling or fear. Insulate Britain could have created a video using statistics about climate change to make the audience worried to the future, then suggested simple everyday changes they can make to help the earth such as turning appliances off at the plug when they aren’t used. A hashtag like #NowOrNever could have been spread alongside this campaign encouraging users to share the message of the campaign.
Furthermore, its proven that thought leaders can bring a different dimension to PR campaigns allowing brand recognition to be developed. After the social media campaign is implemented, Insulate Britain could have reached out to famous faces across a variety of demographics to spread the message further. These people, alongside a powerful dynamic social media campaign may have achieved the same amount of publicity, but in a respectful way which may have encouraged government and policy makers to agree that the time to implement change is now. Would you be more likely to agree with Insulate Britain is they used digital tactics rather than civil disobedience?