- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 24, 2022

OPINION:

In 1936, several decades before anyone had ever heard the term social media “influencer,” business educator Dale Carnegie published “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The self-help book has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide over the past 85 years.

Members of militant climate-change activist groups, with names like Extinction Rebellion, obviously haven’t read Carnegie’s best-seller. If they had, they would know that the off-putting tactics they employ in pursuit of their extremist environmental agenda are not only not winning friends, they aren’t influencing people to buy into their anti-fossil fuel crusade. Quite the contrary: They’re alienating people.


There’s also an old idiom the climate alarmists also clearly aren’t familiar with that suggests “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

That’s a folksy way of saying that you’re more likely to get the results you’re seeking—or, in this case, to win support for your cause from others—if you treat them with respect and consideration, rather than by being ill-mannered and petulant.

One section of Carnegie’s book is devoted to “Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking.” But snarling traffic with sit-ins on busy city streets and interstate highways or gluing oneself to priceless artworks at prestigious museums (or throwing tomato soup on them) are not among those 12 ways.

On Nov. 11, security personnel at Oslo’s National Museum of Norway prevented two women from attempting to glue themselves to Edvard Munch’s famous 1893 painting “The Scream.” They were taken into custody along with a third person who was filming their actions, the art-news website Artnet.com reported.

“The painting was not harmed, although some glue residue was left on the protective glass,” it said, noting that the trio was associated with a Norwegian environmental extremist group Stop Oil Exploration.

Two weeks earlier, on Oct. 27, Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 masterpiece Girl With a Pearl Earring was targeted by a Belgian man associated with Just Stop Oil. He superglued his head to the glass that protects the painting, on display at a museum in The Hague. Another sought to glue his hand to the wall next to the artwork.

Two weeks before that, two young female Just Stop Oil vandals attacked Vincent Van Gogh’s 1888 “Sunflowers,” on display at London’s National Gallery, throwing tomato soup on the glass protecting it and gluing themselves to the wall while a third person, Damien Gayle, recorded cellphone video of the attack.

“What is worth more, art or life? … are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?” Gayle explained, sharing the video in a tweet.

One has no discernible connection to the other, so that pathetic “explanation,” such as it is, gives non sequiturs a bad name.

And just as an aside, the actions of these climate extremists are unwittingly ironic, because most industrial glues are petroleum-based.

But the irony doesn’t end there. Another favored tactic of the global warming alarmists involves blocking traffic at major intersections and on thoroughfares.

“Climate protesters spur miles-long backup on Capital Beltway in Silver Spring,” Washington’s WRC-TV Channel 4 reported on its NBCWashington.com website on Oct. 10.

Maryland State Police arrested seven “Declare Emergency” activists after they shut down part of Interstate 495 in Montgomery County, Md., and refused to disperse when ordered to by police.

“Declare Emergency,” WRC reported, is “a group that previously shut down D.C.-area highways to demand that President Joe Biden declare an emergency to address climate change.

The irony of the Beltway blockade was noted by the writer of a letter to the editor to The Washington Post published Oct. 16. “Anyone want to guess how many of those drivers turned off their engines while waiting for things to get unclogged?” John Walters of Leonardtown, Md., asked.

Beyond the massive quantities of additional CO2 emissions being belched into the atmosphere caused by that “miles-long” traffic jam, the environmental zealots were doubtlessly p***ing off the motorists they were inconveniencing and causing to be late for work or other appointments.

The management of a Volkswagen factory in Germany had the last laugh after nine “Scientist Rebellion” climate extremists super-glued themselves to the floor of the Porsche Pavilion on Oct. 19. They demanded that VW agree to lobby German government ministers to decarbonize the transportation industry, according to London’s Daily Mail newspaper.

“The demonstrators began complaining after just two hours that they had no food, the lights and heating had been turned off, and staff had refused to give them a bowl to defecate in,” the Daily Mail reported.

By the next day, when they were finally extricated from the sticky bind they had put themselves in and were arrested, the protesters surely smelled more like vinegar than honey. It served them right.


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