Climate Activists Arrested After Stonehenge Vandalism

Climate Activists Arrested After Stonehenge Vandalism
Above: Stonehenge during the spring equinox in March 2023. Image copyright: Rufus Cox/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Wiltshire, UK police on Wednesday announced they had arrested two people on suspicion of vandalizing Stonehenge with orange powder paint after the incident was reported around noon local time.

  • The environmental activist group Just Stop Oil, in a Wednesday post on X, took credit for the incident by sharing a video of it and writing that the action was taken to get the incoming UK government to "sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030."

The Spin

Narrative A

The natural world is in danger, so there's no better way to draw attention to this crisis than drawing the world's eyes to a great historical wonder. The orange coloring will wash off, but the climate won't be as easily healed. Serious action must be taken to reduce fossil fuel consumption, so severe measures must be taken to draw attention to the climate emergency.

Narrative B

These acts don't gain support for Just Stop Oil's cause — they create anxiety and annoyance. Some people affected might sympathize with the organization's climate concerns, but they'll likely be alienated by seeing Stonehenge or any natural wonder or precious works of art damaged. There are better ways to spur more action on the climate crisis.

Narrative C

Dark climate fantasies are getting more cultish and dangerous. The narratives of eco-extremist movements are becoming much graver, more apocalyptic, and have dangerously lost connections to reality. This trend must be watched closely.

Metaculus Prediction

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