I had a grandparent moment this week.
I was watching the news, and an item about the climate change protest at Heathrow came up. I listened to the chief spokesperson, who’s young, articulate and committed to the importance of their cause.
And I found myself thinking, “What a waste of time.”
I tried to banish the idea from my brain, but before I’d expunged the thought-crime, it hit me that this was just what my grandparents used to say about the Greenham Common protests in the 1980s.
I never stayed a night at Greenham, but I did go to some of the protest events, and I sent my grandparents a Raymond Briggs book about nuclear war in a youthful attempt to educate them with humour.
I still have the letter my gran wrote to me afterwards, calling it “a lot of nonsense”.
I’m not nearly as old as she was then, so I have even less excuse for pooh-poohing legitimate protest.
I think what has struck me about this protest is that they’re targeting a commercial organisation whose priority is profit, not saving the world from global warming.
While there’s a demand for cheap air travel they will provide it.
It’s up to us to demand less air travel, and to vote for the politicians who have a coherent policy on climate change.
Direct action may be more newsworthy than dull old voting and lobbying, but I’m not sure it’s as effective in galvanising governments into action.
Mind you, my grandparents didn’t even vote.
“Those politicians are all as bad as each other,” was their view.
Perhaps they did have something in common with the protestors after all.