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The backstory: As the world gets hotter and hotter, climate activists are getting bolder in their protests. Since last year, climate activists have been making headlines all over the world as they attacked famous works of art from artists like Van Gogh, Monet and Degas to call attention to their cause. A lot of people found this kind of protest to be crossing a line, as there’s no direct connection between these pieces of culture and the main drivers of climate change. But activists argue that if we put so much care into preserving culture, we should do the same for the planet. Even though these art vandalism protests are ongoing, activists are looking at other ways to disrupt the status quo.
More recently: One major focus of recent climate activism is how luxuries like private jets and yachts end up contributing to global carbon emissions. Last Friday, a group of environmentalists in Spain vandalized a private jet parked in the Ibiza airport, with one of them even gluing his hand to the plane. The group threw paint at the jet and held a sign reading: “Your luxury = our climate crisis.” Spanish cops arrested the four activists involved in the stunt, and they were released from jail Friday night.
The development: On Sunday, Ibiza Futuro Vegetal climate activists pulled off another daring protest. They spray-painted a US$300 million superyacht belonging to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie. The yacht, named “Kaos” was given a red and black paint job, and the activists posted a video showing them standing in front of it, holding a banner saying: “You Consume Others Suffer.” Later that day, Futuro Vegetal tweeted that Kaos was targeted because Walton Laurie is "one of the richest women in the world." She’s reportedly worth US$7.7 billion. The two activists involved were arrested and expected to be released Monday.
“The richest 1% of the world population pollutes more than the poorest 50%,” the activists said in the video. “They are condemning us to a future of pain, misery and desolation. They are destroying our planet, compromising the habitability of the land and everything, to lead a standard of living that goes beyond the limits of reason.”
“The action puts the finishing touch to the ‘Jets and Yachts, the party is over’ campaign, convened by Extinction Rebellion Ibiza who demand the prohibition of private jets and the end of luxury emissions,” the environmental group Futuro Vegetal said.