Extinction Rebellion and other groups glued themselves to multiple cars and things this week.
This week, multiple climate activist groups turned their attention to the Paris Motor Show.
Members from the Extinction Rebellion group crossed barriers and poured black paint over several classic Ferraris, including a 328, a 360, and an F430. Afterward, the protesters glued themselves to the vehicles. Extinction Rebellion also made news earlier in the week after pouring tomato soup on Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and gluing themselves to the wall near the famous painting at an exhibition in London.
In Paris, the group protested the continued use of the "individual car model," as well as what it views as the continued use of misinformation around plug-in hybrids, like the Ferrari 296 GTB and electric vehicles. The protestors, 11 of which were arrested, held a banner claiming "Global Self-Destruction." At the time of writing, no charges were filed against the protestors.
Earlier this week, protestors from Scientist Rebellion glued themselves to the floor of the Autostadt museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. The Extinction Rebellion published a series of Tweets chronicling their actions, which you can read below.
The group states that the auto industry is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in France and calls it one of the major players in climate change. "It is only interested in increasing its profits to the detriment of all," it stated on social media.
Extinction Rebellion pointed out the cost of the car for an average individual in France. According to its research, the average vehicle price is €350 per month, roughly the same as in American dollars. As a result, Extinction Rebellion says that 13.3 million French citizens are in a "precarious mobility situation."
We checked the figures, and the average monthly wage in France is €2,340. That means the monthly cost of a car is roughly 15% of net income. (According to Experian, the average monthly car price in the USA is $667. The average monthly salary is $4,479 per month [CEIC Data], which is also 15%)
On Wednesday, Scientist Rebellion members glued themselves to the Porsche exhibition center at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. Autostadt is a visitor center next to Volkswagen's plant and is famous for its museum displays and multi-story parking lots.
Reportedly, the group occupied Autostadt for 41 hours. During the occupation, the group says the Volkswagen Group turned the lights and heating off and refused to provide bowls to use as toilets.
"VW has the most lobby representatives of all car companies in Brussels. They let this cost them over 3 million euros a year. This is how legislative processes are influenced at the European level, and thus lobbyism is just another word for corruption. This form of democracy loss contributes significantly to the escalation of the climate crisis," says Dr. Sébastien Triquenaux, an engineer at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
"VW has lied to us about the actual emission levels of its diesel engines and continues to lie when they claim they will be carbon neutral by 2050. VW relies on carbon offsetting programs whose effectiveness is highly dubious. VW must stop their greenwashing and their lobbying, which delay urgent climate action," added Dr. Gianluca Grimalda, a social psychologist at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
Scientist Rebellion says that Volkswagen's aggressive lobbying is in direct contrast to the greener image it presents itself with and that VAG spends $6.5 million on lobbying in Berlin alone, "thereby opposing climate protection measures such as a 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limit."
In addition to gluing themselves to the floor of Autostadt, the group spilled fake blood outside of the museum, saying the action was meant to draw attention to deaths due to climate inaction. Eventually, all Scientist Rebellion protestors were removed.