Graffiti has popped up overnight near Jersey’s climate mural, appearing to support an international group's message that global warming is a “con”.
The sprayed ‘WARNING! CLIMATE CON-ARTISTS AHEAD’ message, which appears on the wall to the left of the 'Climate Stripes for Jersey', is followed by a link to the website for an organisation called Clintel.
Clintel was founded by Dutch engineer Guus Berkhout, who began his career at Shell.
The group says on its website that it wants to take the role of “climate watchdog” and says its view can be “easily summarised as: There is no climate emergency.”
Pictured: The climate-sceptic message, which was spotted by islanders this morning.
In 2019, hundreds of Clintel backers sent a letter with the latter phrase as its title to European Union and United Nations representatives arguing that changes in the climate are “expected from the cyclic behaviour of the climate system” and that there is “no proof” that carbon dioxide emissions drive climate change.
Their “urgent” message was that the EU’s net-zero target should be “strongly opposed”.
It was reported at the time that the signatories included academics, politicians and lobbyists, many of whom with links to the energy sector or forming part of thinktanks pushing for post-Brexit environmental deregulation.
The Police said the vandalism had not officially been reported to them when contacted by Express this morning.
Its the second time Ian Rolls’ climate mural – which features 126 stripes each representing the average air temperature each year from 1894 through to 2019 – has been the target of vandalism.
On Christmas Eve, graffitists sprayed messages decrying climate change as a “hoax” and wrote, “how dare u [sic] scare kids.”
Pictured: Vandals left climate change denying messages on the artwork, calling it a "hoax", over the 2020 festive period.
In February this year, Rolls revived the mural with a new design representing conversations and debate around climate change.
“The graffiti was a negative comment on what the data and the stripes represent. The fact that it can potentially scare kids was one of the comments that the graffiti stated and I think that’s really interesting in itself because I don’t think actually that the kids are the ones that are scared by climate change, I think that’s more the elderly or the people that have a vested interest in keeping things the same as they are,” Rolls told Express at the time.
He continued; "We have to change, and I think young people are really good at changing and adapting to the situation so I have every confidence that actually the situation can be improved but time is running out and I think that’s one thing I wanted to make clear in the mural and that’s why, right at the end, I put the hourglass as a symbol of the time running out.
“Now the conversations have to be turned into action by everybody, by ordinary people, by businesses and by governments. Together, we need to have a concerted campaign of action starting yesterday!”
Video: The revamped climate mural, unveiled in February 2021.
As COP26 launched in Glasgow around two weeks ago, the Government unveiled its preferred strategy for reaching net-zero emissions in Jersey.
However, it included a suggestion that the Government wished to push back the goal until 2050, and may look towards carbon offsetting, rather than direct reductions in the island's own emissions.
Deputy Rob Ward, the Reform politician who successfully had a climate emergency declared in Jersey, described it as a "dereliction of duty".
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