In the media

July 10th, 2024

Ex-Extinction Rebellion spokesperson: Disruptive protests can just annoy people | Prospect

“There comes a point where disrupting the public is no longer productive,” says Rupert Read. “It just makes people annoyed.” 

The former spokesperson and strategist for Extinction Rebellion would know about annoying people. He still thinks there’s merit in disruptive protests. Extinction Rebellion “did a superb job raising consciousness around the climate,” he tells me over a pot of rooibus tea with oat milk in a central London hotel. Although we’re covering depressingly existential topics, the emeritus philosophy professor is upbeat, even eloquent.

Read the full story here.

May 18th, 2024.

BBC Countryfile star Tom Heap will discuss Norfolk farm play’ | Eastern Daily Press

Phoenix, Dodo, Butterfly is inspired by the opening chapter of a book by Rupert Read, emeritus associate professor at UEA and co-director of the Climate Majority Project, entitled “This Civilisation is Finished”.

Dr Read said: “The wonderful thing about drama is it can bring the future that it depicts alive to us. It is thrilling to see the kinds of possible futures – bad, ugly and good – that we may choose together to make, staged for us to contemplate, to see.”

Read the full story here.

May 12th, 2024.

Leading environmentalist tells Ilkley to get real about climate crisis | Ilkley Chat.

Read the full story here.

April 2nd, 2024.

‘There is no future in which we do not transform this civilisation’ | Morning Star.

Speaking to RUPERT READ, Ian Sinclair discusses the urgency of climate action, the demise of the 1.5°C target, and the pivotal role of trade unions in building a majority against climate change.

Read the full story here.

December 20th, 2023.

An interview with Prof. Rupert Read: “To keep the world insurable, the climate crisis needs to be rapidly slowed” | lluminem.

“The insurance sector is a financial sector that is (or at least should be!) most fully aware of the existential threat posed by the climate crisis, since it directly impacts the sector’s economic success (and the extent to which it has been doing so has of course drastically accelerated over the last several years). Insurance industries/companies/entities currently have what I term anultimate double-bottom-line: where, as I’ll explain pretty fully in this interview, ethical practice simultaneously makes good long-term business sense.”

To read the full interview, click here.

December 15th, 2023.

Cop28 leaves the highway to climate hell wide open | Letter The Guardian.

“The deal leaves the highway to climate hell wide open. Citizens are going to have to mobilise as never before over the coming years if that trajectory is to shift.”

Click here to read the full letter.

December 5th, 2023.

Spend on flood defences, not Western Link | Letter Eastern Daily Press.

December 1st, 2023.

The UK is doing a terrible job! | GB News.

Rupert Read was interviewed at the start of COP28 in the UAE.

Click here to watch a clip on X/Twitter.

December 1st, 2023

Letter in The New Statesman.

September 11th, 2023

Just Stop Oil in danger of ‘sucking the oxygen’ out of essential climate debate | Evening Standard.

Professor Rupert Read, formerly of Extinction Rebellion, has helped create the Climate Majority Project.

“The one thing which is really important is that we make sure that we don’t just spend all the time talking about tactics, right?

“Because if we do, then we miss the real point, which is the absolute need to take effective action together and for people to get out of a frame of mind of sort of, he said, she said, whining, complaining, et cetera, and into a frame of mind, which is much more let’s do it, let’s get together and make sure that it happens,” he told the Standard.

“I would say that there is an issue that environmental action is now so much associated in people’s minds with Just Stop Oil.

“There’s a danger that the oxygen is being sucked out of other things.”

Read the full article here.

September 6th, 2023

A guide to Britain’s new grassroots climate groups | The Morning Star.

“Climate Majority Project works to find the common ground where Swampy and Lord Deben can both stand,” co-director Dr Rupert Read tells me.

“We are engaging with communities, businesses, actors and producers, farmers, scientists, and beyond to help various sectors of society organise amongst themselves and with each other to address this civilisational crisis. There is no way we get to actually win this without the majority on board.”

Read the full story here.

August 23rd, 2023

How we can play our part on climate change. Norwich Seeker.

“It’s not simply one thing. There’s a climate majority now, it just needs to be targeted more effectively. That’s what we are trying to midwife.“What we are trying to do is proof of concept with the Climate Majority Project in the UK and especially England. If it’s successful we hope it will go around the world.”

Read the full story here (a free subscription is needed).

July 20th, 2023

What’s up with the weather? Channel 5 News.

You can watch it here.

July 19th, 2023.

How much worse is the global heatwave going to get? | TRT World Now.

Interviewed on TRT World Now about the global heatwave.

Watch the segment here.

July 15th, 2023.

Climate activists disrupted Wimbledon, exposed split in movement | The Washington Post.

Rupert Read, a former spokesman for Extinction Rebellion, parted ways with the group before the strategic shift, feeling that its methods had been “too polarizing.” He said he was especially disillusioned by an October 2019 protest that had activists climbing on top of a London Underground train — and irate rush-hour commuters dragging them down.

Now he has a new initiative, called the “Climate Majority Project,” which he hopes will appeal to the “many millions … who want to do something significant, but they are not prepared to glue themselves to something.”

“We don’t win unless we take people with us,” he said. “This is not an issue you can win with a small number on your side.”

Read the full article here.

July 6th, 2023.

Climate Protests Have Become Counter-Productive | Good Morning Britain

Interview on Good Morning Britain with Daniel Hooper, otherwise known as Swampy.

You can watch here.

July 6th, 2023.

‘People hate you!’ | GB News

Interview on GB News with host Patrick Christys and and Sean Irish from Just Stop Oil.

Watch here.

June 29th, 2023.

We’re calling on people to get involved in climate community action | ITV Anglia

Interview on ITV Anglia about the launch of the Climate Majority Project.

You can watch here.

June 28th, 2023.

Cricket! So It’s Come To This? | BBC Radio 4 

Interview on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight about the launch of the Climate Majority Project.

You can listen here.

June 27th, 2023

From XR to The Climate Majority Project, Why? | LBC

Interview with Andrew Marr about the launch of the Climate Majority Project.

Watch the interview, here.

April 22nd, 2023.

What is the Climate Majority Project? |  Sky News

Interview on Sky News to discuss The Big One and the Climate Majority Project.

Watch the full interview here.

April 20th, 2023.

Disruptive protest discussion | Newsnight

In advance of The Big One in London, I was asked on BBC’s Newsnight programme with Indigo Rumbelo.

You can watch the full interview here.

Mar 18th, 2023.

Climate Change Corner: Professor Rupert Read On UEA And The Climate Crisis | Concrete UEA

Q&A interview with George Barsted.

Read the full article here

Feb 8th, 2023.

How a soaring deficit brutalised UEA’s modernising ambitions | Times Higher Education

“There was a really sudden set of announcements. It seemed to come from nowhere.”

Read the full article (paywalled) here.

Jan 18th, 2023.

Opinion | Is Peak Climate Alarmism Behind Us? By David Wallace-Wells | The New York Times

Read the piece (paywalled) here.

Jan 3rd, 2023.

Tuesday briefing: Why Extinction Rebellion is giving up on disruption | The Guardian

In a recent episode of the Accidental Gods podcast, Rupert Read, who helped to launch XR and who is now one of the most prominent voices of the wider “moderate flank”, put it like this: “The greatest compliment we can pay now to what we accomplished in Extinction Rebellion and the other parts of the radical flank in 2019 … is to exploit it fully, to encourage and enable a far larger group of people to march through the widened Overton window.”

Read the full article here.

Dec 16th, 2022.

Not What You’d Expect in a Democracy.’ How Britain Is Waging War Against Climate Protesters | TIME

“Most people do not realize how extreme a piece of legislation this is,” says Rupert Read, a British environmental campaigner and co-director of the Moderate Flank Incubator, a climate advocacy group. “The bill, and the extreme authoritarianism of it, has not cut through.”

Read the full article here.

Dec 1st, 2022.

Endless debates about soup and paintings serve those who’d prefer we ignore the climate crisis by Zoe Williams | The Guardian

Rupert Read, one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion, introduced the idea of a “moderate flank”. He argued for civil disobedience on a mass scale, and considered what that would have to look like in order to draw in the millions of supporters it would need.

Read the full column here.

Nov 20th, 2022.

A father pens a message to his son on the climate crisis: ‘I tried my best’ | The Japan Times

Major names in global climate discourse, including authors Sailesh Rao and Rupert Read, have endorsed Whalley’s book, convincing him that he can add value to the conversation. Public speaking commitments are now lining the schedule.

Read the full story here.

Nov 10th, 2022.

UEA Lecturer launches climate film alongside COP27 |

“What I want people to feel is disturbed,” said Dr Read. “It’s grief, it’s horror, it’s fear, possibly anger.”

But it was important to him that the film ended on an inspirational note. “Our initial model was a pure doom model” he said, but as they worked through the writing they decided to include a more transformational ending. Dr Read wants people to feel “determination, maybe a little bit of joy, certainly a kind of potential active hope.”

Read the full story here.

Nov 8th, 2022.

Interview: ‘This civilization as we know it is finished’ | Morning Star

Ian Sinclair speaks to Professor Rupert Read about his new book Why Climate Breakdown Matters and its apocalyptic predictions.

Read the interview, here.

Oct 26th, 2022.

Climate activists defend law-breaking tactics as Just Stop Oil protests continue | The Independent

Rupert Read, a professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia who helped set up Extinction Rebellion, said the first major wave of protests in April 2019 “achieved something dramatic and extraordinary, a real increase in climate consciousness”.

However, he argued that while he sympathises with Just Stop Oil’s message, he believes a more moderate approach is now needed.

Click here to read the story.

Oct 26th, 2022.

Today with Nick Robinson | BBC Radio 4.

Listen to an edit of the show here.

Oct 26th, 2022.

Nicky Campbell | BBC Radio 5 Live

Listen to an edit of the show here.

Oct 24th, 2022.

Green activists split over radical tactics of Just Stop Oil | The Times

Read the article (paywalled), here.

Oct 13th, 2022.

The new climate movement is here and it’s PR’s turn to help make it happen | PR Week

Read the article (paywalled), here.

Sept 4th, 2021

Beyond XR: Could government failure at Cop26 fire the starting gun on a brave green future? | By Harry Cockburn, The Independent

He says: “XR have done extremely well … in bringing attention to this vital issue and to their immediate demand,” for an immediate end to all new fossil fuel investments.

“They’ve managed to do this with relatively low numbers. XR is really punching way above its weight, which is impressive.”

But Read concedes XR is “not on a growth trajectory” and “the numbers are clearly much lower than during the October 2019 rebellion”.

Read the full article here.

Aug 9th, 2021

‘People who care are people who can afford to’ Christys rages at climate change lecturing | Express.

Professor Read replied by admitting he was suspicious as to why GB News was making this argument despite their wealthy backing support.

He also went on to argue that climate change was a significant issue now and would impact everyone eventually.

He said: “Your concern at GB News for the poor is touching.

To read the full story click here.

Feb 1st, 2020

JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race | The Guardian

Its report was obtained by Rupert Read, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia, and has been seen by the Guardian.

Read the full story here.

Nov 8th, 2019

Extinction Rebellion plan 12 days of Christmas protests – London set for more chaos | Express

Spokesman Rupert Read said the upcoming protests would be aimed at politicians rather than members of the public.

Mr Read said: “We want to be pressuring politicians and candidates all around the country to do the right thing and prioritise climate action.

“This has to be the climate election.

“The parliament that gets elected next month could potentially sit for the next five years, which will be crucial in reducing carbon emissions.”

Read the full story here.

Oct 19th, 2019

Question Time: Julia Hartley-Brewer slammed for ‘quasi-religious death cult’ barb | Mirror.

Mrs Hartley-Brewer clashed with Extinction Rebellion spokesman Rupert Read after he issued a warning about the unfolding climate catastrophe on the BBC debate show last night.

Read the full article here.