Just nine days after climate doom fanatics threw tomato soup onto Vincent Van Gogh’s famed Sunflowers painting in the National Gallery in London, the apocalyptically named Last Generation group has struck in a similar way, hurling mashed potatoes at Claude Monet’s Haystacks, which recently sold for $110 million, in the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany, before they glued their hands to the wall and settled in for a long day of climate hectoring, mythology, propaganda, and sloganeering. It’s an annoying and stupid form of protest, but get used to it: there is going to be a lot more of it, and worse.
Wir machen diesen #Monet zur Bühne und die Öffentlichkeit zum Publikum.
Wenn es ein Gemälde braucht – mit #Kartoffelbrei beworfen – , damit die Gesellschaft sich wieder erinnert, dass der fossile Kurs uns alle umbringt:
— Letzte Generation (@AufstandLastGen) October 23, 2022
According to the Guardian on Sunday, one of the climate clowns explained after throwing the starchy treat at the Monet: “People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying.” Smart move: people are starving, so let’s have a food fight in an art museum. But of course, the climate activists wouldn’t be engaging in stunts of this kind if they were rational thinkers who could critically evaluate what they were told and reject the climate propaganda that has been irresponsibly pounded into them since they were toddlers.
“We are in a climate catastrophe,” the Last Generation cult member continued, “and all you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting. You know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families in 2050. Does it take mashed potatoes on a painting to make you listen? This painting is not going to be worth anything if we have to fight over food. When will you finally start to listen? When will you finally start to listen and stop business as usual?”
In order to get you to stop destroying the climate, you heretic, you miscreant, these dogmatic religious fanatics decided to make “this Monet the stage and the public the audience.” The true believer declared: “If it takes pelting a painting with mashed potato or tomato soup to remind society that the fossil course is killing us all, then we give you mashed potato on a painting.”
The painting wasn’t destroyed; like the Van Gogh, it was behind protective glass. However, that doesn’t actually guarantee that this kind of protest won’t damage a world-historical masterpiece. Dr. Jonathan Foley, who, as the executive director of Project Drawdown, “the world’s leading resource for climate solutions,” is very much on the protestors’ side, tweeted: “As someone who used to run a museum, this is concerning. It’s not guaranteed that glass will protect a priceless work of art from liquids. They weren’t designed for that. Also, this will drive up insurance and security costs for museums. A lot.”
Last Generation is unlikely to care if museums’ security costs go up. The problem is that as museums begin to institute more effective security measures, the protesters are likely to up the ante as well. When they see that juvenile stunts in museums aren’t bringing the world back from the brink of the climate apocalypse they’ve been skillfully led to believe is on the horizon, they’re not going to stand down or reexamine their false premises. Instead, they’ll move from perpetrating what look to be harmless pranks against artistic masterpieces to actually destroying them.
This is in large part because there has been no real downside to their protests so far. It isn’t even clear that the Monet vandals were arrested. According to ABC News, police told journalists that “they had responded to the incident, but further information about arrests or charges was not immediately available.” And museum director Ortrud Westheider demonstrated her acceptance of the climate nuts’ faulty premises: “While I understand the activists’ urgent concern in the face of the climate catastrophe, I am shocked by the means with which they are trying to lend weight to their demands.”
She’ll be more shocked when they take hammers to Michelangelo, but it’s coming. Fanatics always become more radical the longer they perceive that their demands are being ignored and that there are no serious consequences to their actions. But Last Generation, in the final analysis, is just a group of pawns. The entire climate hysteria is driven by the reckless propagation of pseudoscientific fantasies and fallacies by groups far larger and more powerful than the fanatics who threw mashed potatoes on the Monet. And what is striking about those forces is their cynicism: they clearly don’t believe their own propaganda, as the big beachfront houses owned by Barack Obama and Old Joe Biden attest. Will the world’s artistic patrimony survive this madness relatively unscathed? We can hope.