The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The deceptive facade of Eco-Vandalism

Neetra Chakraborty

You are traveling halfway across the world to see some of the greatest paintings at the Louvre in Paris, France. As you explore the grand exhibit, you turn around to see Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” covered in tomato sauce and two people with their hands glued to the wall. Throughout the week, similar instances of famous artworks being attacked keep occurring, all in a useless effort to help the climate crisis. Despite the lengths of these so-called “climate activists,” they provide no real help to the problem and end up causing more problems in their destructive nature. 

Eco-Vandalism, which is the defacement of natural monuments, is something that climate activists have started doing to bring attention to the climate crisis. The thing is, we all already know climate change is a thing. And for everyone else who thinks it’s a hoax, a soiled painting wouldn’t change their minds. The main reason that the climate crisis is getting worse isn’t because we as a society are turning a blind eye but rather, it’s big companies producing more and more waste every year. 

So why not boycott these companies? Because their products are often much cheaper than those labeled as “green.” Going green is incredibly costly for many and we don’t live in a storybook to be able to drop everything and stand for our planet. As sad as it sounds, it’s the truth. When the simple joys of our culture in forms like art are disturbed, it can be frustrating. Ruining these spaces ruins them for many. Think about a group of kids going on a field trip, a family on vacation, or an art lover who was saving up to see their favorite painting just to see it covered in tomato sauce.  

Eco-vandalists often justify this by stating that the original artwork is never damaged. However, on June 30 two of these activists caused 2,000 pounds of irreversible damage after gluing themselves to the frame of the 18th-century painting of “Peach Trees in Blossom” by Vincent Van Gogh. 

Eco-vandalism is often a way to garner attention, however, it is not positive. When paintings of artists like Van Gogh get targeted it messes up the message they had hoped to showcase. Van Gogh was a man who represented the struggle of poverty and made his artworks for those who wished to have joy in their life. As a loved figure of history with treasured artworks, it can make many who love his work view climate activists negatively. This ends up harming the reputation of climate activists like Greta Thunberg who have peaceful protests and are going to the main source, governments, to discuss the climate issue.

We need to be able to address climate change while still giving people the enjoyment of their vacations.

By ruining the reputations of many climate activists it alienates many who may have supported the cause. Art lovers who may have thought of supporting climate activists won’t be as open to the idea anymore.

The reason eco-vandalists are going to such extreme measures is if there isn’t a climate, how can we enjoy art? Who will enjoy art when the world is all shriveled up? Global warming is an ongoing crisis.  

Global warming is an ongoing crisis. We know. We all feel the effects, from hotter summers to more frequent flooding, the effects of global warming become more prominent every day. But as a normal person, there is only so much one can do. We aren’t all the carefree teenagers who have time to throw soup at paintings in museums. Most of us are working members of society who probably do care about the environment but don’t have the money to go fully green when we are on a low budget with a family to care for. Some of us are trying to earn degrees while having to work full-time. Not all of us are able to risk everything in the hopes that gluing ourselves to walls will actually accomplish anything.  

Eco-vandalists need more repercussions. For one, we should stop paying so much attention to their antics. When they don’t get as much news coverage, they are bound to stop. On top of that they should be liable for things like the tickets of everyone who was in the venue that day. 

So at the end of the day, global warming is an issue that needs attention. But we aren’t all main characters of storybooks with the ability to risk it all. We need to be able to address climate change while still giving people the enjoyment of their vacations. A world without climate change doesn’t matter if everyone living inside isn’t able to enjoy cultural creativity. 

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About the Contributors
Anvita Singh, News Editor
Anvita joined journalism because she enjoys learning about current events and posting about them in an engaging and informative way. She did J1 as a freshman, where she made friends and learned about different writing styles. Anvita's goal for the year is to explore the world of photography more. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, speech and debate, and volunteering with animals in San Francisco. If she could be anyone on the Tribune, she would be Mr. Bathke to see the Tribune from a different perspective.
Neetra Chakraborty, Art & Graphics Editor
Neetra has done journalism since her freshmen year and the Tribune feels like a home to her after two years. This year, she wants to write more and expand her reach, including trying multimedia and other genres of journalism she hasn't tried before. An interesting fact about her is that she has lived in the U.S., India, and Japan. If she could be anyone in the Tribune, she would be Shreya A. because she's such a girlboss and Neetra admires her a lot.

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