Climate Change Skepticism shows its Face at Rotterdam Climate March

Climate March going over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
Climate March passing over the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

Last week’s Climate March in Rotterdam might have actually made some people rethink what they thought they knew about climate change. While most of the signs people were holding at the protest had contents along the lines of “Rotterdam Coal-Free” or “Our Harbour, Our Future,” that was not the only message portrayed. Whoever took a closer look at the crowds might have spotted a man holding two white Hema folders with sheets of A4 paper taped on them reading “Convenient lies? Or hard Truths? Get the hard Truth here!” Meet Jiri Teunis, one of a handful of climate change deniers amongst the crowd.

Jiri with his signs asking people to question him about climate change.

While at first, it might seem counterintuitive to try to convince anti-coal protesters that man-made climate change is fake, this is exactly what Mr Teunis decided to do. Having attended the 2016 Monsanto March in Amsterdam before this, he felt this march would be the perfect opportunity to spread his message to “people that are open to new thoughts.”

According to Teunis, the main reason he chose to attend this protest is that he was disappointed in the attitude of its organizers. When he confronted Rotterdams Klimaat Initiatief – the organizers of the Climate March – with his views on climate change, he felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously. According to him, RKI compared them to “the moon being made of cheese,” among others.

“When everybody is looking to the right, I want to see what’s going on on the left.”

The 43-year-old born Rotterdammer, who was admittedly under the influence of LSD, seemed relatively indifferent to the possibly damaging effects of burning coal. “We have so many things to think about already. We’re discovering so many new things. Why worry about this? This is a great time to be alive,” Jiri said. The latter might not hold for everyone present at the climate march, however. Moments after Jiri spoke these words, the representatives of RKI exited the building of the World Port Center to inform the protesters that the organisation would be pursuing its goal of continuing the processing of coal for the next 25 years. Turns out that the few climate change sceptics that were present might have gotten the best outcome after all.

Jiri and Tiem
Jiri discussing carbon dioxide data with AUC student Tiem van der Deure.

2 gedachten over “Climate Change Skepticism shows its Face at Rotterdam Climate March”

  1. Interview notes:

    Jiri Teunis
    Iedereen kijkt rechts —> ik links
    Monsanto mars amsterdam
    2016
    Gen manip (appeal to nature)
    dagelijks mee bezig
    Gisteren begonnen
    Org: Maan is van kaas
    Scientism (believe)
    Ben niet makkelijk
    Iedereen wil gehoord worden
    Elektrisch unik.
    Symbolen in de lucht
    Goden op mars (thunderbolts prog. YT)
    Syms. of an alien
    Draai hemel
    Rechts —> links
    Rotterdam geboren
    43

    Theo Koning
    72
    Elektrotechnicus
    Waar komt el. vandaan?
    Generatoren
    Klokken kroa.
    Schepen
    Dieselmotoren
    Beneden
    Dekgenerator
    Sun’s electric
    Niet skeptisch
    Kolen gebr -> niet nodig
    Vulkanische energie
    Rotterdammers
    T: Niet geboren (Waarland)

    – Extra:
    Krick
    Dna
    lsd (beide)
    Geloven
    Bewustzijn (veld)
    Rupert sheldrik
    “Openstaan” parachute

  2. Climate Change Skepticism shows its Face at Rotterdam Climate March [A CLEAR AND INFORMATIVE HEADLINE, AND SETS UP YOUR STORY WELL. ONE PLACE FOR IMPROVEMENT WOULD BE SOME INDICATION OF WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS UNUSUAL IN GENERAL AND HOW UNUSUAL THIS INSTANCE IS]

    [YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE WHO CAPTIONED THEIR PHOTOS, SO BRAVO TO YOU]

    Last week’s Climate March in Rotterdam might have actually made some people rethink what they thought they knew about climate change. [I THINK I SEE WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR HERE (ACTIVISM INTENDS TO CHANGE MINDS, BUT WHAT IF SOME MINDS ARE CHANGED IN THE OTHER DIRECTION?) BUT IT NEEDS A LITTLE MORE SETTING UP] While most of the signs people were holding at the protest had contents along the lines of “Rotterdam Coal-Free” or “Our Harbour, Our Future,” that was not the only message portrayed. [THIS HERE SEEMS LIKE ANOTHER LEAD; YOU NEED TO CHOOSE ONE AND STICK WITH IT] Whoever took a closer look at the crowds might have spotted a man holding two white Hema [THIS IS A GOOD DETAIL–IS THIS A FACT OR A GUESS?] folders with sheets of A4 paper taped on them reading “Convenient lies? Or hard Truths? Get the hard Truth here!” Meet Jiri Teunis, one of a handful of climate change deniers amongst the crowd. [MY PREFERENCE WOULD BE THE SECOND LEAD–IT’S MORE DEVELOPED AND MORE SPECIFIC. AND SOMEWHERE IN THESE FIRST TWO GRAFS YOU NEED TO INDICATE WHAT THE MARCH SOUGHT TO DO (PROTEST/LIMIT THE CONTRACT EXTENSION). OTHERWISE YOUR KICKER KIND OF COMES OUT OF NOWHERE.]

    While at first [WHILE > WHILE AT FIRST], it might seem counterintuitive to try to convince anti-coal protesters that man-made climate change is fake, this is exactly what Mr Teunis decided to do. Having attended the 2016 Monsanto March in Amsterdam [WHICH WAS INTENDED TO DO WHAT? AND WAS HE ALSO COUNTERPROTESTING THERE, TOO?] before this, he felt this march would be the perfect opportunity to spread his message [OF WHAT?] to “people that are open to new thoughts.”

    According to Teunis, the main reason he chose to attend this protest is that he was disappointed in the attitude of its organizers. When he confronted Rotterdams Klimaat Initiatief [(RKI)]– the organizers of the Climate March – with his views on climate change, he felt like he wasn’t being taken seriously. According to him, RKI compared them to “the moon being made of cheese,” among others. [AMONG OTHER INSULTS?]

    The 43-year-old born [DO YOU MEAN NATIVE?] Rotterdammer, who was admittedly [HERE IT’S BETTER IF YOU SAY: WHO ADMITTED HE HAD TAKEN LSD EARLIER THAT MORNING (OR WHATEVER THE TIME FRAME WAS)] under the influence of LSD, seemed relatively indifferent to the possibly damaging effects of burning coal. “We have so many things to think about already. [ATTRIBUTION GOES HERE] We’re discovering so many new things. Why worry about this? This is a great time to be alive,” Jiri [IF ADULT, USE SURNAME] said. [THIS QUOTE DOESN’T QUITE PARSE WITH THE INTRODUCTION.] The latter might not hold for everyone present at the climate march, however [CUT THIS LINE–YOU DON’T NEED IT AND IT VERGES ON EDITORIALIZING ANYWAY]. Moments after Jiri spoke these words, the representatives of RKI exited the building of the World Port Center to inform the protesters that the organisation would be pursuing its goal of continuing the processing of coal for the next 25 years [THIS IS AN IMPORTANT LINE BUT IT’S REALLY UNCLEAR AS WRITTEN]. Turns out that the few climate change sceptics that were present might have gotten the best outcome after all. [YES, THIS KICKER WORKS, BUT IT’S MORE EDITORIALIZING THAN IS PREFERABLE IN A NEWS BRIEF. DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE FROM TEUNIS IN REACTION TO THE NEWS? THAT WOULD BE MORE LOGICAL TO USE. BUT GIVEN THAT THE STORY IS ABOUT A CHARACTER, AND ALREADY KIND OF VEERS AWAY FROM A STRAIGHT NEWS BRIEF (IT’S MORE LIKE A “SCENER”), AS AN EDITOR I’D PROBABLY BE OK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT HERE.]

    KLAAS,
    REALLY NICE WORK HERE. YOU’VE DONE A GREAT JOB OF FINDING A STORY, REPORTING IT OUT, AND THEN ARRANGING YOUR MATERIAL IN A COHERENT STRUCTURE. IT STARTS WITH A GOOD SENSE OF WHAT THIS PROTEST MIGHT OFFER YOU AS A JOURNALIST. THERE’S INHERENT CONFLICT, LOTS OF PEOPLE, PROBABLY HIGH EMOTIONS–CHAOS AS YOU CALLED IT IN YOUR PITCH–SO THERE STANDS TO REASON THAT THERE’D BE SOMETHING NEWSWORTHY TO COVER. BUT OF COURSE YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIND/RECOGNIZE THAT NEWSWORTHY THING, WHICH YOU DID. SO THE PREMISE AND THE REPORTING ARE STRONG. THE WRITING HAS SOME ISSUES, AS DOES THE LEAD, AND WHILE THESE ARE FROM A PRACTICAL STANDPOINT FAIRLY EASILY ADDRESSED, THEY ARE THINGS TO TRY AND WORK ON GOING FORWARD. AND AS I NOTE, YOU TAP INTO A LARGER ISSUE OF COUNTERPROTESTING. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, WE’RE PRETTY FAMILIAR WITH COUNTERPROTESTING GOING ONE WAY: PROGRESSIVE COUNTERPROTESTERS AT FASCIST/POPULIST/WHATEVER RALLIES. AND IT IS INDEED KIND OF UNEXPECTED TO SEE IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. BUT GIVEN OUR CURRENT CLIMATE, I WONDER IF THINGS ARE CHANGING. ARE CERTAIN GROUPS THAT WOULDN’T HAVE COME OUT BEFORE NOW FEELING EMBOLDENED TO COUNTERPROTEST AT PROGRESSIVE RALLIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS? SOMETHING FOR YOU TO EXPLORE FOR THE ENTERPRISE PROJECT IF IT INTERESTS YOU. GRADE: 80 (A-)

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