An American businessman who funded Just Stop Oil, known for their activism as “results” and claimed the group was alienating them, could win.
Trevor Neilson co-founded the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), which funded Extinction Rebellion and JSO, but has since resigned, describing their strategies as “counterproductive”.
The 50-year-old California businessman stepped down in 2021 but has since vowed to speak out to criticize the teams’ methods of protesting, as well as “slow marches” and roadblocks.
In addition, JSO has disrupted major events, including the Rugby Cup most recently at Twickenham and the Epsom derby, with Wimbledon believed to be the next sporting event under threat.
“It’s become a distraction for the sake of distraction,” Neilson advised The Times. “Working people trying to get to work, putting their kids through school, going through a brutal cost of living crisis in the UK, they have a hierarchy of needs.
Trevor Neilson co-founded the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), the group that funded Extinction Rebellion and JSO after the 2018 California wildfires (file image)
JSO has also disrupted major events including the Rugby Cup final at Twickenham and the Epsom derby, with Wimbledon believed to be the next sporting event to be threatened.
Neilson was once an enthusiastic supporter of the climate groups’ controversial tactics, but said he was increasingly troubled by their activities.
“Having a pink-haired, tattooed and pierced protester standing by the car at the same time that their child is late for an exam that day doesn’t encourage them to join the movement,” he advised. times.
“It’s just performative. It achieves nothing. I absolutely believe that it has become counterproductive now and I just feel that someone who was involved in the beginning of it needs to be told.
The passionate environmental activist created the foundation after the wildfires that swept through his neighborhood in Malibu in 2018.
He acknowledged that while his work in sustainability was conducted at a sheltered distance from the actual effects of local climate change, however, his lived experience was compromised.
Current executive director Margaret Klein Salamon rebuked his criticism of where CEF funding is allocated.
Disruptive activism, similar to that of XR and JSO, is “the most effective force to start a conversation” during a local weather disaster, she said.
“We are sleepwalking off a cliff and activists are waking us up,” she declared. “You better do that than go off a cliff.”