Climate Change Vandals Attack Stonehenge!

Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge, 2005. Photo: Andrew Dunn. Creative Commons.

The prehistoric stone circle monument at Stonehenge was constructed over 5000 years ago in Neolithic Briton. It was constructed in phases from 3100 BC to around 1600 BC. Who built it and why remains an enigma. 

Another mystery is, why did a duo of deranged eco-extremists from Just Stop Oil attack Stonehenge on June 19, 2024? At around 11:00 am, the two vandals used fire extinguishers filled with what they said was tinted cornflour, to splatter the monument in bright orange. An additional puzzle, what tinted the cornflour?

English Heritage, the charity organization responsible for the National Heritage Collection of the United Kingdom, released a statement through its official Stonehenge account on X:

“Orange powdered paint has been thrown at a number of the stones at Stonehenge. Obviously, this is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage. More updates to follow but the site remains open.”

Just Stop Oil video showing vandalization of Stonehenge.

A person in a raincoat and cap and a man in a hoodie, vainly tried to stop the vandalism, but the damage was done. The police arrived after the fact and arrested the two “on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.” The arrestees were Niamh Lynch, 21, from Oxford, and Rajan Naidu, 73, from Birmingham. May their names go down in infamy.

The vandalism was purposefully carried out one day before the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year. Crowds have traditionally gathered in the thousands to watch the sun rise between the imposing prehistoric stones.

I gasped in horror when I viewed what Just Stop Oil had done. Their aim is not to save the planet, their intent is to bury Western civilization. When such a group plans and carries out pillaging raids against historic Western cultural targets, it’s time to shut that organization down.

Predictably, Just Stop Oil said the world is going to end due to the “continued burning of oil, coal and gas” which is leading to imminent “death and suffering on an unparalleled scale.” The big-headed, vainglorious militants posed a question to the people: “It’s time for us to think about what our civilization will leave behind—what is our legacy? Standing inert for generations works well for stones… not climate policy.”

The two Just Stop Oil vandals sit and wait arrest after damaging the Stonehenge monument. Photo: Just Stop Oil.

The eco-vandals acted out their idea of a solution by defacing the United Kingdom’s 5000 year old cultural icon. The vandals released a statement on their X account, saying: “The orange cornflower we used will soon wash away with the rain, but the urgent need for effective government action to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the climate and ecological crisis will not.”

Stonehenge is protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The act is a fairly long document full of legalese, but it makes it clear that it is a criminal offense to damage the stones. The section reading “Offence of damaging certain ancient monuments” holds the pertinent information:

“A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any protected monument situated in England, shall be guilty of an offence if the person—knowing that it is, knew or ought to have known that it was a protected monument; and intending, intended to destroy or damage the monument or being, was reckless as to whether the monument would be destroyed or damaged: shall be guilty of an offence.

A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum £50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both; or (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.”

Real ecologists have been studying the lichen that grow on the tremendous blocks of stone at Stonehenge. Peter James, former specialist of lichens at London’s Natural History Museum, said recent surveys reveal up to 90 species of rare lichen cover the Stonehenge monument.

The lichen protects the stone, therefore covering the lichen with orange cornflower will likely degrade the lichen layer. Trying to remove the cornflower will damage the lichen. Lack of lichen protection exposes the stones to environmental pollution.

Currently, over 1 million people a year visit Stonehenge. Imagine all those people constantly touching the stones, rubbing away the lichen with human hands. Protecting the lichen layer is why English Heritage decided to ban all visits to the inner circle of stones. Then along come the “ecologists” of Just Stop Oil with their damnable fire extinguishers.

Stonehenge is part of world heritage. It is literally listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is defined by UNESCO as “an incomparable testimony of prehistoric times” and a “unique embodiment of our collective heritage.”

The defilement of a world treasure like Stonehenge is the last straw. What Just Stop Oil did was not “free speech,” it was not “protest,” it was cultural terrorism. Before the terrorsploitation of the eco-extremists gets completely out of hand, the authorities should act accordingly.

A person in a raincoat and cap vainly tried to stop the vandalism.

The Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, posted on X: “Just Stop Oil are a disgrace.” Sunak has pledged that if reelected he will pass no new energy efficiency rules on homeowners and landlords, and he will also oppose the banning of gasoline-powered vehicles.

Ed Davey of the center-left Liberal Democrats, commented on X: “The damage to Stonehenge is a total disgrace and the full force of the law should be brought down on the perpetrators.”

Populist libertarian and Brexit champion Nigel Farage, made a short statement on X: “These people should go to prison. It is alarming that many Labour MPs support the aims of this dangerous organisation.”

While it’s true some in the Labour party may support the goals of Just Stop Oil, the leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer remarked on X: “The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic. Those responsible must face the full force of the law.”

In closing, a final observation about the depredations of Just Stop Oil.

“Stonehenge.” John Constable. Watercolor. 1835.

The British artist John Constable (1776-1837) was one of the UK’s greatest landscape painters. Interestingly enough, in 1835 Constable painted a watercolor he titled Stonehenge. He exhibited the work at the Royal Academy of Summer Exhibitions of 1836. He likely penned the words that described the painting for the exhibit catalog, they read in part: “The mysterious monument of Stonehenge, standing remote on a bare and boundless heath.”

The irony is that a different painting by Constable was attacked by the barbarians of Just Stop Oil on July 4, 2022. Two Just Stop Oil vandals invaded the National Gallery in London, and attacked John Constable’s 1821 oil painting, The Hay Wain. A gorgeous painting of the countryside between Suffolk and Essex, the eco-extremists glued printouts directly onto the surface of the canvas. Then they glued their hands to the antique frame—there was no protective glass over the painting.

I wrote about this incident toward the end of my Sept. 9, 2022 article titled, The Eco-Extremist War on Art.

I had no idea the environmentalist movement would still be implementing such a destructive and misguided strategy two years later.

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