Issues & Insights

Extinction Rebellion Founder Confirms That Global Warming Is Voodoo Science

I&I Editorial

Global warming protests, past the point of absurdity long ago, have become even more extreme thanks to a relatively new group from England. The founder’s background shows exactly why the organization has chosen to engage in the mindless behavior it’s become known for.

Though she has a doctorate in molecular biophysics, Extinction Rebellion architect Gail Bradbrook, called a “neo-pagan” by Britain’s Daily Mail, intentionally went down a path filled with folklore, superstition, tribal rites, and primitive hallucinogenics.

She’s a “lifelong activist,” reports CNN, who has “spent decades working on an array of social justice campaigns,” though few ever lead to real change. So, “in order to bring about real, radical change, Bradbrook felt like something inside her consciousness needed to be unlocked.”

In search of whatever she thought was missing, Bradbrook “traveled to the jungle-covered mountains of Costa Rica,” where she found “a psychedelic retreat.”

There she gulped “a flood dose of Iboga, a tree bark used to induce visions,”  consumed Kambo, “the poisonous secretion of a giant tree frog hailed for its healing powers,” and drank a “hallucinogenic brew” called ayahuasca.

“All,” reports CNN, “have been used in indigenous cultures for centuries as part of Shamanic spiritual rituals.”

In a story earlier this year, Bradbrook told the Daily Mail she had been focused on rabble rousing since 2010 and had “tried many things.” When “they didn’t work,” Bradbrook said she “went on a retreat and prayed in a deep way with some psychedelic medicines.” This appears to be the same event described by CNN, in which, under the influence of ayahuasca, Bradbrook sought the counsel of supernatural forces, praying for “the universe to show her the ‘codes for social change.'”

Then “two years later,” says CNN, “Extinction Rebellion was born.” We imagine the “mystic ‘moon circles'” Bradbrook held with female XR colleagues “inside a tepee, at which they ingest another ‘natural’ drug, mugwort, used by ancient Celts,” as reported by the Daily Mail, probably started soon thereafter.

Bradbrook’s, well, let’s call them idiosyncracies, explain a lot about Extinction Rebellion. It has employed such dopy stunts as blocking the entrance to an airport, claiming ownership of it, invading its secure areas, and climbing atop a jetliner. It once “protested” by spraying fake blood from a retired fire truck, and has blocked automobile and foot traffic in New York City, Washington, D.C., and London. Some of its dimmer members have glued themselves to government buildings, at least one train, and the ground.

Bradbrook herself was arrested this fall for “criminal damage after allegedly smashing a bullet-proof window at the Home Office with a chisel and hammer,” according to the British Metro news.

“In her police interview the defendant said she acted to draw attention to the cause and compared her actions to the suffragettes in smashing windows to get the vote,” Metro reported.

Extinction Rebellion’s foolishness has had no impact on the climate nor greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s made life miserable for the commuters and travelers who have been the victims of XR’s tantrums. One group’s “civil disobedience” is another’s intolerable nuisance.

We can hear the chirping out there, telling us that Bradbrook’s wizardry and XR’s bizarre behavior do not undercut the “science” of the global warming narrative. But they do. In fact, they confirm the observation that the global warming movement is itself a religious cult.

The bible of climate alarmism defines sin (burning fossil fuels), offers absolution (going green), demands proselytization (which looks a lot like bullying) and indoctrination (teachers filling young minds with their political views), encourages zealotry (obvious to all but the zealots), and even designates a savior (Greta Thunberg). Within the alarmist belief system, there exists “absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability,” and zero “tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.”

What a world we live in. A scientist abandons her discipline, replaces it with a witch doctor’s mysticism, and yet it’s the global warming skeptics, not the members of the Ouija board crowd, who are constantly condemned for being “anti-science.”

— Written by J. Frank Bullitt

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • If you wish to be taken seriously, please begin to proof read your articles.
    It should be ‘passed the point etc’ not “past the point”. When the opening statement of an editorial comment contains 4th grade spelling error, especially on such a serious topic, it passes the point of absurdity to take it seriously.

    • There seems to be some debate about this. Meantime, perhaps you’d consider joining our all-volunteer team as a proofreader?

    • Dude, I’ve been a professional editor for 20 years. People make mistakes. People who think they are clever for pointing them out and who think it means something are meaningless and boring.

    • You are incorrect. If the opening sentence had read “Global warming protests past the point…” you would have been grammatically correct. The comma changes everything. The protests are past the point of absurdity. To use passed with the comma is just plain wrong. They are past the point of absurdity, as was your comment. There was no need to “fix” the offending passage in the story. God luck in the 5th grade.

    • Nope–yer wrong (yet again?). You’re reading the sentence incorrectly. We suppose that at a race track you’d say ‘first passed the post’.

  • “Ecology as a social principle . . . condemns cities, culture, industry, technology, the intellect, and advocates men’s return to “nature,” to the state of grunting subanimals digging the soil with their bare hands.” – Ayn Rand

    • Which is, ironically, the dystopian societal state the polyannas denying human-aided climate change would land us in if we don’t make use of the shrinking window to initiate global counter measures. But wait, maybe this poster, and the editors here are right; maybe we should ignore the clear science produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other such august bodies until every extremist voice is silenced. Of course, then we’re left with the very sober and balanced voices of many like VP Mike Pence on the other side who often make reference to “God’s will” in matters regarding scientific outcomes.

      • Or perhaps we should do what mankind and and all organic presents has done on the every changing planet. Adopt and overcome. Mankind lives on the highest terrain, coldest climates, in the desserts in the hottest climates, under the oceans on on the moon. Get over climate change and get on with life.

      • Mr. Koch, Your suggestion to “adapt and overcome” in regards to climate change sounds a lot like “grin and bear it”. With that approach, I believe mankind might still be searching for a cure to the bubonic plague.

      • “Or perhaps we should do what mankind and and all organic presents has done on the every changing planet. Adopt and overcome.”

        Yeah. Except for the times that the changing planet causes humans to die and species to go extinct.

  • The strategy is not new:

    Lysenkoism: In modern usage, the term lysenkoism has become distinct from normal pseudoscience. Where pseudoscience pretends to be science, lysenkoism aims at attacking the legitimacy of science itself, usually for political reasons. It is the rejection of the universality of scientific truth, and the deliberate defamation of the scientific method to the level of politics.

  • What utter nonsense. The recent activities of one, or even of many, misguided activists, do not discount the science.

    • What science? Real science welcomes contrary views of hypotheses that can be tested for viability.

    • What people like you claim as “the science” sort of discounts itself in that it is almost entirely focused on co2 and ignores the effects of land use and/or particulate pollution. The movement among activist scientists playing with co2 models to discount, play down, or otherwise deny the little ice age to highlight recent warming doesn’t help either. The earth has been warming since the little ice age, which is the expected response. It is known that land use and waste heat create urban heat islands. Irrigation of arid land creates pockets of humidity and heats the local micro-climate. It’s not just co2.

      This does not mean that co2 has no role or that anthropogenic warming isn’t happening; it most certainly is, and this likely exacerbates the little ice age recovery. But the laser focus on co2 and claims of “the science” usually indicates the writer doesn’t actually know any more than what most call “deniers.”

      And finally, silly over the top activists and their supporters are the very creator of denialism. Climate denial takes 2 major forms: 1] denial of science, aka the ‘it’s a hoax” crowd, and 2] denial that a complete reforming of society is the answer to dealing with the causes of climate change. All too often politicians use climate change as a mechanism to attack the problem they want to solve; just look at the Green New Deal. Activists create denialists; they do not appear by themselves.

      The writer is correct to call out this form of activism. There can be no progress until *both* sides of any debate are at least speaking the same language.

      • “What people like you claim as “the science” sort of discounts itself in that it is almost entirely focused on co2 and ignores the effects of land use and/or particulate pollution.”

        False. Climate science does not ignore those.

        “The earth has been warming since the little ice age”

        False. It has been in a long-term cooling trend for 6000 years, until the recent AGW. The LIA was a mere blip in the cooling trend.

    • Actually, there’s no legitimate “science” to discount–AGW is at best bad “science” and at worst an outright fraud.

  • “Extinction Rebellion’s foolishness has had no impact on the climate nor greenhouse gas emissions…”

    Not true: the traffic jams they create increase greenhouse gas emissions.

  • One can accept global warming as true or denounce it as fact, but one thing is true for sure, which is that the author’s thesis is without scientific merit.

    The truth or falsity of a proposition is not made more true or false by evidence that one of its adherents is or is not nutcase.

    The evidence presented by the author may be taken as the activist in question is a nutcase or someone you’d like to have shared the 60s with, but neither her lifestyle or activism has anything to do with whether putting “x” amount of CO2 into the atmosphere over “y” time period will make the climate generally warmer.

    • Did you even read the article? The author was not attempting to re-litigate the co2 argument or defend or deny “global warming”. He was highlighting how unhinged the alarmist crowd has become, along with their hypocrisy in embracing wholly unscientific approaches in the goal of convincing the unwoke masses of the “settled science” of global warming.

      The second-to-last paragraph nails it, along with providing a good laugh.

    • The author’s thesis isn’t about science; it’s about the role of activists disrupting or otherwise defocusing the argument. And in this he is absolutely correct. Many of us are perfectly accepting of the science of warming, but I would fight Green New Deal to my last breath. Yes I’m well aware than in some circles that would qualify me as a full on denier. For many of us, the activist/politician crowd advocating societal change and discounting nuclear energy is a dead giveaway that the *actual* goal has sod all to do with climate, but with power and money. For that matter if a politician said what we needed was a national Manhattan Project level of effort to deploy spaceborne solar power, I would cheer and gladly pay whatever tax is necessary. But to have politicians pressing us to tax ourselves silly and rape oil corporations and blow the national budget on windmills and other frippery well known to not work — no, no, and no.

      What is called denial is rarely the denial of the science, but the denial of upending society for no tangible payoff. If the activist crowd wanted to create law to make it easier and put big $$$ into nuclear power plants and other plans that can actually benefit society, there would be no deniers.

  • Ha: I’d like an edit function on this site myself.

    So, pretend my post was edited, lol.

  • The article doesn’t describe how XR proves the Climate Crisis is rooted in “voodoo science,” instead it’s a judgemental piece about one of its members who does some practices that exist outside of societal norms.

    One group’s actions calls attention to the most serious problem facing humanity outside a nuclear holocaust, and it doesn’t negate the fact that: carbon and methane trap heat, the global temperature is rising, a huge swath of Australia is on fire, we’re having more extreme weather events, and the ocean is acidifying. Solutions can be debated, but the danger of publications like yours, inflammatory and false headlines like yours, needs to be called out. You all need to read some science lit.

  • It’s ironic that climate change activists are the real climate change deniers. The climate has changed continuously since the earth was formed. Stopping it is impossible – just a waste of trillions of dollars in fealty to the climate change religion.

    • What you are describing is natural climate cycles. Our 45% increase in CO2 has overwhelmed natural cycles, causing faster warming and already warmer global average temperatures than have occurred before in human history. We have to stop it, or it will cause a mass extinction, and kill a lot of humans.

  • Two-thirds of a century ago, a Nobel Prize winning chemist, Irving Langmuir, came up with a phrase “pathological science.” Pathological science manifests as a belief system claiming, but lacking, scientific demonstration. In practise, it turns real science on its head–real science starts with observations and tries to derive theories that explain the observations; pathological science starts with a desired theory and looks for confirmation of that theory while dismissing, ignoring, and/or trying to suppress any observation or dissent that tends to refute the desired theory.

    Climate “science” is a pathological “science” determined to convict humans of causing “climate change” and ignoring or “adjusting” contrary observations while simultaneously smearing, libelling, and trying to suppress dissenting points of view.

    Sounds a lot like religious fanaticism, doesn’t it?

  • For guidance, Bradbrook should try aligning crystals instead of ingesting psychedelics. The outcomes won’t be any more valid, but they’ll certainly be less toxic.

  • “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

    “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! 
    This never gets old LOL!

    • You’ve captured perfectly why this kid needs therapy. That degree of anxiety and dysphoria is not normal.

  • Frank Bullit is right to draw attention to the crazed behavior of the XR crowd, but attributing Zir Birkinstock’s motivations to Zir’s preledictions for psychedelic recreational pharmaceuticals misses the mark.

    Note that Zir Birkenstock is a perennial protester. A regressive fighting for the end of free market democracy. Any cause will do. But suddenly, there is one ring to rule them all. Why?

    In the Venn diagram of reputation destroying political positions, there are many circles occupied by regressives. “We can tax our way to prosperity”. “All cultures are equal”. “Islam is the religion of peace”. “There are 57 genders”. “Trump colluded with Russia” …

    But there is one ring that encircles them all: all regressives believed the AGW conjecture, and worse, vilified sceptics defending the scientific method. And they did so in the Age of the Internet, the age of permanent record. When the AGW hoax falls, so does every regressive. This is why Zir Birkenstock really fights.

    2019 has been a great year for defenders of the scientific method. Saint Greta of Thunderbirds (you can see the strings) was comedy gold. XR chained themselves to heavy machinery, glued themselves to roads and finally tried nude protests, (hiding their inadequacies behind placards).

    In 2020, AGW sceptics hope that Zir Birkenstock’s climate warriors triple their efforts. We want to see nude protesters, glued to the road with their dangly bits chained to heavy machinery driven by folks who don’t care for climate botherers.

    PS. The foundation claim of the entire radiative greenhouse conjecture: “surface Tav of 255 Kelvin in absence of radiative atmosphere” is in error by around 60 Kelvin. Imagine using an instantaneous radiative balance equation to determine solar thermal gain in water?! Clowns …

  • Any cause that has as its solution a significant reduction of human liberty and the collection of exorbitant amounts of money to greatly expand and empower government is collectivism masquerading as a cause.

  • Doesn’t matter whether you believe in climate change or not–it’s democratic, not a religion. One thing that’s for sure and everybody who’s not a complete fool can see is that there is accelerating environmental degradation around the whole beleaguered planet. All those disposables and plastics are gonna catch up and result in Huge trouble. Fix this and you appease the global warming junkies too. Ignore it and you wind up with the same endgame as climate change.

  • We cannot predict when the next ice age will happen, yet we know they have occurred many times in the past and will occur again in the future.

    Accepting the premise that man-made global warming is real, might it not be a good thing if its effects counter the next ice age when it inevitably arrives?

    • If the greenhouse gases are down enough that the natural cycles are able to cause an ice age, might it not be a good thing if we had enough fossil fuels left to prevent it when we need to?

  • My psych professor taught us a valuable lesson about scientists years ago. In order to get funding for scientific research, you need to prove a need for such research and that usually entailed a distaste that could happen if we don’t find a way to avert it. The people would just quote a different pie chart skewed in such a way to look like there’s a problem when really there wasn’t.

    I’ve listened to and read both sides of this issue and a particular scientist who has nothing to gain either way, has it correct, in that he shows HOW the climate alarmists are using only small pieces of temperature charts to try to make their point about climate change, when if they showed the entire chart, would show a pattern of cyclical cooling and warming periods that have consistently been happening for hundreds of years.

    The fact that Al Gore owns a large home on the ocean, Private jet, and owns a company that buys and sells carbon ‘credits’ for profit, owns 2 SUVs AND sells his TV channel to an oil-producing nation like Qatar, kind tells me that he doesn’t think HE has to make any changes to HIS lifestyle, but only us.

    None of his Inconvenient Truth ‘facts’ were true, and none of the predictions came true, yet he still flies to these climate conferences as 26,500 did a few weeks ago in Spain, creating more ‘bad’ carbon in the process. It’s just a nice vacation for them yet they don’t do what they preach. Do any of you people who believe this climate change BS see the blatant hypocrisy the climate alarmists are feeding you?

    Go on YouTube and watch how easily real scientists who have no skin in the game of research dollars to survive on, say about the data on climate. Don’t fall for the snake oil they’re peddling.

    If the climate people really want to help the earth, try starting with using video conferencing like what is done on the Internet, and do your climate hysteria in a non-carbon producing way. You need to walk the walk. You aren’t fooling those of us that have done our research.

    • The few climate scientists you think have “no skin in the game” are mostly either funded by fossil fuel companies, or they have religious or political motivations.

      We have left the natural cycles behind by increasing atmospheric CO2 by 45%. We now have the highest global average annual temperatures in 3 million years, and the fastest warming known.

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