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Why Just Stop Oil is Bad for the Planet

Why Just Stop Oil is Bad for the Planet

We get asked quite often “do you support Just Stop Oil” and the answer “Absolutely not”, usually surprises people.

We look at Just Stop Oil as well meaning but ill informed and misdirected, their are a number of reasons for this.

I once had a climate activist say to me that 

“my feeling do not agree with your facts”  but in reality , my facts just don't care about their feelings.


This emotive way of looking at the environment means they are actually missing the key facts, which are -

  1. The UK produces 1% of the worlds Co2 and China produces 32.8% of the worlds Co2 , so unless we deal with China's emissions, nothing we do will move the dial.
  2. The UK has reduced it's Co2 by 58.6% since 1970, in the same time China has increased it's Co2 output by 526%, so once again if we don't encourage China to make the change, the dial just won't budge in a positive direction.
  3. The UK now uses 66% less oil and gas than in 1999, so the UK is working quickly towards eradicating all fossil fuels in their energy industry, so the battle is already won.
  4. The UK will phase out coal powered energy plants this year (not oil but a harmful fossil fuel), whereas China has 1142.
  5. The UK has only 32 gas powered facilities and is on track to phase these out by 2035 (dependant on the small reactor program), the US has 987.
  6. Oil can not be phased out quickly, it is predicted that we will need oil until 2035 to 2050 so if we don't extract from the UK , we have to import the oil which add 286% more Co2 than UK extraction.
  7. Just Stop Oil's activism actually disengages people and drives them away from asking the right questions or being aware of what the questions, below.

Key Questions to ask

  1. How do we encourage China to make sustainable and environmentally positive choices. ( there is a simple answer to this but we will leave this for another time).
  2. How do we create enough economic growth that the UK can move even faster to sustainable energy (Spoiler alert we extract more and use the money to fund change).
  3. If we just stopped oil today, what would be the outcome, or to put it simply , what would be the overall damage to the UK and how much would this change the issue with increased Co2 in the atmosphere ( it wouldn't but we should still ask it).
  4. Why do we insist on a barrier approach “you are the problem" and not provide a solution led approach “Just make changes and pressurise our political system to be a driver for change”

There are a number of economic reasons for UK oil and gas extraction and the extra income for the UK would accelerate our own move to a sustainable energy mix, but this level of change requires money or time and without money this leaves the worst possible outcome, a long drawn out phasing out program.


To Sum Up

Just Stop Oil has choices, they can continue to drive people away from their admirable but misaligned ideals with their PR stunts ( or if we are less charitable - Vandalism) or they can target the problem,by putting pressure on China to make the move to environmentally aligned economic model that has the potential to have a very real and large environmental benefit for the planet

If we were in charge of @juststopoil we would start targeting China, we would be encouraging UK politics to extract its own oil and gas to benefit the environment and to increase the UK's wealth.

We would also be encouraging our politicians to ring fence extraction income into investing (not grants which enrich their friends but not the country) renewable energy creations.

Wealth gives us choices that poverty doesn't and it saddens me that @juststopoil is confusing the public into redirecting their anger in the wrong direction, they are also stifling debate as we have become obsessed with talking about the problem while offering no solution. 

 Let's start framing the debate into positive action and not disengaging stunts, as we can turn this around but we need to ask the right questions and people need to know what those questions are.


These views are the views of the writer and may or may not reflect the views of The Pure Option team or the company as a whole.


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I'm glad your company is not blindly supporting this terrible and frankly evil organisation. I'm persuaded that deep down, Just Stop Oil has selfish and vain motives. They are attention-seeking provocateurs whose cause is destruction. I will be trying out your products.


It surprises people Dee but we actually think their form of activism is actually bad for debate as they are disengaging people and they are framing the debate in the wrong way.

If the UK adopted their demands it would completely destroy the UK financially, wouldn't make any difference and would have no positive outcomes.

The big issue is that while everyone talks about ending fossil fuel extraction in the UK, they are not talking about the 286% more carbon we are creating by importing our gas and oil, and that's before we actually talk about the financial implications.

We need mature and grown up debate on the environment which includes how little a difference the UK can make and the huge difference the big 4 polluters could make.