Made You Look. Tomato Soup Stunt got Clicks for Climate

October 18, 2022

File under Soup/Two nuts.
Follow up on the Van Gogh/Soup girl.
If the idea was to get attention, it worked. No word yet on whether it moves the needle on actually deploying new clean energy. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, you have to admit, it got more ink and clicks than the poor misguided soul who literally lit himself on Fire last spring.


“We’re doing these actions to get media attention because we need to get people talking about this now,” one of the protesters, Phoebe Plummer, said in a video. “And we know that civil resistance works. History has shown us that it works.”

“Is art worth more than life? More than food? More than justice?” The group tweeted alongside a photo of the two protesters. “The cost-of-living crisis and climate crisis is driven by oil and gas.” 

Plummer said she recognizes that it seems ridiculous to cover a famous painting in soup, and stressed that she would have never done it if the painting wasn’t encased in glass. The oil painting wasn’t damaged by the soup throwing, but its frame was. 

The National Gallery released a statement after the protest, confirming that the “painting is unharmed,” despite “minimal damages to the frame.” The museum did not address the politics behind the protest. 

“We’re not asking the question ‘Should everybody be throwing soup on paintings?’” Plummer said. “What we’re doing is getting the conversation going so we can ask the questions that matter.”

To her that means asking why the U.K.’s recently appointed prime minister, Liz Truss, is approving over 100 new fossil fuel licenses. Why are fossil fuels subsidized 30 times more than renewables, when offshore wind is nine times cheaper? And why, when winter comes, will people be forced to choose between “heating and eating”?

and, BTW, she’s right about the competitive price of offshore wind.

Carbon Brief:

A UK government auction has secured a record 11 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity that will generate electricity nine times more cheaply than current gas prices.

The projects are all due to start operating within the next five years up to 2026/27 and have agreed to generate electricity for an average price of £48 per megawatt hour (MWh) in today’s money. This is nine times cheaper than the £446/MWh current cost of running gas-fired power stations.

(Update 24/08/2022: The article was updated with the latest power prices, which have risen significantly.)

Most of the new capacity – some 7GW – will be offshore wind. Notably, for the first time, these projects were cheaper than the 1.5GW of onshore wind or 2.2GW of solar.

Once the pre-approved projects are built, Carbon Brief estimates they will generate 45 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year, enough to meet around 14% of current UK demand.

Analysts said they would also save consumers an estimated £1.5bn per year in the late 2020s and cut annual average bills by £58, with most of the projects effectively subsidy-free.


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