HOW EXTINCTION REBELLION SHIFTED THE OVERTON WINDOW

The Earthbound Report

The Overton Window, as you may remember, is a way of understanding which ideas are politically viable and which are considered impossible or radical. If an idea is within the window, it can be discussed and will be taken seriously. If it lies outside of it, a politician will be risking their career and credibility if they support it.

According to its originator, ideas move through a spectrum towards official acceptance. They start out unthinkable, and move to radical, acceptable, sensible, popular, and finally they get adopted as policy.

Robust action on climate change had a moment ten years ago when the Climate Change Act was passed with cross-party support. The failure of the Copenhagen talks took the wind out of its sails, and the financial crisis overwhelmed it with other priorities. A decade of Conservative government has pushed climate change into the margins, with some in the party…

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