In the name of combating climate change, people will be forbidden to move freely, and in Oxford the implementation of this system has already begun, according to a false narrative that also appeared in Romania. This narrative, just like others, pertains to climate denialism and conspiracy theories according to which global warming is an invention intended to justify the establishment of a so-called eco-dictatorship.
NEWS: “Oxford wants to be the first city in Europe to massively restrict people's freedom of movement. You are only allowed to move where you can walk within 15 minutes. For anything else we will need authorization from the city government. Everything is monitored with roadblocks and cameras.”
NARRATIVE: In the future, people will be forbidden to leave their place of residence, and cities will be turned into prisons and labor camps.
CONTEXT: The Covid19 pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine are two topics that, in the last three years, have overshadowed the fight humanity will have to face with global warming and its catastrophic climate consequences. As Veridica anticipated a year ago, the subject has returned to the attention of public opinion, and the fighters against the “sanitary dictatorship” are regrouping on the front of climate denialism. Activenews.ro, the well-known website that promotes conspiracy theories and fake news, makes a prophetic summary of the measures that will be taken by the world leaders and that will ultimately lead to the enslavement of the population.
PURPOSE: To incite civil disobedience and social revolt against the authorities for electoral purposes, to reduce and even stop actions that affect economic interests and businesses from polluting activities.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In reality, the local authorities in Oxford will implement, starting January 1, 2024, the “15-minute City” concept, already present in large cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Buenos Aires or Melbourne.
This residential urban concept provides that most daily needs (food and medicine supplies, visits to the family doctor, going to school, etc.) can be met either by walking or by driving a bicycle, in very short times. The concept was strongly popularized in the 2020 election campaign of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and argues that everyone living in a city should have access to essential urban services within 15 minutes of their home.
One of the main objectives of the implementation of this concept is to reduce traffic and, implicitly, reduce the pollution caused by vehicles. In no case does it target the free movement of people, who are encouraged to use public transport, cycle or walk. The benefits of this lifestyle range from more free time to physical and mental health, cleaner air, quality green space and stronger community ties. For example, an area adapted to this concept becomes a much more favorable environment for the development of small local businesses that the sovereignists urge us to support.
Referring to the specific case of Oxford , the installation of road barriers between six areas of the city is intended to minimize the access and transit of cars through the city center, not people. To cross the city by personal car, those who want to will have to pay a rather high fee or choose a circuitous route, consuming time and fuel, exiting the city ring road and then re-entering the destination area. People will still be able to move freely, the only constraint being to do so sustainably, without further polluting the area in which they live.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: Several cities around the world are looking for solutions to implement the “15-minute city” concept in order to reduce pollution and more effectively combat the climate change caused by global warming.