26th October 2023: Two HXR members paint a dinosaur in National History Museum climate and health protest

Posted by: Hils - Posted on:

On 26th October, two HXR members, Dr Will Stableforth, an NHS consultant gastroenterologist and Steve Fay, a senior physiotherapist, painted a reproduction Titanosaur skeleton in orange cornstarch at the National History Museum, London. This action was undertaken in solidarity with Just Stop Oil, days after the High Court rejected a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to licence new offshore oil and gas, including Rosebank.

The action focused on the health impacts of the climate and ecological emergency. Will and Steve displayed a banner which read ‘For health’s sake – Just Stop Oil.’ then sat and waited for police to arrive. They were then arrested.

The previous day over 200 health journals from around the world had come together to simultaneously publish an editorial calling on the WHO, world leaders and health professionals to declare the deadly climate and and nature crises as a global health emergency and to tackle them together in order to preserve health and avoid catastrophe [1]. A report published last year by UNICEF describes how already, over a billion children’s lives are at ‘extremely high risk’ from climate breakdown. [2]

Will says he took action because he sees no other option: ..The climate crisis is a healthcare emergency for every single one of us. We demand an end to any new fossil fuels and immediate climate action prioritising public health rather than big business.”

Steve added: “Like this long extinct dinosaur, we are in grave danger of following in its footsteps. We know we are in a climate emergency with breakdowns in weather patterns and deaths of millions on the near horizon, yet our government pursues ever greater exploitation of oil and gas reserves… …As a health professional I know this will cause great suffering and death for many millions of people. I have made the decision to take non-violent direct action because I have a moral obligation as a healthcare professional to do all that I can to prevent harm.”

[1] https://ukhealthalliance.org/news-item/time-to-treat-the-climate-and-nature-crisis-as-one-indivisible-global-health-emergency/

[2] https://www.unicef.org/turkiye/en/press-releases/one-billion-children-extremely-high-risk-impacts-climate-crisis-unicef