A favourite sport of the anti-green lobby is hunting out the climate hypocrites. It’s Emma Thompson’s lifestyle that has most recently been the subject of frenzied scrutiny after the actress addressed the Extinction Rebellion protest in London a few weeks ago. “Emma Thompson the first-class hypocrite!” blared one tabloid headline last month after she was spotted dining on beef carpaccio while flying first class to New York.
So before I say any more about the lifestyle changes required to avoid catastrophic climate change, I’m going to hold my hands up. I’m a climate hypocrite. I care about the climate emergency. When I decided I couldn’t support Labour in the European elections, because of its Brexit position, I voted Green instead. But I’m ashamed to say I’m not great at applying my ballot-box behaviour to other areas of my life. The last time I ate red meat was last night. I’m heading to Gatwick to catch a flight after writing this.
There are those admirable saints who really do practise what they preach, but I’d bet most of those who profess to care about the planet are just as hypocritical as me. I don’t think it makes us bad people, just typically, fallibly human, lacking the willpower to do the stuff we know we ought, such as shedding a few pounds or putting away more in our pension.