Human vanity being what it is, there’s no real inconsistency between someone doing well off a cause and believing in it. If Al Gore saves the planet, who minds if he got so rich off climate change that he could afford his infamous 10,000-square-foot Nashville mansion? The real issue is when his personal conduct doesn’t fit what he says others should do, even if like John Kerry the excuse is that he’s doing so much good jetting around saving humanity that he deserves major extra rations of fossil fuels. But not even that excuse seems to have been available when Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook was asked by an interviewer about driving a diesel car and flying 11,000 miles for a holiday (including, of all things, getting health treatment not available in the UK, a classic example of a two-tier health system for those with money) and brushing it off with “we’re all hypocrites” before sneering “You’re being a boring interviewer, mate.”
Not really. He even got her to admit that she doesn’t have an electric car because she can’t afford it and they don’t work very well. Which is quite interesting, and not hypocritical if he himself does not drive an EV, or walk or bike, because he doesn’t believe in the crisis.
Ah well. It’s still just one annoying activist, right? Not at all. The Daily Telegraph reports that the massive Extinction Rebellion protests in October 2019 left 120 tons of trash in the streets of London that cost £50,000 to clean up. (Though maybe their view is that cities are bad and trashing them is therefore good.)
And we note the conspicuous absence of vegan food on the menu at COP-26. It’s meant to be climate-friendly and even if it’s not, it’s the modern equivalent of a hair shirt, showing genuine repentance and humility… unless there’s silk underneath. (And if you want to cause trouble you can sign a petition to add it.) But what’s considerably stranger is that there won’t be nuclear power. We don’t mean that the lights, AC, stoves and so forth won’t be powered by the mighty atom. We mean that advocates for the one really reliable virtually GHG-free source of power have not just been told they can’t come into the meetings. They won’t even be allowed to set up booths and advocate for their industry. Almost as though the people organizing the conference don’t want to solve the crisis that is their bread and butter.
Then there was the retired Anglican priest who sewed his lips shut in London to protest the alleged silencing of climate alarmism by Rupert Murdoch… then unsewed them after two hours, and got all kinds of press coverage, rather undermining his point. Yuck.
Meanwhile the Guardian “Climate crisis” section just ran a piece saying one supposed solution to climate change is to pack people tightly into cities, something urban planners have long wanted to do and actual people have long resisted. The idea isn’t just to walk short distances instead of driving long ones, or take a smelly public bus to somewhere other than your destination instead of driving in a nice car to exactly where you want to go. It’s to live in cramped apartments that need less AC. But even oh-so-trendy San Franciscans apparently prefer nice houses in leafy neighbourhoods and even suburban homes from which to telecommute. And the article put a predictable slant on it: “Denser cities could be a climate boon – but nimbyism stands in the way”. If only other people were as noble as we are.
As for annoying activists and diesel, on a grand scale, in California Gov. Gavin Newsom, fighting for his political life, has issued an emergency declaration allowing the burning of diesel to avoid summer blackouts while, Michael Shellenberger complains, … closing a nuclear plant that supplies over eight percent of all his state’s electricity generation and bargain rates because boo nuclear power. So it’s all fine and good to deplore diesel… until I need it.