Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Extinction Rebellion has finally responded to repeated accusations of climate hypocrisy – by blaming “the system” for their personal carbon excesses.
Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites,
We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints. Like you – and everyone else – we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm.
There is, however, a more urgent story that our profiles and platforms can draw attention to.
Life on earth is dying. We are living in the midst of the 6th mass extinction. For those who still doubt the severity of our situation, here is the International Monetary Fund on 10th October 2019 :
“Global warming causes major damage to the global economy and the natural world and engenders risks of catastrophic and irreversible outcomes”
And here is Sir David Attenborough on 3rd December 2018 :
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Climate change is happening faster and more furiously than was predicted; millions of people are suffering, leaving their homes and arriving on our borders as refugees.
Alongside these people who are already paying the price for our fossil fuelled economy, there are millions of children – called to action by Greta Thunberg – who are begging us, the people with power and influence, to stand up and fight for their already devastated future.
We cannot ignore their call. Even if by answering them we put ourselves in your firing line.
The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us.
The media exists to tell the public the truth. Right now there has never been a more urgent need for you to educate yourselves on the CEE (Climate and Ecological Emergency) and to use your voices to reach new audiences with the truth.
We invite all people with platforms and profiles to join us and move beyond fear, to use your voices fearlessly to amplify the real story.
Thousands of ordinary people are risking their freedom by taking part in non-violent civil disobedience. We’ve been inspired by their courage to speak out and join them. We beg you to do the same.
Riz Ahmed (actor), Simon Amstell (comedien), Mel B – Spice Girls (musician), Matt Berry (actor), Melanie Blatt – All Saints (musician), Baroness Rosie Boycott, Rory Bremner (comedien), Tom Burke (actor), David Byrne – Talking Heads (musician), Peter Capaldi (actor), Jake Chapman (artist), Mary Charteris (model / musician/ DJ), Grace Chatto – Clean Bandit (musician), Adam Clayton – U2 (musician), Jarvis Cocker (musician), Lily Cole (actor & model), Steve Coogan (actor), Laura Crane (pro surfer & model), Alfonso Cuaron (director), Benedict Cumberbatch (actor), Stephen Daldry (director), Poppy Delevingne (actor / model), Jeremy Deller (artist), Emily Eavis (Glastonbury Festival), Katy England (fashion stylist), Brian Eno (musician), Paapa Essiedu (actor), Livia Firth (Eco Age – founder), Jerome Flynn (actor), Stephen Frears (director), Bella Freud (designer), Sonia Friedman OBE (producer), Neil Gaiman (writer), Bob Geldof (musician and campaigner), Aileen Getty (activist and philanthropist), Simon Green – Bonobo (musician), Natalie Imbruglia (singer), Helena Kennedy QC, Idris Khan OBE (artist), Vanessa Kirby (actor), Nan Goldin (artist), Antony Gormley (artist), Jack and Finn Harries (film-makers and influencers), MJ Harper (dancer), Paul and Phil Hartnoll – Orbital (musicians), Lena Headly (actor), Imogen Heap (musician), Dr. Pam Hogg (fashion designer), Jon Hopkins (musician), Nick Hornby (writer), Julietthe Larthe (producer), Jude Law (actor), Howard and Guy Lawrence – Disclosure (musicians), Daisy Lowe (model), Phil Manzanera – Roxy Music (musician), Simon McBurney OBE (theatre maker), Ian McEwan (writer), Fernando Meirelles (director), Sienna Miller (actor), George Monbiot (journalist), David Morrissey (actor), Sir Michael and Lady Clare Morpurgo (writer), Sophie Muller (director), Robert Del Naja – Massive Attack (musician), Andrea (Andi) Oliver (TV chef), Chris Packham (conservationist), Amanda Palmer (musician), Cornelia Ann Parker OBE (artist), Bill Paterson (actor), Caius Pawson (Young Turks – Founder and XL Recordings – A&R Director), Grayson Perry (artist & broadcaster), Gilles Peterson (DJ & broadcaster), Yannis Philippakis and Edwin Congreave – Foals (musicians), Jason Pierce – Spiritualized (musician), Heydon Prowse (writer and director), Jonathan Pryce (actor), Gareth Pugh (designer), Sir Mark Rylance (actor), Nitin Sawney (musician), Tracey Seaward (film producer), Wilf Scolding (actor), Alison Steadman (actor), Juliet Stevenson (actor), Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi (Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, designers), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade, founder), Gavin Turk (artist), Mark Wallinger (artist), Ruby Wax (writer, performer and comedian), Rowan Williams (theologian), Jaime Winstone (actor), Ray Winstone (actor), Jeanette Winterstone (writer), Thom Yorke (musician), Dan Haggis, Matthew Murphy & Tord Øverland Knudsen – The Wombats (musicians), Deborah Curtis (artist), and Lady Clare Morpurgo, Geoff Jukes (music manager), Joe Murphy (playwright), David Lan (theatre writer and producer), Alice Aedy (photographer), Kate Fahy (actor), Fay Milton – Savages (musician), Johnny Flynn (actor and musician), William Rees – Mystery Jets (musician), Flora Starkey (floral artist), MJ Delaney (director), Brian Ogle (architect),James Suckling (fashion consultant), Miquita Oliver (presenter), A Fletcher Cowan (presenter), Eliza Caird (musician), Lee Sharrock (PR and curator), Joe Robertson (playwright), Olivia Calverley (TV producer), Tia Grazette (creative director), Sam Conniff (author and pirate), Stefan Bartlett (designer), Matt Lambert (artist), J. Doyne Farmer (Baillie Gifford Professor, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford), Carolyn Benson (Benson Studios Interior Design), Georgina Goodwin (broadcaster), Jon McClure – Reverend and the Makers (musician), Ruth Daniel (cultural producer), David Graeber (anthropologist and writer), George Hencken (film maker), Ebe Oke (musician), Evgeny Morozov (writer), Anthony Barnett, (Co-Founder, openDemocracy), Henry Porter (novelist), Warren Ellis – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (musician), Jonathan Reekie (Somerset House, director), Theresa Boden (actor/writer), Nick Welsh (designer/producer), Louis Savage (A&R rep), Guy Standing (economist), Pippa Small MBE (designer), Peter Marston (designer), Richard Sennett OBE FBA, Clare Kenny (musician), Ginevra Elkann (director), John Reynolds (music producer), Laurence Bell (Domino Records, founder), Margy Fenwick (landscape gardener), Seb Rochford (musician), Nick Laird-Clowes (musician), Roman Krznaric (philosopher), Will McEwan (scientist), Beth Orton (musician), Dawn Starin (anthropologist), Charlotte Trench (actor and director), Jonathan Glazer (director), Iain Forsyth (artist), Jane Pollard (artist), Ian Rickson (director),Sam Lee (musician), David Lan – DL (producer and writer), Liz Jensen (author), Michael Pawlyn (architect), Simon Stephens (playwrite), Kobi Prempeh (curator), Steve Tompkins (architect), Annie Morris (artist), Conrad Shawcross (artist), Mira Calix (artist), Andy Holden (artist), Andrew O’Hagan (writer), David Lan – DL (producer and writer), Alison Brooks (architect), Prof Sadie Morgan (architect), Ackroyd & Harvey (Artists), Eva Wiseman (editor), Mark Wallinger (artist), Carson McCol (artist), Ivan Harbour (architect), Angharad Cooper (producer), Jem Finer (musician and artist), Rauol Martinez (writer and filmmaker), Francesca Martinez (comedien and writer), Glen Hansard (musician), Frances Stoner Saunders (writer), Geeta Dayal (writer), Amanda Levete (architect) Jack Penate (singer) and Ted Cullinan MBE RDI RA (architect)
What a beautiful piece of sophistry – climate activists including jetset celebrities are not responsible for their gigantic personal carbon footprints, its not their fault their private jets guzzle so much kerosene, because they’re trapped in the system.