Celebrities Sign Climate Change Letter Calling Themselves ‘Hypocrites’ For Supporting Extinction Rebellion

'We live high carbon lives and the industries that we are part of have huge carbon footprints.'

Celebrities Sign Climate Change Letter Calling Themselves 'Hypocrites' For Supporting Extinction Rebellion

by Rebecca Reid |

Celebrities including Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Daisy Lowe, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vanessa Kirby and Natalie Imbruglia have signed a letter to the press, acknowledging the accusations of hypocrisy levelled at them for supporting the Extinction Rebellion while still flying internationally.

'Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites. You’re right.

'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.

'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.

'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.'

Accusations of double standards have been ongoing since the inception of climate-change activism. Recently Olivia Colman came under fire for working on an ad campaign with BA, but also speaking out about the importance of offsetting global warming. Emma Thompson was embroiled in a row when she allegedly flew back first-class from LA to take part in the protests. Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex were lambasted for flying by private jet in the same week that he made a speech about climate change.

The letter from the long list of celebrities acknowledges the tension between having a career that requires a lot of air travel and wanting to prevent further damage to the environment. On a smaller scale, many of us know the tension between wanting to save the world but also wanting to have a summer holiday. Ours might be an Easyjet flight to Europe rather than a private jet half way around the world, but the principle remains the same.

It's hard to give up something that makes you happy, like flying off on a holiday. And allowing yourself the indulgence of air travel doesn't have to preclude your involvement in climate change activism. We should all be aiming for an gold standard in carbon neutrality, but also we must acknowledge that it's OK to fail sometimes.

How can you try to do better without changing your entire life?

Look at mixed methods of travel. If you're going on a European holiday you could look at whether it's possible to take the train or ferry to France and then take a shorter onwards flight to your destination.

Drive less, and use ride shares or buses where it's unavoidable.

Recycle - it goes without saying, but it's essential.

Eat less meat. You don't have to be a vegan or even a vegetarian to make a significant difference. It still makes a tangible difference if you reduce how much meat you eat, particularly beef.

The major aspects of climate change stem from large scale structural changes, so write to your MP and express your concerns, sign the WWF's petition and boycott companies who don't try to do their bit to reduce emissions.

The full list of celebrities who signed the list:

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 Heady (actor), Imogen Heap (musician), Dr. Pam Hogg (fashion designer), Jon Hopkins (musician), Nick Hornby (writer), Juliette 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 Congrea ve - 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) and Thom Yorke (musician).

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