Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

Extinction Rebellion and the hypocrisy of the new eco-elite

(Photo: Getty)

Do you ever get the feeling that the elites are just taking the mick? That behind our backs they’re high-fiving each other and saying, ‘I can’t believe we’re still getting away with this?’ I do. Especially on the climate-change issue. The gall of an establishment that lives it up in carbon-fuelled luxury while telling the rest of us to stop being so eco-destructive really has become too much to take.





Eco-hypocrisy abounds. Take John Kerry. He is Joe Biden’s climate-change envoy, which basically means his job is to wag his finger at the entire world for being so dirty and polluting. And yet there he was a few weeks ago landing in Martha’s Vineyard in his private jet for Barack Obama’s lavish 60th birthday party. It’s the 16th flight Kerry’s private jet has taken this year.





Most of us haven’t been anywhere near an airplane for the best part of 18 months. Yet we’re expected to take lectures from a man who jumps in his private jet whenever there’s a birthday bash or virtue-signalling shindig to attend? Private jets are 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial flights. So if your only sinful carbon indulgence is taking a flight to Malaga once a year, knock yourself out – it will take you 14 years to fart out as much CO2 as Kerry’s jaunt to Obama’s birthday did.





Snobs used to view us as morally corrupted. Now they say we’re eco-unfriendly

Then there’s Prince Harry. He and Meghan love nothing more than bigging up their green credentials. Who can forget when they used Vogue magazine as a pulpit from which to declare their intention to shrink their eco-footprint, and to encourage the rest of us to do likewise.





But what’s this? Harry taking a private jet from a polo event in Aspen back to his luxurious pad in California? Read that sentence again.

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