Well-versed in the popular Viv Westwood/Russell Brand school of climatology, mother of Gaia and Hollywood actress Emma Thompson made a number of media appearances yesterday at the People’s Climate March in London. Speaking to BBC News, she took the opportunity to check quite a few important boxes – declaring, for example, that we needed to be “carbon-free by 2030″ (meaningless target, impossible deadline: check), that using fossil fuels was like being addicted to nicotine (spurious link with tobacco: check), that the science was settled (invoking the “97%”: check) and that sceptics were “bonkers” (people we don’t agree with are mentally ill: check). Earlier, on BBC1’s Andrew Marr show, she talked of “Martians” (i.e. eco-unfriendly, out-of-touch humans being similar to alien invaders) and when Andrew asked her what the public could do about climate change, this is how she responded:
Andrew Marr: So, Emma Thompson can get on a boat and get up to the Arctic and see it – what can the rest of people do? I mean, I think there’s a big march that you’re involved in.
Emma Thompson: There’s a big march that – you can do a lot. Go on the march – I’ll be there and I’ll be speaking. Inform yourselves and understand the fact that actually, even though we’re up against huge difficulties, because fossil fuels are a very, very difficult thing to give up, but we now understand that we cannot afford to use them any more – it’s as simple as that. The day for those fuels is over.
But just who is the “Martian”, here? As well as taking fossil-fuelled trips up to the Arctic in order to lecture everyone else on the importance of not taking fossil-fuelled trips, Emma is something of a very, very frequent flyer (which is not a bad thing in itself, I hasten to add – with more money and leisure, I’d be one, as well). Reported in a 2009 Guardian article, erstwhile UK Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon criticised her for flying a lot, out of Heathrow, and at the same time wanting to put limits on the rest of us doing so (to which she haughtily replied “get a grip”, Hoon’s valid point obviously having whooshed harmlessly over her head).
More recently, she was photographed beaming radiantly as she touched down at LAX last December, and here she is later on, at the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in January this year, and here she is again looking relieved to fly out of Heathrow for sunnier climes in February, after yet another awards do. The Daily Mail noted that she “… looked delighted to be leaving. While she is a proud Londoner, Emma’s career means she is often overseas” and that she was one of a bunch of celebs snapped that day who “looked grateful to be heading out of sodden London the morning after the BAFTAs”. And then she jetted off to New York, and then flew back to London, and after that… well, you get the picture.
But does Emma? Get the picture, I mean. I don’t think she does, does she. Much like fellow liberal luvvie Leonardo DiCaprio, she talks the low-carbon talk, saying that “we cannot afford” (meaning “you, the little people cannot afford”) to use fossil fuels any more, and likening CAGW sceptics to folks with David Icke-like delusions about lizards in disguise, but she behaves all the while eerily just like a member of some out-of-touch alien elite from the pages of a conspiracy theorist’s pamphlet. If anyone’s being a “Martian” here, I cannot help but think, Emma (yes, with your initials E.T.), that it’s – you.