August 22, 2019

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The Real Reason Elites Behave Hypocritically On Climate Change Is Because They Want To.

Some people chalk up such hypocrisy to ignorance. “They turn up with unnecessary entourages in helicopters or fast cars and then preach about saving the world,” complained an insider. “They just don’t seem to be aware that they’re the ones burning huge amounts of fossil fuels.”

But it’s inconceivable that the celebrities don’t know they are behaving hypocritically. It’s common knowledge that flying by jet results in significant carbon emissions. If it weren’t, then Harry and Meghan wouldn’t have triggered such an intense reaction.

Indeed, they implicitly acknowledged their hypocrisy. Elton John bought carbon offsets to supposedly cancel out Harry and Meghan’s emissions, while a spokesperson for Thunberg acknowledged, “It would have been less greenhouse gas emissions if we had not made this departure.”

A simpler explanation for the hypocrisy of celebrities who moralize about climate change is that it is a way of flaunting their special status.

Hypocrisy is the ultimate power move. It is a way of demonstrating that one plays by a different set of rules from the ones adhered to by common people. Hypocrisy demonstrates how unaccountable one is to conventional morality.

Such displays work because, unlike wealth, status is inherently subjective. The more of it you are perceived to have, the more of it you actually have.

To be sure, the Duke, the Duchess, and Thunberg didn’t consciously decide to flaunt their status. But neither did Harry and Meghan pledge to never fly private again nor did Thunberg cancel her trip.

And it is a mistake to imagine that human behavior is mostly conscious. Much of human behavior is unconscious and driven by an innate urge for power, of which status is one (highly-social) form.

This also dovetails with James Delingpole’s “Drawbridge Effect:” “You’ve made your money. Now the very last thing you want is for all those trashy middle class people below you to have a fair shot at getting as rich as you are. That’s why you want to make energy more expensive by opposing Keystone XL; why you’re all for environmental land sequestration (because you already own your exclusive country property); and Agenda 21 – which will make all Americans poorer, but you not so much, because you’ve enough cash to cushion you from the higher taxes and regulation with which the greenies want to hamstring the economy.”

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