At least they do in Britain. I missed this Times of London report this weekend, but it’s amusing, and unfortunately, all too familiar on this side of the pond. Thermal-imaging surveys of the houses of leading global-warming activists show that they waste at least as much energy as the average homeowner, and in most cases, more:
THEY may shout their green credentials from the rooftops, but some of Britain’s most prominent environmental champions are living in homes that produce up to half a ton of excess carbon dioxide a year.
An audit of properties, measuring heat loss, has revealed that Chris Martin, the pop star, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster, are among those who reside in homes that are “leaking” energy. Some lack even the most basic energy saving measures such as cavity wall insulation and double glazing.
Thermal images of the residences of 10 high-profile green campaigners found that their heat loss was either worse or no better than that found in the average family home.
Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat energy and climate change spokesman, owned the least energy-efficient property. He bought his £150,000 flat in Southwark, south London, 25 years ago but has failed to fit it with any significant insulation. Only last week Hughes unveiled plans to make every home in Britain energy efficient within the next decade. He could start with his own flat.
As Glenn Reynolds often says, I’ll believe we have a crisis when the Cassandras start living as though a crisis exists. How hard is it to put insulation in the walls? Here in Minnesota, double glazing and insulation are basic requirements to winter living. Otherwise, we’d burn half of the nation’s natural gas to survive January. Apparently, the green crusaders in the UK choose Option 2.
We have our own Chicken Little hypocrites here, too. Al Gore flies by private jet to discuss the dangers of fuel consumption, and he lives in a house that uses twenty times the normal energy consumption of an average family home. It’s of a piece with John Edwards’ screeching about “Two Americas” and poverty while building himself a 28,000-square-foot mansion. We call that “limousine liberalism” here in the States. The only person I’ve seen put his money where his mouth is on green living is Ed Begley, Jr.
Not so Chris Martin and his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. They own a home worth £2.5 million and obviously have the means to weatherize it. Paltrow campaigns in the US on green initiatives. Yet her own houseloses over a kilowatt-hour of energy a year, according to the thermal imaging analysis.
If they want to act as scolds, then they should first put their own houses in order — literally.