Last week I wrote about the climate change protest group Insulate Britain which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion. Insulate Britain has been shutting down traffic on major freeways near London to raise awareness of climate change. They have shut down portions of the M25 which encircles London multiple times in the past month. In at least one case, they prevented a person suffering a stroke from getting to the hospital for six hours. Some drivers are fed up and are taking the problem into their own hands. This clip is from last week.
Despite a series of court injunction to prevent these activists from blocking the roads, Insulate Britain said this week that they will continue to “unleash hell” on commuters until the government commits to giving them what they want. Just today, a group of activists set fire to copies of those injunctions in front of the courthouse. The group’s main spokesman, Liam Norton, said “this campaign will continue until we get a meaningful statement from the government.”
But there’s a problem with having Liam Norton as the group’s spokesman. It’s been widely reported that he lives in a house with no insulation.
But the group’s spokesperson, Mr Norton, generates more carbon emissions than most of his neighbours with a home that has ‘no roof insulation’; ‘no cavity wall insulation’; ‘poor heating control’ and ‘very poor lighting’.
The two-bedroom, first-floor flat in Streatham, south London, has an energy rating of E – the lowest category permitted for rental properties.
The home, which measures just 46 square metres, pumps out four tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, its Energy Performance Certificate [EPC] reveals.
He was confronted about this during a radio interview last week and his response was pretty strange. Asked why he hadn’t insulated his home by host Cristo Foufas, Norton replied, “Because I’m a hypocrite.”
“Do you understand why people will think, well, this guy doesn’t really care about insulation, he only cares about disruption and trying to make a name for himself?” Cristo asked.
“Yeah, they’re right. I don’t particularly care about insulation,” Norton replied.
“So you don’t care about insulation after all?” Cristo said in disbelief.
“No,” Norton said. Then he added, “What I care about is the future of this country.”
It does seem like a great strategy for the spokesperson for “Insulate Britain” to announce that he doesn’t really care about insulation. I’m not sure how this is intended to help the group achieve its goals which are focused on…insulating Britain.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Norton and Cristo have gone at one another before. In an earlier interview, Cristo pointed out that Britain only contributes about 1% of the global output of CO2. He asked whether the freeway protests were really likely to make much difference to the world even if they succeeded. Liam Norton responded by comparing Cristo to Hitler appeasers prior to World War II, which didn’t go over very well. Maybe Liam Norton just isn’t cut out for this particular job.