Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

'You're right...we're hypocrites', archbishop joins celebrities in open letter over climate change

Wed 16 Oct 2019
By Marcus Jones

Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has added his name to an open letter to journalists who've accused celebrities of being hypocrites over climate change.

Over 100 high-profile actors, musicians, comedians and others have signed the letter which says they are guilty of backing environmental campaigners Extinction Rebellion and continuing to live high carbon lives.

They say, while the accusation may be true, it detracts from the fact we currently have a climate emergency which requires urgent action.

The celebrities, which also include Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch, say "without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm".



Extinction Rebellion says the letter was necessary because every time someone high profile visited the protests there was a follow-up article in the media critisicing them for being hypocrites.

Pleading for journalists to better understand the situation, they write: "The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us.
"The media exists to tell the public the truth. Right now there has never been a more urgent need for you to educate yourselves on the CEE (Climate and Ecological Emergency) and to use your voices to reach new audiences with the truth.

"We invite all people with platforms and profiles to join us and move beyond fear, to use your voices fearlessly to amplify the real story.

"Thousands of ordinary people are risking their freedom by taking part in non-violent civil disobedience. We've been inspired by their courage to speak out and join them. We beg you to do the same."

Sarah Lunnon of Extinction Rebellion said: "We are so impressed by these personalities for coming forward. It's easy to call people out for being hypocrites but that's really a distraction from the much bigger, and perhaps more confronting conversation we need to have about the unworkable system in which we live.

"None of us is perfect. What matters is that more and more people are ready to talk about transforming how we relate to the planet, and we are prepared to put our liberty on the line to do so."

Over 1,600 arrests have been made over the past two weeks during Extinction Rebellion protests.

The Met Police has now said anyone protesting will be arrested.


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