Derived from Greek actors who used to ‘interpret from underneath’ a mask, the word hypocrisy today has a more general meaning referring to “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”
It is the right term to use for a government which, in 2021, seeks to show the rest of the world at COP 26 that it is serious about the climate and ecological emergency while simultaneously allowing the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria.
The mine is projected to increase UK emissions by 0.4Mt (megatonnes) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year – greater than the level of annual emissions projected from all open UK coal mines to 2050 (by which time the UK government will supposedly have reached net zero carbon emissions) – more info here.
The UK government has the power to stop the mine, but has argued it is a local issue. This is patently absurd as the emissions will form part of the overall production of greenhouse gases which threaten us all. The decision sends a very poor signal at a time when we are all trying to transition to a green economy.
A top climate scientist has today warned that the decision shows “contemptuous disregard for the future of young people”.
If enough people protest this decision, the government will have to listen or risk further accusations of hypocrisy. Please use your voice to ask the government to rethink. Sign the petition here.