Meg Lee Chin

Hollywood gave us a culture of excess and lavish overconsumption. They taught us to believe "I'm worth it." So isn't it a bit hypocritical for Emma Thompson to fly in from LA to scold us over energy use?

Though we'd all benefit from a cleaner environment, I'm not convinced that government regulation is the solution. Research shows that the richest use energy at a rate exponentially higher than average. So any tax imposed is likely to cripple the poorest whilst the rich burn energy like Caligula at a banquet. Guilt would be alleviated for energy hogs who can simply afford to pay.

The net effect would be an increase in inequality which would usher in a new era of energy apartheid. As energy is integral to life, this would exacerbate the monopoly which already enslaves most of the population.

So Extinction Rebellion's 2025 goal of zero carbon emissions won't be achieved by superficial top down government measures. What is required is deep philosophical change at the level of the sovereign independent individual. Some laughed when I suggested Ms. Thompson quit Hollywood, return to England and act in local theatre. But this is precisely the change required.

As humans we often strive for the top of social pyramids. This characteristic won't be eradicated with government regulation. "Life finds a way" was the lesson in Jurassic Park. This can also be said for unfettered ambition. It will always find a way within any system. It doesn't matter whether governments or celebrities scold us, reduction won't happen so long as we aspire to be a Thompson, Beckham, Trump, Madonna or Kardashian.

So why aspire to Hollywood values? Why not personal sovereignty? Why admire bill-ionaires when you can admire time-lionaires? (Those who consume and work less to have more sovereign free time.)

So before we demand an authoritarian body to save us, why not consider what we can do without? Rather than demand to be treated like children; Wouldn't it make sense to lead by example?

Ms. Thompson, you're not helping reduce consumption, you're encouraging the culture that created it.

You're the problem, not the solution.