The Insulate Britain Miracle

Insulate Britain have managed to do an incredible thing.  They have managed to unify the country in a way that no other movement has done in recent times.  They have brought together Leave and Remain supporters.  They have bridged the divide between Tory and Labour.  They have united people of different faiths to believe the same thing.  Across the country, almost everyone is unified in the simple, singular belief that Insulate Britain are a bunch of idiots.

And dangerous idiots, too. 

Dangerous because of the nature of the disruptive direct actions that they are undertaking on Britain’s roads; dangerous to themselves; dangerous to other road users.  But dangerous to the very cause that they purport to support. 

Getting people to make changes to their daily behaviour in order to create a greener future requires winning hearts and minds.  For campaigns, such as home recycling, or electric cars, or energy-efficient houses to be successful requires a buy-in from the greater proportion of the population.  It needs everyone to willingly support the cause.  Insulate Britain have succeeded in doing the exact opposite.  They have alienated the population to their cause and, by so doing, they danger alienating people to the wider concept of green issues.

The hypocrisy of their movement is an issue, too.  Not just the exposed hypocrisy of spokesman Liam Norton, who has yet to insulate his own home whilst advocating others to insulate theirs, but also the hypocrisy of the motorway protestors, who must expend more fuel and create more pollution simply driving to the point where they start their protest than they are ever going to hope to save by their actions.

The simple fact is that insulating homes is a boring concept.  Whilst being a worthy idea, it is never going to ignite the public’s imagination.  It is not the touch-paper, which is going to get people en masse to become thoughtful environmentalists and, similarly, it won’t be the driver of either a new green economy or a dictator of future government policy.

Save energy by staying at home, Insulate Britain. Consign the insulating of lofts to those private, dreary weekends when there is nothing good on the TV, and leave the public campaigning about environmental issues to more inspiring change-makers who have a more articulate, inclusive message to convey.

© Simon Turner-Tree

Simon Turner-Tree already has his loft insulated, thank you.

Simon is author of This Pedestrian Life and Watching the World Pass Me By.

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