One of the great "car crash" television interviews of our time was held at Andrew Neil's BBC studio around noon on October 9th last year.
The victim was a 35-year-old mother of two from Exeter named Zion Lights.
She appeared in her role as the "main spokesperson" for Extinction Rebellion, whose supporters were doing their best at the time to bring central London to a standstill.
Miss Lights (whose first name is pronounced “Zee-on”) wore a chunky necklace and an expression that alternated between bitter terror and confusion. She was asked to provide evidence to support the protest group's headline that climate change will kill billions of people … in the next ten to 20 years. & # 39;
After a few seconds of Umming and Ah-ing it turned out that there was no such evidence.
There is, as she confessed somewhat embarrassed, that there is no prospect of global warming that would add to the deaths of "billions" or even millions of people during this period.
The victim was a 35-year-old mother of two from Exeter named Zion Lights (pictured), who appeared in her role as the "main spokesperson" for Extinction Rebellion
The main claim of the group was justified in other words.
Neil then asked his guest how Extinction Rebellion was proposing to achieve its main goal: reducing UK carbon emissions to "net zero" by 2025.
On paper, he indicated that such a dramatic postponement would require drastic measures, including the seizure of gasoline cars, government rationing of meat, a complete end to all aviation and the elimination of every gas stove and heating system in every home in Britain.
Miss Lights replied with a shrug. "I mean," she explained, "I'm not here to give you solutions!"
Given the extremely disruptive protests her group was conducting at the moment, this was an odd position at best.
And things went on in that bizarre direction for ten minutes.
A newspaper critic later wrote: “I have never seen such a ridiculous presentation by anyone.
"It would have been far more useful to put a defective vacuum cleaner on the respondent's chair."
One way of describing Extinction Rebellion is certainly laughable, or at least its explanation that the neo-fascist blockade of newspaper printing works last weekend was part of a campaign to "free the truth".
Where exactly, one might ask, was the group's commitment to the "truth" as, as Mr Neil so elegantly debunked, the false claim that climate change will kill billions of people "in the next ten to 20 years" was endless was spread?
One of the great "car crash" television interviews of our time was held at around noon on October 9th last year at Andrew Neil's (pictured) BBC studio
That blatant hypocrisy – there really is no other way to describe it – is one of the reasons why, in the months since the interview aired, Zion Lights has been pretty spectacularly in love with the lobby group it once spoke for and now works as a Spin -Doctor for the nuclear industry.
More on that later.
In the meantime, it should be stressed that Miss Lights was originally part of the small cohort of Extinction Rebellion activists who, at the very least, go out of their way to practice what they preach.
In contrast to many middle-class Trustafarians who take part in the protests and spend exotic holidays at the same time, she and her husband Aaron Cleland have decided to forego all driving and flying and to eat strictly vegan.
In a 2015 book called The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting, Miss Lights shared how her daughters Arwyn and Raven (then four and two years old) wear used clothes, play with upcycled toys and books, and have to wait for them Paddling pool to fill up with rainwater before you can splash around in it.
Among other things, the book advised parents to "take their placenta home and bury it in the garden, where it will decompose and provide nutrients for whatever is planted over it", to carry children in slings (instead of using strollers), until they are old enough to walk and "make their own cleaning products" with vinegar and baking powder.
Miss Lights, who is also a published poet, once told an interviewer how her girls eat (vegan) pancakes for breakfast, enjoy two hours of “wild time” in nature every day and are also taught in an “forest school” outdoors as "Free play" – unstructured playtime – at home.
"You can have junk food in the form of chips made from organic potatoes," the interviewer noted, "and occasionally a low-sugar, vegan ice cream with real chocolate pieces."
She once saw this – just a touch of joyless – existence referred to by the Telegraph as "Great Britain's greenest mother".
It also contributed to her meteoric rise with Extinction Rebellion, where she arrived as a spokeswoman last July. Within two months she was named editor of the in-house newspaper Hourglass -class people & # 39 ;.
Her Asian heritage was also welcome, as it added to the diversity of an organization whose leading protagonists, like so many bien pensante leftists, are almost entirely white.
In fact, days after her strike at Andrew Neil, she was checked by name in a lengthy Guardian article – where else? – who asked: "Does Extinction Rebellion have a racial problem?"
By then, however, Zion Lights was in a dramatic career in which she would break up with the lobby group in a spectacular way.
The BBC interview had made it clear to her that Extinction Rebellion could not and still does not offer workable solutions to climate change, other than replacing parliament with "citizens' assemblies" that would somehow develop strategies to stop all carbon emissions.
However, an existing solution, she believed, is staring us in the face. It is nuclear power that she describes as "a reliable, low-carbon source of energy that we can invest in now".
She once saw this – just a touch of joyless – existence referred to by the Telegraph as "Great Britain's greenest mother"
Many leftists, in which Miss Lights spent most of her political life, have of course been vigorously opposed to the nuclear industry for decades.
But shortly after meeting Andrew Neil, she met Michael Shellenberger, a US environmentalist who campaigns against so-called "alarmism" and for workable solutions to the climate crisis, including ramping up nuclear power.
In June, at the height of the lockdown, she announced that she had taken a job with Shellenberger's British campaign group, Environmental Progress UK.
In that capacity, she is now an energetic lobbyist for the nuclear industry, pushing for example the creation of the discussed Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, which she believes will produce 7 percent of UK electricity and save nine million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
"I was skeptical about nuclear power for many years," announced Miss Lights. "Surrounded by anti-nuclear activists, I had the fear of radiation, nuclear waste and weapons of mass destruction invading my subconscious … I realized that I had been deluded into an anti-scientific feeling all along."
Since then, she has broken up with her old friends and becomes Extinction Rebellion's first double agent.
"The facts haven't really changed, but once I got them, I changed my mind," she said.
Perhaps this weekend's effort to censor the news media is the protest group's way of ensuring that more of their free-thinking supporters don't change their minds too.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Climate Change and Global Warming (t) London (t) BBC