THIS week, an announcement for fully paid-up members of the great an the good who feel moved to lecture the rest of us about the environment.

Please consider whether you might do more for the environment in the long term by shutting your mouth.

As a fully paid-up member of the great and the good, it is perhaps understandable that you think the rest of us benefit from your words of wisdom.

Whether you were born into the great and the good or gained entry by other means, the chances are that you think the rest of us are rather stupid.

Admittedly, some of us can be a bit stupid. That is why, for example, a third-rate comedian might be employed by an advertising agency to trick the gullible into using a filthy, criminal bank or some vast company which makes its money by enticing clients to go into debt.

It’s also why some people get to write ‘Influencer’ in the ‘occupation’ section of a passport application.

It may come as a surprise to you, however, that most of us are not stupid at all.

We may not have your advantages and privileges, but that doesn’t mean we have to take our shoes and socks off if we wish to count beyond 10.

Those of us who are not stupid - the vast majority of us, in other words - are quite capable of seeking out and absorbing information about the horrific environmental crises which grip the world.

We are also quite capable of researching and implementing our own personal strategies for minimising our contribution to those crises.

Unfortunately, some of us are also short tempered, and when you people, the great and the good, feel moved to deliver yet another sanctimonious pronouncement about things we know already, especially if there’s a whiff of hypocrisy about you, those short-tempered people might feel the urge to do silly things just to spite you.

Otherwise kind, reasonable and decent people might feel compelled, say, to get a cheap flight to Russia, gather a load of old tyres, head for the Bering Strait and play hoop-la on a narwhal.

Are you one of the people who should shut your mouth? Here’s a handy guide.

If you have ever used a private aircraft when a public scheduled flight was available, shut your mouth.

If you have ever attempted to justify such a decision, or had a friend justify it, on the basis of your personal security, but spend every moment surrounded by tough men and women employed to guard you with their lives, shut your mouth.

If you have ever travelled by air or some other fossil fuel-powered mode of transport to any conference, summit or other gathering in spite of reliable video conferencing having been around for years, shut your mouth.

If you make your money by reciting scripts, singing songs or in some other branch of entertainment, and have ever flown for no other reason than to make a project easier to facilitate, shut your mouth.

If you have ever flown first class, where each traveller takes up as much space as might otherwise be occupied by two or three, which would make the flight more fuel efficient, shut your mouth.

If you have the power to seize control of public transport from rapacious, immoral companies whose ticket prices are so high as to force people to use private cars, yet you fail to exercise that power, shut your mouth.

Incidentally, if I were to go to the park with a tin bath full of sump oil, set light to it, chuck a few acorns and conkers into the undergrowth and say I’d therefore done no wrong, would that be okay?

No? Then shut your mouth about carbon offsetting too.