It is now more than a fortnight since I posted a letter to David Attenborough Productions Ltd in Richmond, Surrey. am I being impatient in expecting a reply by now? Just in case, I am sending a recorded delivery letter.
I did not ask him to do anything I was not prepared to do myself, but as I am only 84, perhaps that is not fair at his age.
As it turns out, my challenge to join XR may not materialize, at least not immediately. Plans for hydraulic fracturing may be put on hold. Apparently IGas have not yet located the Bowland Shale at Tinker Lane, (Blyth, Notts), and heavy equipment has been observed leaving Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Kirkham, Lancs.
To be honest, I did not expect David Attenborough to be enthusiastic. But how serious was his plea at Katowice? I would at least welcome an acknowledgement, as I also make a less demanding and more realistic request: that he reads my blog.
My hope is that the great man will read my new ‘Page’, Résumé as Springboard. It contains the outline of a book which will not only make a coherent narrative from the jumble this weblog has become, but also will try to understand why our pleas for what David calls the most serious threat to humanity for a thousand years is still not being taken seriously by people or governments.
This book, if it materializes, will explain why a straightforward rational political approach was doomed to fail. The Tragedy of the Commons rule is that no one can allow themselves to be at a temporary disadvantage in a competitive world. In the short term, any measures to reduce ecological damage merely puts whoever implements them at a disadvantage, as Venezuela has accidentally demonstrated.
In the short term even a thoroughly ecological government would have to approve every hydraulic fracturing application, build new airports (as urged by Boris Johnson), not merely a new runway, maintain, if not expand steel production . . .
The only difference between Green proposals and those which presuppose that growth can continue indefinitely will be that Greens will frankly state that such policies are utter lunacy, and will only continue until global agreement on sustainability is guaranteed.
The economic winners in this scenario would be nations which could become frugal domestically, but remained able to continue to supply a consumerist world with its unabated demands.
I am well aware how bizarre the last three paragraphs must seem. But unless there is something not yet in the narrative, why should David Attenborough’s appeal at Katowice make a scrap of difference?
We have left it rather late, but such a book, with David Attenborough’s backing, may yet stave off the worst of the looming Tragedy.