Attenborough’s attitude to the school strikes

David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have both made passionate speeches about the threat of climate breakdown.

Starting on 9.12.18 I have sent a number of appeals to David Attenborough, without reply. For convenience I repeat my requests here, but I am adding a fourth: I have not seen any comment by him on the incredible school strikes, started by Greta alone. Does he approve of them?

My first invitation was clearly preposterous. I have already broken the law three times (but not yet been caught) as part of XR action. Would Sir David care to join me in facing hydraulic fracturing equipment? This is unfair. I am 8 years younger than him.

My second request is also regarded as unrealistic by a well meaning friend who shares my (and Sir David’s) basic concerns: deign to read my weblog. Why should he? Well, I did join the Green Party as soon as I heard of it (1973), when it was simply a response to the MIT warnings that we (the Earth’s entire population) would be in trouble unless continuous economic growth was brought to an end. I am now quite clear on why the MIT report was not acted on, and why steadily mounting evidence has failed to produce an adequate response, but more on that later.

My blog is somewhat jumbled as it tends to react to news items. Although my friend is undoubtedly more realistic than me, I do have a wild dream that it could be made more coherent in the form of a book, but although I have started drafting one, I would not attempt to publish without a suitably prominent recommendation.

My third request was that Sir David should express an opinion on Extinction Rebellion. If their approach is not an appropriate way to respond to the danger he spells out so eloquently, what does he suggest? My sensible friend thought even this was too much to ask of the Great Man.

However, my friend did think Sir David might be impressed by the school strikes. But this is where I have problems. If a fraction of Greta Thunberg’s demands are met, the economy will be adversely affected. If they are substantially met, the (world) economy will collapse.  To take two simple examples, I recently listened to a discussion about how couples in York were being forced to buy cars due to the lack of public transport, and how planning could have prevented this need. Fine, until you consider the impact on car manufacturing when all local authorities do the ‘right’ thing.  Or what happened when Venezuela accidentally kept more oil in the ground than it meant to.

I have explained in recent blog posts that the twin reasons why not enough is being done to halt ecological breakdown are the Tragedy of the Commons and loss aversion , and how an unconditional, universal basic (citizens’) income will enable a necessary mind set change.

Tomorrow I shall send a copy of this blog post to David Attenborough Productions Ltd at its Richmond address. Not only shall I send it recorded delivery, as previously, but this time I shall enclose a SAE.

But what if Sir David still ignores me? It is not just the school strikers who fail to engage with the basic reasons we are now in grave danger from ecological breakdown. Sir David’s own speech at Katowice did no more to spell out what avoiding action would really mean, but at least I have an address for him.

It might help if this blog post could go viral, but there I go, being unrealistic again, but without this element of hard reality, appeals, however passionate can only be platitudes.



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