Julia Stephenson: Green Goddess

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The Independent Online

Sir Nicholas Stern's report has whipped the media into frenzy. At last, instead of feeling like a bean-munching, hessian-clad troglodyte, I'm now at the cutting edge of enlightened thinking. Exciting media outlets (well, the Tooting Advertiser) have been clamouring for my opinion on global warming, and a TV station wants me to clean out the boot of a grand lady's four-wheel-drive vehicle and take what she doesn't want to the local charity shop. I'm a bit worried about the viewing figures for that one, I admit.

Not only that, but Cheam Friends of the Earth wants me to speak at its monthly gathering at Pizza Express in Cheam. And the Swiss Vegetarian Society in Guildford wants me to give a talk, on the back of hundreds of previous columns in which I have extolled all things Swiss.

Am I really serious, they wonder, when I claim that Swiss cuisine is the best in the world? Well, of course. There is no competition, as anyone who has been privileged enough to enjoy a bowl of Bircher muesli or a slice of Gruyère would agree. They say they cannot afford to pay me, but will provide me with a free fondue set as a quid pro quo.

The shock at being so dans le vent and in demand has been quite tiring, so I've decided to spend a few days recovering at an obscure thermal bathing centre in Vals, Switzerland.

However, I'm grateful that Sir Nicholas Stern has managed to put the environment firmly at the top of the agenda, and has got everyone going.

The Green Party has been saying all of this for years, of course. But despite us all agreeing that "something must be done" (come in, Edward VIII...), nothing is being done so we can no longer wait for them to do something, because by the time they get round to it, it may be too late. It is up to us.

Anyway, here is one thing you can do right now that will save you a huge amount of money and anxiety, and will guarantee you night after night of glorious uninterrupted sleep.

Here goes. Talk of population control has gone out of fashion in recent years, but as Professor Sir Graham Hills pointed out in the letters pages on Tuesday: "The most blatant correlation between the cause and effect of global warming is that between carbon emissions and population density. People and their activities are the engine of every kind of pollution. This will be remedied only by population restraint".

So, don't have children, or, if you must, lobby the Catholic Church for contraception. Or adopt. (Don't let Madonna's experiences put you off - she was being incredibly eco-friendly... apart from hiring the private jet to Malawi, of course.)

Or as Donnachadh, my eco-coach, suggests, just become gay. He insists that this is the most incredibly eco-friendly method of population control of all.

In these ecologically desperate times, we must give everything a go, I suppose.

j.stephenson@independent.co.uk

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