But now things are changing. Eighteen months ago there was finally, a good play about climate change. It was also possible to see in the works, for instance, of Wallace Shawn and Andrew Bovell the green shoots of climate change theatre.
Fast forward to January 2011, and this month alone three climate change plays will open in London - Greenland at the National, The Heretic at the Royal Court, and Water at the Tricycle.
Why is this important? Because climate change alters the way we think about our lives. The news contained within the various IPCC reports will be as influential, as paradigm-shifting, on the way we see ourselves as Darwin's Origin of Species. It is, ultimately, a question of values and relationships. As such, it is a natural subject for theatre.
But new plays don't open in a vacuum. For them to succeed, there needs to be a lively engaged audience that has some sense of what is at stake. That's why we have also been involved with the Open University in producing a new series of podcasts that puts cultural work around climate change in perspective.
The podcasts bring together 17 artists, activists, writers, film-makers, scientists, entrepreneurs and academics, including comedian Marcus Brigstocke, choreographer Siobhan Davies, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, architect Carolyn Steele and Mike Hulme, author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change.
Radio 4's Quentin Cooper chairs these four 'Mediating Change' discussions which cover the history, publics, anatomy and futures of cultural responses to climate change. The podcasts are now available to download from iTunesU.