Saturday 7 June 2008

if the shoe fits

In his day job as chief policy adviser for Greenpeace, says Charlie Kronick, he works on the basis that 'if I know more than the other guy it will somehow change his behaviour.' But he's also a trustee of Cape Farewell, and the arts are different. 'It's not what you know, or who you know, but what you feel.'

Kronick was speaking on Thursday evening at the RSA's launch for its Arts and Ecology Day next year. There's a neat example of the point he's making that involves Kronick himself. A couple of years ago, he went on the same Cape Farewell expedition to the Arctic as the novelist Ian McEwan. On the trip he discovered they have the same shoe size.

As this blog reported, a certain amount of chaos developed in the bootroom and it became hard to find your own boots. The frustrations that emerged from this has become a vivid part of the climate-change theme in McEwan's next novel. Since they share shoe size, the chief policy adviser for Greenpeace may well be the one who provided the novelist with the spur for his next big subject.

Also at the launch, and also sticking to the five-minutes-only rule,
were the President of RIBA, Sunand Prasad. He spoke about the steps we take to mitigate climate change. 'In this area no action is too small.' John Hartley, from the Arts Council, England, launched a web-based energy management tool, And Joe Oliver, from the eco-entertainment company Bash, read out the homiletic poem, attributed to William Penn, 'I shall pass this way but once ....'

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