Tuesday, February 10, 2009

new best friend

In another day in my cafe life, I pick up the Daily Express and start browsing through. Several pages in is a column by the prolific Richard from Richard and Judy. And within this column is an opinion piece on recycling.
Now I like columns in newspapers and expect a lot from columnists. I expect to be entertained and amused. I also respect a strong opinion, and a bit of topicality.
But while Richard is certainly topical, his dismissal of recycling is ill informed and irresponsible. Sure it’s fine to question the point of recycling, I huff and puff about going to the tip all the time. But even I know it’s important to present a balanced argument. And to suggest that in ten years time we’ll look back and wonder what the fuss was all about global warming is contradicting scientific evidence and giving the sceptics reassurance. Frankly, irresponsible.

With some reservations I show it to Carbonlite and as I predict, he explodes. "You need to write to him," he says, chucking the newspaper on the table.

"Me...write to a newspaper?" I query.
"No to him. That book club tosser." he replies.

The first problem I encounter is that Richard is so famous I have no idea of his surname. That's sorted out by googling him. Then I'm so fascinated by what turns up that I waste an hour. Then I have to work out what to say. I begin by announcing that I've never written to a newspaper or a columnist before, but it's not long before I've got into my stride telling him that there are many people out there who deny global warming through laziness or ignorance and 'opinion' like his only encourages their behaviour. I tell him that his children, and grandchildren, like mine will be left to pick up the pieces of our selfish living in future years. And I inform him that it is a privilege to be given a platform in a national newspaper and along with this privilege comes responsibility. And while I’m sure he would not dream of using this platform to make racist or sexist comments, how can it be ethical to incite people to damage our vulnerable environment even further?

I wonder if it'll scare him? I wonder if I'll get a reply. If I do he'll become my new 'friend,' along with Emma Thompson who is still sending me e mails.

Job done, I put it in the post then sit down to watch the Bafta's and check out if any of my new mates are there.

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