Never thought of myself as a diary-keeper, indeed had not kept a diary until 1989, when I completed a diary which was then turned into a book, A Year in the Greenhouse, by Victor Gollancz. The first entry, for Friday, 23 December 1988, began as follows” In today’s world, a shotgun can sometimes be heard around the world.” I then went on to talk about the assassination the previous day of Chico Mendes, who had fought to protect Brazil’s rubber and brazil nut reserves against the depredations of loggers and cattle ranchers. Activists still run the risk of murder there.
Tonight, went along to the Royal Society of Arts for an evening with Elenira Mendes, Chico’s daughter, flanked by a panel including Jonathan Dove, Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace and Dame Vivienne Westwood. Interesting flashes, and not (mercifully) by the once-knickerless-Dame, but overall the evening struck me as somewhat flat. Dame Vivienne did her best pantomime party piece, alternately lauding Jim Lovelock and warning that 5 billion people will die this century before scooting off into la-la-land.
Early on there was lively applause for Greenpeace’s cunning plan of buying a plot of land smack-bang in the middle of where BAA wants to build its third runway at Heathrow.