Took part in a very lively and enjoyable debate this evening at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood – on the subject of climate change. Edward Stourton of the BBC chaired, with the panel composed of Paul Dickinson of the Carbon Disclosure Project, John Grant (who was a key figure in the St Luke’s advertising agency and with whom I sit on the 2degrees Advisory Board) and myself. Event was organised by Laura Mazur and Louella Miles, co-authors of Green Gurus.
Just in from phenomenal concert by Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings at Cadogan Hall. Gaia and Hania came, too. We sat perhaps 10 rows from the front, Elaine with cotton wool stuffed in her ears, in a highly convivial with the likes of John Hurt (the seat behind), Jerry Hall and Ben Kingsley. A bit like a family reunion in terms of the band/audience interface. Albert Lee and Beverley Skeete did a ravishing ‘Crying in the Rain’ and the reworking of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ was outlandishly good. ‘Honky Tonk Woman’, too. Joy unconfined.
Just in from doing a keynote at the third Climate Dialogue organised by Telekom Austria at Schloss Schonbrunn, alongside CEO Dr Hannes Ametsreiter and Austrian Forests and Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich. Our session was followed by a truly spectacular ballet/gymnastics display, featuring images of the formation of the Earth, through the ravages of industrialisation to the emergence of clean, green technologies. And then I got to both sit in a Tesla sports car and drive it across the gravel and around a fountain, which for someone who doesn’t like sports cars had me rather excitable. Have been stunned at how hospitable the Austrians are.
As I began my presentation at the Telekom Austria event, I spotted racing driver Niki Lauda in the front row – and addressed him in my opening remarks. I recalled that quite some years ago I had been asked by J. Walter Thompson what I thought of Formula 1 racing in the context of sustainability? My slightly unexpected (they told me) reply was that I supported their proposed ad campaign linking Shell to F1 sport and sustainability – because racing engineers were often at the cutting edge of fuel efficiency technology. But, I noted to my Vienna audience, if we all end up wanting to drive Maseratis we are going to have a bit of a problem.
Later in the evening, totally unexpectedly, I found myself at the wheel of a Tesla – an adventure captured by a Tesla photographer (see above). About as far from a Lauda as could be imagined – and instead of an ever-louder roar, there was just the crunch of the gravel under-wheel.
Walking in the Belvedere Spanish School horse-head Inside the Cathedral Drivers await fares, with horses Art in our new hotel, Le Meridien Horizon, evening mood as some painters would say, from our verandah
Wonderful visit to the Belvedere to see their Klimt collection, including ‘The Kiss’, in which the male looks vampiric and the female unconscious, but lovely nonetheless. Also interesting to see the likes of Jacques Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon on a rearing horse, while his poor troops trudged up towards a distant pass, some of them almost buried already, only their bayonets showing as they climb through a defile. History in the making. One expected delight today was stumbling on the Spanish School and seeing some of the horses.
Oh, and reading again a website entry about Cafe Mozart, I discovered that this is where Graham Green worked on the script for the film of The Third Man – and that the theme tune is also known as the Cafe Mozart Waltz.