Royals against climate change

In: Uncategorized

2 Apr 2010

In the last two posts I have referred to growth scepticism as an elite ideology. I essentially see it as an expression of the elite defending its narrow interests by trying to discourage mass consumption.

Often the most prominent supporters of growth sceptic ideas are wealthy business types and leading politicians. Richard Branson, Al Gore,  Arnold Schwarzenegger  and George Soros are prominent examples. But sometimes they are aristocrats in the most literal sense.

Fiona Harvey explored this theme in last weekend’s Financial Times magazine with an article on “Europe’s royals as climate change activists”.

Evidently royals across Europe are campaigning avidly on the issue. Usually it is those who are in line for the throne rather than serving monarchs:

“European royals hold dinners, convene meetings of business leaders, open conferences, hold photo sessions in picturesque regions, set up foundations and make speeches urging planetary preservation. What’s more, their efforts are having some effect. Scores of businesses, cajoled by royals, have signed up to take action on greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental issues have made their way into some unlikely places, including the celebrity-filled pages of Heat and Hello! When any of the current ­generation of heirs ascends the throne, we can expect their gown to be – ­metaphorically at least – trimmed in green rather than ermine.”

The article ended with a note of sadness. Those pesky republics including America, Brazil, China and India are not paying sufficient attention to Europe’s royals.

Its implication is that billions of people from around the world should pay serious attention to a few privileged relics from Europe’s undemocratic past.