Base 2010: Day 2
Unexpected pleasure last night – steady on – an organic/biodynamic wine tasting session hosted by Sommelier of the Year 2009, Laura Rhys. None of this swishing and spitting nonsense either – not a drop of this wine went to waste. With two young kids, I’ve got out of practice of handling drink on an empty stomach, so afterwards I had a quick dinner and retired to my room with a lemonade and a book…
No ill effects this morning, so I went running again, this time over to the Thames Barrier and its park before coming back over the Victoria Dock Bridge (see pic – and, yes, I did run up the stairs).
First up this morning was Ed Miliband MP, UK Climate Change and Energy Secretary. Like his brother before him, he was very clued up as to the issues and fairly honest about Government efforts. I say ‘fairly’ as I asked him how he squared his excellent Copenhagen “Martin Luther King didn’t say ‘I had a nightmare'” line (which he repeated here) with his department’s ‘nightmare fairy tales’ TV adverts. He said it had been cleared by the Advertising Standards Agency when they had in fact criticised one or two elements. Tut tut. His answer was a bit evasive too, saying we needed to warn of both the dream and the nightmare.
Mid-morning I delivered the ‘Three Secrets’ presentation to a small-ish but very responsive audience – great questions (remember you can see a previous version of this here). I followed this with a lengthy discussion over coffee about the Green Executive with Earthscan, then some chats in the VIP enclave – I’m finding some of these conversations more rewarding than the formal sessions.
But I did break out again to go and see Vince Cable, Lib Dem shadow chancellor and the most respected politician in the UK. I knew he had worked for Shell, but I didn’t realise he had participated in the Brundtland Report or an early international political investigation of climate change. He was very realistic on the impact the recession was having on sustainability and sketched out some ways of getting back on track, particularly making the EU Emissions Trading Scheme work as it should. But he had some gloomy things to say about the state of the economy and the consequences.
Another great day!