The duty of a constitutional monarch in Britain is to advise warn and encourage, and that is exactly what he is doing with this book [on climate change]. He is advising us about a problem that we really need to pay attention to. He’s been doing that for about 40 years now, and the only people who have ever seemed to have objected to it are unelected editors and few politicians who disagree with him. Actually, I think that he has probably been more in tune with the public than most of our political leader and commentators.
I think that it will reach an audience that it not often reached by a lot of the other media and the other channels that are available, but also because it has got his imprimatur, this is probably, after Mr Trump, one of the most well known figures in the world, and the fact that he is speaking out on [climate change] at a time when all of the evidence in people’s lives is beginning to come through. Exactly what the scientists said would happen. We have seen the hottest winter in the arctic that we have ever seen. We have seen an extraordinary increase in floods and extreme weather events all around the world. We have our own flood events happening here. So all of the things that the scientists were telling us thirty years ago were likely to happen, we are now starting to see happening.
Trump is not in a reality TV show. He is in the real world, and in the real world the climate is not going to pay any attention to what Mr Trump thinks. What I am more concerned about is the fact that one this creates an enormous opportunity for the Chinese to fill the space left by the Americans, and therefore to build support for a country that you want to be careful about. But also, actually it means America last, because what is going to happen is that the rest of the world is going to go on taking the opportunities of building a low carbon economy, and he is going to slow down the effort of the united states to take on the new smart technologies, which is where we are actually going to go anyway.
I don’t think that there is a problem with the public. I think the public, by enlarge, ‘gets it’ on climate change. I think that there are some, very small groups of people who don’t get it. The public is a bit less alert to what it should do, and it’s looking to governments to do more than they are doing, to give a lead, as it were. I think ladybird will reach an audience of people who don’t spend a lot of time looking at news channels, and don’t spend a lot of time looking at newspapers, but actually will use the book and, partly because it is a Ladybird Book, will be using it with their kids.