Activist and Poet Pens Ode to Warn of Perils of Climate Change

© Royal Academy of Arts David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011

The former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom is up in poems about the dangers of climate change. Sir Andrew Motion is the newly elected president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. It's an important lobby group that "campaigns for a beautiful and living countryside."

He is outspoken, some would say correct, in his view of global warning deniers. He says "I think they're modern-day crackpots, they're flat-earthers. It’s ostrich behaviour. I think they’re wrong but their point of view has to be acknowledged and become part of the conversation. Perhaps you have to do the same about people who think the world was made in a week — deny it.”

He has composed a poem to explain the consequences of climate change. He must have been reading some Robert Frost when he wrote it.

"Whose woods these are I think I know,
They don’t stretch as far as they once did, though.
Felled and razed, they’ll fast disappear,
Though not quite as fast as Greek debts will grow.

From pollution to fishing, we’ve made such a mess,
Though no match for Lansley’s, over the NHS,
Cameron’s supporting his minister for now,
But will he last out the summer? It’s anyone’s guess.

A surfeit of pesticides is choking our fields,
So much for the power the green movement wields!
The future for sustainable farming looks sickly,
Though not yet as sickly as Italian bond yields.

You know what we need? A new master’s degree,
For creative writing, about trees and the sea.
Before climate change forces our farmers to switch,
To harvesting grapevines and producing Chablis.

And when farming is finished, what’ll we do for cash?
When we’ve emptied our forests of oak, elm and ash?
We’ll be forced to resort to this flourishing industry,
Of crashing our cars and filing claims for whiplash.

Our woods were lovely, dark and deep.
A landscape we’d made promises to keep.
Until we deemed the price too steep.
Until we deemed the price too steep."

Tags: Books | Global Climate Change | London

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