Naturalist David Attenborough met Barack Obama and the Pope sought anti-capitalist Naomi Klein’s advice – who next?
By Megan Darby
It is pretty unusual for the president of the United States to interview anyone, and a veteran British naturalist might not be the obvious choice.
But it’s happened – Barack Obama and Sir David Attenborough made common cause on climate change, in a broadcast published by the White House Friday.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has recruited secular anti-capitalist writer and activist Naomi Klein to his moral crusade on global warming.
Which got RTCC thinking: who else could we set up on a climate date? Add your suggestions below the line.
Narendra Modi and Leo DiCaprio
The boyish star of Titanic and Django Unchained has nailed his green colours to the mast. Leo DiCaprio was last September named a UN ambassador on climate change. Days later, he was marching alongside indigenous activists through the streets of New York.
Just as quickly, the Mail Online was labelling the multi-millionaire a hypocrite, pointing to his lavish jetsetter lifestyle. Highlights included renting the world’s fifth largest yacht from a UAE oil tycoon.
That’s where the charismatic Indian prime minister could be his perfect match. Not only does Narendra Modi share his passion for solar panels, he is an advocate for low carbon living.
If only DiCaprio would trade in his skiing holiday in the Alps for a yoga retreat, Modi would be sure to tell him, he could be that bit more credible a climate advocate.
The Dalai Lama and Graca Machel
The spiritual guide for an estimated 350 million Buddhists worldwide, the Dalai Lama was fomenting climate rebellion at the UK’s Glastonbury festival this weekend.
He told the assembled music-lovers to put pressure on their governments to go green, saying: “The concept of war is outdated, but we do need to fight. Countries think about their own national interest rather than global interests and that needs to change because the environment is a global issue.”
For all his belly laughs and winning smile, the Tibetan leader has one big obstacle to making friends: China. The world’s biggest emitter considers him a threat to national unity.
It takes a brave person to stand up to Beijing. Someone like Graca Machel, perhaps. The humanitarian campaigner, politician and widow of Nelson Mandela is no stranger to power struggles.
Indeed, Machel sternly rebuked leaders for their weak carbon cutting promises and lack of courage at last September’s New York summit. Who better to fight side by side with the exiled Tibetan? Non-violently, of course.
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner and Pharrell Williams
Marshall Islands poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner was the breakout star of New York, with an emotive message to her baby daughter.
Her appeal for action to save her low-lying island home from the rising seas could not have failed to touch the hearts of assembled dignitaries.
With a little help from pop phenomenon Pharrell Williams, she could really hit the big time.
It would be a chance for the creator of viral hit “Happy” to regain the climate platform. His plans to curate a 7-continent Live Earth 2015 concert, announced to great fanfare at Davos in January, have sunk without trace.