Crap at the Environment
Author: Mark Watson
Pub: Hodder & Stoughton
In this line of work, where we spend our days contemplating waste and recycling, and by extension, the Earth and its future, it can be easy to forget that there are folk out there who give the environment much less heed. Indeed, the sad fact is that a large portion of the population is still completely unaware of the massive issue of climate change.
One such individual is, or I should say was, Mark Watson, acclaimed comedian, writer and panel-show personality. Watson was, in his own words, ‘crap at the environment’; his penchant for long-haul flights, his plastic bag ‘habit’, his weakness for air-freighted wine – all of these factors (and more) added up to a big fat carbon footprint of 6.3 tonnes a year, compared to the UK average of 4.48 tonnes. But after watching Al Gore’s award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, he’s struck by green panic and sets about being ‘less crap, and more good, at the environment’. The book documents his reluctance – and later, enthusiasm – to change his ways, the progress his campaign makes, and the many like him he encounters along the way.
Watson’s eco-quest sees him fashioning newspaper pots, embarking on 13-hour train rides in place of flying, endorsing moon cups, spearheading the CATE (Crap at The Environment) campaign to resounding support and, crucially, meeting the man who prompted it all, Al Gore, in undertaking Gore’s ‘Climate Change Leadership Program’.
His story provides a really interesting insight into ‘bottom-up’ environmentalism – reading how a regular Joe has worked diligently to become ‘less crap’ at the environment is both illuminating and inspiring. And of course, thanks to Watson’s comedic credentials, the books makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read. If we could get this into the hands of regular Joes everywhere, our jobs might just become that bit easier!