Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Charles writes a Ladybird book

When Donald Trump won the US Presidential election in early November 2016, it occurred to me that Prince Charles might be galvanised into some sort of action in promoting awareness of climate change in response. Charles' initial response to Trump seems to have been to write a Ladybird Book about climate change, with former head of the Friends of the Earth NGO Tony Juniper and climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh as co-authors, due to be released on Jan 26th.

Prince Charles promoted the new book in a recent article he wrote for the Mail on Sunday, in which a short extract from the book was included. Paul Homewood of the 'Not a lot of people know that' blog seems to have done a pretty good debunking job on Charles' efforts:

link1

One thing that did surprise me about Charles, and is to his credit, is that he did manage somehow to stay out of the EU Referendum campaign in 2016. Charles is known to be pretty keen on the EU and its promotion of Greenery, an example being this news story from 2008:

link2

Re: Charles writes a Ladybird book

I noticed this webpage the other day which gives some information on how the book was written, but it strikes me as being a bit implausible.

link

According to the webpage, Charles got the idea of writing the Ladybird book following a discussion with his loyal MP friend Nicholas "Fatty" Soames after returning from the COP21 climate Change conference held in Paris in Dec 2015. He then approached Tony Juniper and the climate scientist Emily Shuckberg to write the book.

If this was true, you wouldn't expect the Ladybird book publisher (which I think is Penguin Books) to call this new series of books the 'Expert Series', as Charles cannot really be regarded as an expert on the science of climate change. He is more like an authority figure, and a term like say the 'Authoritative Series' would have been more apt. Also consider the other two titles in the launch of the 'Expert Series' - a book on 'Quantum Mechanics' by Jim Al-Khalili (Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Surrey), and a book on 'Evolution' by Steve Jones (Professor of Genetics at University College London). You wouldn't pick Prince Charles as being the nearest equivalent of those two expert authors for a book on climate change. That leads me to think that the originally intended expert author selected by the publisher was Emily Shuckberg, with Prince Charles and Tony Juniper then coming in at a later date. I can imagine Charles requesting (and not being turned down) that he be included as a co-author of the short book, along with his friend and adviser Tony Juniper, following what to him would be the shock result of Donald Trump being elected as US President in early Nov 2016.

Writing this sort of book suggests to me that Charles now thinks that he might actually have to convince the 'plebs' about climate change, which is not something I've previously noticed him doing. He has given quite a few speeches on climate change over the years, but he tends to give them to various sympathetic elite audiences like the EU, the UN COP conferences, and sustainable development people from big business. Until Donald Trump got elected, it would probably never have occurred to Charles that the opinion of the hoi polloi in the West towards Greenery mattered at all.