Saturday, 14 June 2008

Onegin and much champagne

Sadly, this was one I took last year! On Thursday at Glyndebourne, it was a cold and rather damp evening for Eugene Onegin. But not on stage: what a production! And an unforgettable Letter Scene. Thanks to our most generous hosts, we cannot believe our good fortune in catching it.

Nonetheless. I reported last week 's Science Festival reflection that we have not yet had our Pearl Harbour moment when it comes to climate change: in the Guardian, also on Thursday, Mark Lynas writes: "If current [climate] policy continues to fail... then 50% to 80% of all species on earth could be driven to extinction... and much of the planet's surface left uninhabitable to humans."

So, what becomes of Glyndebourne? Are they fiddling whilst Rome burns? The usual magnificent programme book proclaims carbon-neutrality. In his Foreword, Executive Chairman Gus Christie mentions "our on-going aspirations to reduce our CO2 emissions". If an application to put a wind turbine on nearby Mill Plain is granted, it will reduce operational carbon emissions by around 70%, he writes - but 74% of Glyndebourne's carbon footprint is down to audience travel.

So, will we fix it by all piling into the train? What about the food miles, and all that champagne? "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" Sir Toby Belch's rhetorical jibe becomes a real question when (as Lynas says) "no politically plausible scenario we could envisage will now keep the world below the danger threshold of two degrees."

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