One of my favourite and most despairing rants over the last couple of years has been about how little attention we pay in the UK to the official days set up to raise awareness about environmental issues. Maybe it’s a reaction to the fact that many such past ‘events’ have just gone ‘phutttt’ and not had the desired or expected effect (in this country at any rate), but whatever the reason, the media pretty much never seems to support these events, which in itself means that they never have the effect they could have.

Today is World Environment day. I put this in my diary a year ago so that I wouldn’t forget to see if anything had changed over the last 12 months. Last year I commented that in the UK little or no noise had been made or was being made on the day - in fact it was hardly possible to find a mention in the newspapers. I even contacted the guys at UNEP to ask them whether they felt there was a good reaction to it here in the UK. They replied that there had been unprecedented interest at a ground roots level, but I was still surprised by the lack of mention in the media.

This morning, every hopeful, I therefore did a tour of the websites of our beloved newspapers. This is what I found:

  • The Times: no mention on the home page, no mention on the Environment home page
  • The Guardian: ditto
  • The Telegraph: Nothing that I could find
  • The Independent: same again
  • The Daily Mail: ha ha….
  • The Sun: wait a minute, I’ve found something! Of all the papers to actually take notice, the good old ‘currant bun’ has picked up on it with a link from the home page, and even an image, leading to this article. Ok, so it’s typically tongue in cheek, but at least they’ve atually sat up and taken notice!

But that’s it… A sorry state of affairs as far as I’m concerned, because I truly believe that we need to shout about the environment whenever possible, and that every time we do shout, we pick up a few more people willing to do their bit and work on reducing our CO2 emissions. Without the support of the media, the task of shouting becomes that much more difficult.

So I will once more put World Environment Day in my diary for next year, but this time I’m going to put in a warning one week before, and I’m going to shout about it. In fact I’m going to shout about it to all of the newspapers, and maybe, just maybe, even my little voice will have an effect. Here’s hoping.