You can just imagine the editorial meetings that led up to BBC2 commissioning It’s Not Easy Being Green:
BBC executives: This grass-roots environmental movement is all very well, but we’re never going to save the planet if the middle classes don’t join the revolution. We need to make environmentalism inclusive.
So they hire Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Francis “Dick” Strawbridge MBE and his awfully nice family to host the show and give it some grass-roots street-cred by hiring rock-chick Lauren Laverne (who has come a long way since she described the Spice Girls as ‘Tory scum’) to present a weekly feature investigating ‘the posh end of the green market’. In this first episode she explores how to build an eco-friendly swimming pool for a mere £100k.
In the first episode of the third series, the Strawbridges tile their roofs with photovoltaics – a snip at £15k, of which the government contributes £2.5k. Bargain, says Strawbridge Sr:
Bearing in mind that you could easily spend about a thousand pounds a year for electricity for a house like ours, the panels will pay for themselves – eventually.
The BBC executives have got the wrong end of the stick entirely. If there is an environmental movement, it’s not grass-roots. It’s populated by the very Lieutenant-Colonels, rock-chicks, Crown Princes, trustafarians and ‘Tory scum‘ that the BBC are trying to reach out to. It’s Not Easy Being Green just gives privileged people one more reason to feel pretty damned pleased with themselves. The show is also mis-named; being green is easy – you only have to devote all your time, attention and resources to it, and make your lifestyle the subject of a reality TV show. It’s just a mystery why everyone else doesn’t do it.
I watched it – hilarious! It also helps being green if you have a massive house in the Cornish countryside with acres to spare for all these vital green projects. I’m sure the average urban pensioner could manage that, if they really tried. Compost toilet? No problem! Just install it in a convenient outhouse on the borders of one’s estate. Why doesn’t everyone do this? :o)