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Green Man wonders how to get the message across?

There are many ways to convey a message.  And when it comes to climate change and overconsumption, there are blogs, protest marches, films, and I’ve just discovered poetry.


So, I’d like you to click on this link: and then click on the poem ‘Consumed’ by Danny Chivers, and listen, whilst you read the text.  But as I’m inexperienced in this bloggy webby thing, I’ve discovered that clicking on this opens Danny’s page in the same window so you’ll have to open a new window with this page in to read the poem at the same time.  Getting the message across isn’t always that easy!


By Danny Chivers

Plastic throwaway junk won’t go away:

Sixty thousand tonnes or so a day.

The styrene shells from ’round Big Macs;

The bags from crisps and other snacks;

Teetering stacks of Tetrapaks

Forced into bulging rubbish sacks.

Landfill: a fine memento mori

Monument to our vain glory…

But this is only half the story.


Coal fuels the dark, satanic mills

That choke the air in Indo-China

Making useless dross to fill

Our homes and dustbin-liners.

This trail of fault gives a result

You might find rather strange

With every piece of merchandise

Included in the burger price

And every pack of useless tat:

“Look Mum – free climate change!”

And so we’re cooking the planet

With fresh fruit packaging, gnomes with wacky grins

Odd little plastic inside cracker things

Blow-up chairs, spray-on hair,

Clothes you know you’ll never wear

Low-fat grills, weight-loss pills

Electric salt and pepper mills

Garden strimmers, nose-hair trimmers

Buzzing belts to make you slimmer

Blackhead guns, rubber nuns,

Cuddly emoticons

Plasma screens, ski machines,

Ant and Dec figurines

Flashing ties, dolls that cry

Another book on Princess Di

Electronic Hang-Man

Fake tan, Cillit Bang

Bottled water, coin sorters

Stuff to make your eyebrows shorter

Fake rocks, heated socks

The complete DVD boxed

Films of Michael J. Fox

In a Teen Wolf lunch box

A robot dog called Humper who thrusts gamely at your leg

While you de-bobble your jumper and auto-de-shell your egg.

Wave goodbye to spills with this fantastic

Olive oil decanter,

And get festive with this life-sized plastic

Yoda dressed as Santa.


Every tragic item in this wretched litany is real

So please try to understand just how ridiculous I feel

Attempting to explain this to my unbelieving friends

Like some mad prophet of doom convinced the world’s about to end:

“All those Kinder Eggs you buy

Will drain Botswana’s soils dry!

Your room-perfumer (Alpine Fresh)

Is flooding towns in Bangladesh!

How far has the Sahara grown

For your dancing banana phone?”

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised

They’ve not yet done all I advised

And of course it makes far more sense

To just ignore the evidence

And keep on wiping out the species by not turning off our PCs

Fill our kettles to the top and ruin another country’s crops

Watch the coral reefs erode in the name of stand-by mode

Turn Oxfordshire into an isthmus buying strawberries at Christmas…

The methane locked in frozen bogs,

Could thaw, and push us past the brink

But we need cute hats for our dogs

And plastic stirrers for our drinks…

But why? We know the marketeers

Are preying on our hopes and fears

With pseudoscientific junk

To make us buy their bottled gunk

We know it’s nonsense when they swear

We need their slime to shine our hair

And four layers round a tangerine

To keep our kids safe from gangrene

It’s not too pro-vitamin complex

For us to understand

That their fun for all the family is getting out of hand

It’s a crazy, one-off deal

(Blind tasters all agree)

Using mass consumer growth to run the world’s economy

Try to get a New! Flexi-Grip!

On what I’m trying to say

Things that add nothing to our lives

Take others’ lives away

And bring eco-armageddon

A bit closer every day

We know we can live rich, full lives

Without their junk, and waste, and lies

And sensible restraint could save

Us from our closest ever shave.

To easy-swift-wipe clean this mess

(As proved by independent tests)

We need new rules on tax and trade

To stop this junk from being made

So join me on the barricades

                                               And start demanding LESS!


I met Danny at a meeting of the Climate Speakers Network.  Which means you can easily book Danny (or any of us!) to come and speak (or in Danny’s case, perform) at an event or to a group.  And in Danny’s case, this would be entertaining as well as informative.



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