Science Interviews


Sun, 1st Aug 2010

Greenpeace at Glastonbury

Will Luton, Greenpeace

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show The Science of Glastonbury

Ben -   Many groups used the festival as a chance to communicate with the public and many of the issues they're communicating have a scientific topic at their core.  But is a music festival really a good place to communicate science?  I spoke to Will Luton.  He was a volunteer with Green Peace who had a very visible presence at the festival.

Will -   We are here very much to represent green issues.  Green Peace’s basis is formedThe Greenpeace Field, Glastonbury around environment issues as well as peace and disarmament.  We have a large campaign this year, focusing around palm oil and deforestation.

Ben -   The green issues that you have have at their heart, a scientific issue.  What sort of priority do you give to communicating science with people or are you more engaged with the politics?

Will -   Both of those things are extremely important for Green Peace and I don't think that you can separate one from the other very easily.  All of our campaigns are led by science and the science leads hopefully to policy change.

Ben -   And specifically, what are you doing here at the festival?

Will -   Okay, so there’s essentially a Green Peace Field where we have fun campaign things.  So we have skate ramp down there, we have the rainforest showers.  So, that’s very much about communicating our campaign issues and our campaign agenda.  We also have a presence backstage here, which is where we are now, where we are very much again communicating with people one-on-one and talking to people about what we do.

Ben -   Do you think people are engaging with the issues?

Will -   Yes, certainly.  I've had some absolutely fantastic conversations with people.  We’ve been pushing the fact that every 16 minutes, we lose a piece of land which is the size of the Glastonbury site in rainforest.  That’s every 16 minutes, which is absolutely huge and completely unsustainable, and people have been reacting to that.  It’s been really fantastic.  I think people really want to get behind what we do.

Ben -   This being the international year of biodiversity, do you think people are a bit more clued in to issues surrounding things like habitat loss?

Will -   I think so, yeah.  We had the conversations with people and we very much find that they said, “Did you do that thing last year?  We’ve heard this thing about this other thing.”  I think people are very much aware of issues and becoming more and more aware.  Particularly, habitat loss as well has been off the radar for a long time and it’s been great to bring it back and tell people about it.


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