Spices then gold now oil next water

Location In a tent in a field in Hay | Mood Christmas morning before the parents wake up | Date 27 May 2007
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
In a tent in a field in Hay
Christmas morning before the parents wake up
Torrential rain battering
Soaked from head to foot. No dry clothes left.
27 May 2007
Current crisis: 
Getting the camera out of the tent without it getting drenched
Current silver lining: 
Meeting heroes today

Rain, Cameras, Action....Rain, Cameras, Action....

Photograph: Charlotte Rushton


Surprisingly, this is the first time we've combined the camping and filming Crude experience. We're here at the Hay Festival to try to get interviews with a few key people while they're all in the same place at the same time. All the hotels are booked out years in advance, so a tent seemed logical. And fun. Hmmmm.

Lizzie's boyfriend Brendan says that three days in Hay with us has clarified a great deal about what his girlfriend has been up to the last two years. And totally convinced him never to work in film. He's writing a book and says he's quite happy that the biggest stress of his day remains "should I risk breaking my train of thought by getting up to have another biscuit?"

Actually Lizzie was the most stressed I've ever seen her during the whole Crude production today
after an hour babysitting Mark Lynas 's two kids while he did his talk. Shame for her that she missed Mark's fantastic put-down to the Environment Secretary, David Milliband: "You say that you are tackling climate change and yet you're allowing an unprecedented expansion of airports and motorways. Your government is either totally incompentent or in complete denial, which one is it?"

I went up to Milliband after to ask how quickly he thinks he can get carbon rationing in. He ummm'd and aaah'd and looked away. I said if he doesn't get it through into the UK - and then the rest of the world follows - in the next few years we're definitely going to hit two degrees. He said "yeah, but there's a 35% chance we're already committed to two degrees", as though that helped his argument rather than mine.

Spent the rest of our time chasing the historian Eric Hobsbawm who, for someone aged 90 with a limp, sure can move fast. Didn't help that we had no backstage passes, were not allowed to film on site and Gordon Brown's security kept clearing us out of the way in case Gordon was going to walk past. We finally persuaded Eric to sit down for a two minute interview in which he said exactly what I'd hoped he'd say: humans have always fought over resources. First it was spices, then it was gold, currently it's oil and next it'll be water. Cheers Eric.

The new kid on the Crude block, Bruce , happened to be here at the festival - on holiday, or so he thought - so we roped him into filming some of the interviews - in the house that his friends had rented ;-). The idea is to make the interviews look they have come from other films, so they need to be filmed in any style except Crudely. Seeing as I only have one intervew set-up up my sleeve, it's perfect that Bruce can film instead of me. And, as a Director whose last crew, on "Silent Witness ", was 80 people strong, he took it very well that today his crew was... Lizzie.

After much arranging and rearranging - and getting up at 5 to re-read his books - we finally managed to get Jeremy Leggett (author of The Carbon War and witness to many of the Kyoto shenanigans) into the hot seat. He said that the US administration's failure to address climate change in time will go down in history as one of the greatest crimes ever committed against humanity. Wow.

Had a beer to celebrate finishing. Got chatting to Bruce's girlfriend, Bonnie . Turns out she works at The Farm, who we made a canny all-inclusive post-production deal with. Signed her up as Post Production Supervisor. Ah, it's all coming together.

Managed to sneak into a few of the talks at Hay - Richard Dawkins and Steve Jones on good form, though Dave Eggers seemed bored of his own book - but the highlight was undoubtedly Mr George Monbiot. Can't remember ever being part of a standing ovation at a lecture before. Here's a good one from George: our problem is that we want it all. We want the cheap holidays AND the plasma screen TVs AND clear consciences. Which is why we all support governments that talk a lot of talk, but don't make any emission cuts. That way we can still feel good about ourselves while condemning millions of people to death.

George also brilliantly demolished a climate denier's argument, which I'm going to try to learn from ready for the inevitable haranguing I'll get when the film comes out:

Denier: Why aren't you asking Martians not to drive SUVs to stop THEIR planet's temperature increasing?
George: Is the question within your question: does man-made climate change exist?
Denier: Yes
George. OK. Why do you doubt it?
Denier: It's my opinion. I'm entitled to my opinion.
George. True. So what would it take for you to change that opinion? How about if every single scientist on the planet was in agreement that climate change is man made? Would that change your mind?
Denier: No
George: Next question.

Then he talked about levels of sacrifices and how pathetically soft we've become. It was only two generations ago, during the Second World War, that millions of young people were asked to sacrifice their lives. Now we are faced with a far bigger threat, and will we sacrifice our foreign holidays and slightly bigger TVs? Will we choose a packet of food that has flown less than a very similar packet of food on the shelf? Oh no we won't. Because the Global Warming Swindle says it isn't happening. Because my next door neighbour is still flying. Because China is expanding. Let those poor people in poor countries sacrifice their lives right now (150,000 per year cos of climate change at the moment) and all those future people sacrifice their existences, I'm not changing a thing.