Change Alley

information, opinion, conversation

An Everyday Story Of Climate Change

with 4 comments

More evidence, if any were needed, that climate change has irrevocably invaded the consciousness of Middle England. The BBC Radio 4 soap opera ‘The Archers’ featured a touching scene in which a young member of the Archer clan, disturbed by a school lesson on the impact of climate change, quizzed her parents on what they were doing to fix the problem.

For the uninitiated, ‘The Archers’, “an everyday story of country folk”, was first broadcast in 1951 and is the world’s longest running radio soap with over 15,000 episodes under its belt. Set in the mythical English village of Ambridge, somewhere between the Midlands and the West Country, populated by characters who are mostly named Archer but without the slightest whiff of inbreeding, the program was originally conceived as a government propaganda and information tool in the dark days of post-war shortages. It has evolved into a more conventional soap, but still finds time to offer thinly-veiled advice on rural issues.

Last Friday’s episode had the concerned Archerette bemoaning her grandparents’ imminent climate-busting flight to New Zealand, and demanding to know what her parents were doing to reduce emissions on their farm. Cue a stream of worthy initiatives: hedge planting, better pasture management, reduced fertiliser inputs. All good stuff, it’s just a shame that only a minority of the show’s listeners live in the country, and even fewer have anything to with agriculture.

Episode synopsis and podcast


Written by Pete Smith

November 24, 2007 at 11:52 am

4 Responses

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  1. The Archers, such an institution and yet, I’ve never quite worked out why.


    November 24, 2007 at 7:57 pm

  2. You’ve not lived here that long have you Matt? It’s a culture thing.

    Pete Smith

    November 24, 2007 at 9:11 pm

  3. I don’t know Pete, maybe you’re right. Although about what I’m not sure. 🙂


    November 24, 2007 at 9:55 pm

  4. That’s two things in quick succession you’re not sure about Matt. Get a grip! 🙂

    Pete Smith

    November 24, 2007 at 10:50 pm

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