I’ve been away for a few days and am busy catching up on recent blogposts and comments (and excellent stuff it is too).
I see that the BBC has devoted some attention to links between the Gaddafi family and various British institutions and politicians. However, I can’t seem to find any mention of the useful idiots who, in the name of climate change, supported this particular PR exercise/vanity project back in 2007:
The Libyan government has announced the creation of what it claims is “the world’s first sustainable region”. It’s backed by architects Foster and Partners, enthusiastically endorsed by Sir Nicholas Stern – and directed by the Colonel’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.
The Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority (GMCDA) will cover the northeastern region of Jabal al Akhdar (literally, ‘Green Mountain’). This encompasses several of the country’s major cities, including Benghazi, and stretches from the coast inland to a plateau featuring junipers, cypresses and wild olives. According to Norman Foster, it’s “one of the most beautiful and little known landscapes on earth”…
Sir Nicholas Stern… has given his blessing: “If we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change… we need urgently to build new economic and social models of development on a substantial scale. The GMCDA will show how environmental and cultural objectives can help to build a thriving and sustainable local economy in a crucial part of the world.” Among other organisations involved are UNESCO, WWF and the Prince of Wales School of Traditional Arts.
The locals didn’t seem to share the enthusiasm of Lords Stern and Foster and the Prince of Wales for Saif Gaddafi’s vision. Green Mountain and Benghazi were among the first areas to revolt.
The BBC’s Michael Hirst was at the press conference at which Saif’s eco-utopia was unveiled. It’s a shame he didn’t remind his colleagues on Newsnight about it before their recent report; I can’t be alone in wondering how much money Foster and Partners received for their work on young Gaddafi’s project, or what financial return Lord Stern and others got for their endorsement. (Yes, I know – the BBC avoids asking the blessed Lord Stern awkward questions, especially concerning his lucrative career as one of the world’s foremost climate change alarmists.)
One final point relating to people who have in the past sucked up to the Gaddafis – who else remembers the edition of Have Your Say from the Oxford Union in which the BBC’s David Eades made a total tart of himself?
UPDATE. Thanks to John Horne Tooke for pointing out that David Eades continues to make a tart of himself, most recently at a “Sustainability Day” sponsored by Italian energy giant Enel last month – see here and here.