n the early 1990s, when I was 12 or 13, the BBC aired a TV series which followed families in a variety of European countries as they tried to prove how “green” they were.

Quite possibly I got into it because I had a crush on the girl from the Danish family. But week by week (or was it day by day?), I became more intrigued by the programme’s primary, environmental message. My recollection is that there was a competitive side to the concept, with each family vying to prove they were the most eco-friendly – mainly by recycling, growing their own vegetables and taking public transport. I loved it.

As climate catastrophe approaches with ever-increasing rapidity, it is odd to think that back then, the green message seemed niche to the point of radicalism. Then again, it’s not as odd as the fact that with ecological disaster now an ever-present danger, so many people seem to regard the prospect with complete equanimity.

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