Remember when this guy was the super-macho, helicopter flying, hard-man bad boy of the British Royal Family?
“At the end of the day, nature is our life source,” the red-headed royal rebel said in a recent interview for WaterBear, a streaming platform dedicated to environmental documentaries. The Duke of Sussex also described the COVID-19 pandemic as ecological retribution, urging viewers to consider it a wake-up call.
“Somebody said to me at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s almost as though Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms for bad behavior to really take a moment and think about what we’ve done,” he told the network’s CEO, Ellen Windemuth, and head of strategy, Sam Sataria.
Harry, 36, went on to reprimand humanity for taking Earth’s natural resources for granted.
“[The pandemic has] certainly reminded me about how interconnected we all are, not just as people but through nature,” he said. “We take so much from her and we rarely give a lot back.”
“Every single raindrop that falls from the sky relieves the parched ground,” he mused. “What if every single one of us was a raindrop, and if every single one of us cared?”
“The Lockdown is Mother Nature sending us to our rooms to think about what we’ve done” is the kind of take you expect from Eamon Ryan after he’s been up all night imbibing the environmentally friendly sauce.
And “what if every one of us was a raindrop” is so cringey that it makes you almost yearn for a celebrity video of actors singing John Lennon’s “imagine”, just for something less mortifying to write about.
Aside from the cheap mockery of woke nonsense, though (hey, you clicked, didn’t you?), is there a serious discussion to be had here?
The obvious thing to say is that there is absolutely zero reason to believe that the pandemic has anything to do with climate change. But it’s not completely unconnected to environmental stewardship – the working theory, remember, is still that Covid 19 jumped to humans from Pangolins, a small, and very endangered African species which the Chinese, of course, are hunting illegally to extinction because they think its scales are – what else – an aphrodisiac.
So in that limited sense, “ecological retribution” is a fair response. If the Chinese had left the Pangolins, and various other endangered species, alone, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Still, who does Harry think his audience is, here?
The number of people who hear the Duke of Sussex wondering about how the world might be different if we all sat back and thought of ourselves as raindrops, and resolve to change their ways, has to be vanishingly small. Given his role as a quasi-independent Royal, and a globally recognised name, he actually does have the power to draw attention to issues, and to change the conversation (again, you clicked, didn’t you?).
His mother, famously, devoted her post-marriage years to an actually worthy cause – abolishing landmines, and drawing attention to the devastating impact unexploded mines were having on the population, and wildlife, of former war zones. And her work had an impact, too – nearly all landmines are a thing of the past today, thanks in no small part to the work of Diana, Princess of Wales.
But Harry sitting in a multimillion dollar pad in Los Angeles, pretending to be some latter day, ginger Yoko Ono, is a complete waste of his platform.
What if he devoted his energies to an actually worthy cause that lacks much public attention – like, for example, cultural gendercide in many parts of the world? Or the plight of one or two endangered species? He could actually make a difference, and we and others might end up writing about him for good reasons, rather than writing about the latest abominably stupid, comedically woke thing that he’s said.