Just as we went to press for the last issue we got more media coverage in a week then we often get in a month! It may seem a while ago now, but if you cast your minds back to the start of April, you’ll remember that Birmingham, along with much of the Midlands and the South of the country, was hit by a lot of smog.
I was interviewed about the story live in the studio on a lunchtime edition of BBC Midlands Today, and also appeared with a pre-recorded piece on the evening edition. Over the course of 6 days I also appeared three times on BBC Radio WM, including taking part in a debate with former Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson, and once on BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire. The appearances may have been numerous but my message was the same: the smog was about more than desert sand, with traffic being a significant contributor, and even once the smog dissipated we have an underlying air pollution problem which we need to tackle with greater investment in public and active transport.
We had some more air pollution interviews a month later, when the World Health Organisation released a report showing the worst cities worldwide for Particulate Matter. This report included, yes you guessed it, Birmingham. I was interviewed on BBC WM and Free Radio about the issue, again making the case for active travel as the solution to poor air quality. I was particularly pleased about the appearance on Free Radio as it was the first time they have shown interest in an air pollution story, hopefully the first of many!
It wasn’t just about air pollution, as I also appeared on BBC WM on two occasions to talk about everyone’s favourite topic: waste and recycling. I was also interviewed about the demise of the Car 2 Go scheme.
However I haven’t been the only BFoE campaigner in the media spotlight. Our waste campaigner John Newson was interviewed about the Council charging for Green Waste collections on both BBC WM and BBC Midlands Today. Tom Garrood also appeared on BBC WM talking about Friends of the Earth’s Great British Count and the Bee Cause in general.
So a busy few months in the media, and long may it continue!