Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Westwood gives climate change talk

Dame Vivienne Westwood at her first Glastonbury Festival

Dame Vivienne Westwood has experienced her first taste of Glastonbury as she appeared as a guest speaker in the Greenpeace field.

The fashion designer turned environmental campaigner was given a tour of the area, which has long been a part of the festival, with the charity being one of the three main causes supported by it alongside Water Aid and Oxfam.

Westwood, 73, said she believed her talk on climate change and fracking had been well received. "I am popular with people, I do know," she said.

"And the people who come to listen to me usually like me for some reason.

"The first question I ask them is how many people don't know about fracking and quite a few didn't.

"So I explained to them that we need activists and we need people to start pulling together so that governments will listen to popular opinion.

"Everything's connected, including fracking. Probably the best thing we could be doing in England to save the Arctic is to fight fracking. It's all connected, it all contributes to global warming.

"I think it's so important that young people know because it's their future and maybe governments will listen to young people's opinions.

"They won't enter into a debate and they're pushing through laws that are going to make it impossible for people to have a debate - they're trying to railroad it through, it's terrible."

Westwood enjoyed the view from the large ship dominating the field, which also features giant animatronic polar bear Aurora, designed to remind people of the melting ice caps in the Arctic.

The vessel, named the Arctic Sunrise after Greenpeace's ship which is being held in Russia after being seized by the military, features a 15ft bouldering wall and skating ramp, which was proving popular with festival-goers who had brought their boards.

Westwood said she was looking forward to exploring the rest of the Green Fields, made up of 40 acres of green energy-fuelled exhibits, stages and demonstrations. She added: "I didn't think I liked festivals and I was just saying, I'm not that kind of person.

"As a teenager I never liked all-night parties at all. I always wanted to go home to bed. But I think it's really lovely and they keep asking me to stay, but I've got to get home.

"It's a beautiful day and apparently there's really good stuff going on here and I'm going to go and have a look at it."

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