Peter Rhodes on queuing for jabs, the population crisis and the bleak years to come

And off to be jabbed. “This is not a car park. It is a moving queue,” announced the lady in a hi-viz jacket with a clipboard, in the sort of tone that people develop when they get a hi-viz jacket and a clipboard. We all dutifully did as we were told, our cars moving slowly across the hotel car park where more people with clipboards told us to wind down the car windows and bare our arms.

“People wearing ten layers, that's what's causing the hold-ups,” explained a volunteer. Lightly chastened and with best biceps forward, we jabbees answered “no” to the question about egg allergies, applied the handbrake and were promptly, and painlessly, injected against flu without even having to leave the car.

Vaccinations are like buses. Nothing for years and then three in a row. Four, to be precise. My Covid-19 booster is due in a few weeks and we'll have to do all this again. Avoid too many layers. Bare those arms for this great national effort. In the spirit of Lord Kitchener's famous recruiting poster, Your Country Needles You.

Reality check, please. The optimistic and desperately well-intentioned Earthshot awards (BBC1) began with Coldplay giving us a zero-emissions performance. The band's electricity was entirely provided by 60 volunteers on static-bicycle generators. Pedal-power pop was a novelty but it hardly reflects the sort of sacrifices we will all have to make in order to hit our CO2 targets.

If you need a more realistic vision of the future, forget rock bands jetting around the planet and imagine an audience connected by Zoom, sitting at home in cool rooms listening to a Coldplay download. If we're serious about saving the planet we're going to have to accept real bleakness, not a few celebrity gimmicks.

Strange, too, that in an event created by Prince William, there was not a mention of an issue dear to his grandfather's heart. If Prince Philip had lived long enough to see this show, he would have suggested at least a word about overpopulation.

Most of the world's problems are connected in some way to the fact that the number of people competing for food, fuel and commodities has increased, in the lifespan of a single human, from 2.5 billion to eight billion. Our species is breeding itself to death.

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