I watched The Boat That Rocked last night. It's Richard Curtis' film about pirate radio and it's great fun - well acted, with some pretty wonderful music. It also, in passing, makes a bold claim for the importance of rock n' roll and the place of the pirates in ensuring we all got to hear it in the 1960s.
I am slightly too young to have had my love of pop and rock formed by the pirates, though I did listen to Luxembourg and Caroline. Curtis' film lovingly recreates the clash between the establishment and the pirates and reminds us just how different the world was in 1966.
Perhaps ministers-in-training should be watching it alongside reading Callum Brown's book on the church in that decade as well as other assessments of how significant the 1960s were in creating the world in which we now live.
And talking about significant boats in history, Friedman reminds us of one in his chapter on biodiversity. As he movingly tells the story of the last breeding pair of giant soft-shelled turtles, the language he uses, because no other language is good enough, is that of Noah and the flood. Indeed the whole chapter is littered with biblical allusions.
Take this as an example: 'we may be the first generation in human history that literally has to act like Noah - to save the last pairs of a wide range of species....Unlike Noah, though, we - our generation and our civilization - are responsible for the flood, and we have responsibility to build the ark...The beginning of wisdom is to understand that it is our challenge and our responsibility to act like Noah - to create arks, not floods.' (p181).
I wonder how many parties in the forthcoming election will be putting up posters of Noah leading the animals into the ark as they promise to get serious about climate change?