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French Connection: Queen’s death end of an era

Queen E is a hard act to follow
As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

The Queen Elizabeth II era ended with a massive day of mourning Monday (Sept. 19). Hundreds of heads of governments and states, dignitaries from all over the world, kings and queens from the countries that have them, along with hundreds of thousands of “ordinary” people put their differences aside for a day to go London for the Queen’s funeral. Along with the ceremonies in London, memorial services were held in many countries, including some with no connection to the British royalty at all.

Queen E is a hard act to follow, but King Charles has spent his life learning from her, plus he does have ideas of his own, including strong thoughts on the environment.

Climate change is on many minds. It will be interesting to see if a recent event in the business world will trigger any action. American multi-billionaire Yvon Chouinard hopes so. He’s given his $3 billion-plus outdoor apparel company, Patagonia, to a trust/ nonprofit organization especially designed to “save the planet.” The new owners will direct all profits (some $100 million yearly) to “combating climate change and protecting undeveloped land around the globe.”

Chouinard says “Earth is now our only shareholder” and he hopes his actions will encourage a new kind of capitalism, one that “doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people.” He will remain on the board of Patagonia’s directors but neither he nor his family will benefit financially.

Few (any?) billionaires are known for parting with such a large amount of money for a social cause. B.C. has a goodly number of multi- billionaires. Wouldn’t it be something if they adopted Chouinard’s idea of capitalism and donated a few of their billions toward saving the earth and making life better for everyone on it?

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