00:00:03 My name’s Dan M and my job title is energy policy manager for E.ON. My job is to look after the Government affairs side of E.ON energy company so energy is very political. Right from the big political stuff like gas in Russia and those kinds of things and making sure that the UK has got enough gas and things like that, to things like the climate change and the fact that carbon emissions come from burning coal and gas and things like that, prices for electricity bills and all these political things and Government want to do something about that in one way or another. They want to tackle climate change, they want to make sure the lights stay on and prices aren’t too high and they don’t necessarily know the best way of making that happen and we try and ensure that whatever they do, we can make happen in terms of what we do in E.ON.
00:00:59 Dad was an engineer who didn’t really enjoy what he did that much and felt he’d made the wrong kind of career choice. So, he was always very good about saying, “You do what you enjoy doing,” and I was very interested in space and things as a kid and I thought I would end up doing physics. And I was always quite good at physics and physics for GCSE but then I hit A Levels and I’d done pretty awfully at physics but I’d flown through the biology and got an A and it was a slap in the face. And it does take you a moment to think you’re on a set course and you have to see it takes lots of guts, I think, in a way to sit back and say, “Well, hang on a minute, that’s maybe not where I should end up after all.” It’s the one and only time I went to a careers place and I didn’t really know what to do or I, you know, I just went and found one in the phone book and when to one close. It had not really occurred to me to do it before I really felt like I needed to talk to someone and say, “Well, you know, I’ve been on this path for so long, this is what I’m going to do but should I be over here and doing this instead?”
00:01:58 I think it fell down to me in the end, it was useful to talk to someone but it was, at the end of the day I just made the leap and said, “Look, I’ve got to…this is silly, I’ve got to go for biology because I’m flying through it. It’s dead easy, it’s really interesting.”
00:02:09 I ended up getting really interested in the environment, particularly in how the natural world works and I ended up doing ecology and studying evolution and things like that at university and getting really into the environment and so on and I ended up getting an environmental science Masters through not really knowing what to do after my degree. Yeah, it was just to widen out my sort of breadth of knowledge from an ecology degree to something wider. I fell into this job after a while that was with a power company and it was a great job. Yeah, it was interesting but it took me a long time to get to where I was, but I was always interested in the environment. I guess I’ve been lucky to always work in the sort of environmental sector, I’ve always had a focus in that way in a sense.
00:02:54 Yes, I probably have got a sort of streak of a know-it-all in me that I like to know. Even if I don’t tell everybody I like to know why things happen and certainly I’m interested in the big questions of life. Why am I here and what are we doing and what are we trying to achieve? I think philosophy is a fantastic thing to study, just because it sort of teaches you how to think. It gives you different ways of thinking and that’s, you need that to talk to people, to understand what they’re thinking.
00:03:19 I think my job does in some ways reflect what I believe in terms of philosophy and Richard Dawkins and evolution because we’re all in it together. You need to understand that the world is this quite a small place and there’s a lot of people on there that are different and they’re all thinking different things and have different objectives in life and if we don’t work together in some way, then catastrophe could happen in terms of global warming, climate change, those kind of things or the lights could simply go out or whatever. And I like to get sort of into the dirty of, well, this is the idea and this is where we’ve got to go. How is it really going to work? And that’s what politics is at the end of the day. This is how it’s going to work. ENDS