When I meet Nichols at a café in Los Angeles, she exhibits none of the swagger you often find in a powerful official. With close-cropped gray hair and wearing a turtleneck sweater, she orders a cup of tea and speaks so softly that I struggle to hear her over clinking dishes. Despite her unimposing presence, Nichols is supremely confident about the righteousness of her and Brown’s mission. “We made these arguments for a long time, but we weren’t too effective because there weren’t many economists on our side. Traditional economic models view all forms of regulation as costs without benefits.” She adds, “I think we’ve demonstrated that you can grow your economy and seriously slash global warming.” I ask if she looks to any other state or country as a model. “No, unfortunately, no,” she says. “We’re it.”
He found his poor mother "lying still". She was "curled up in a ball" on the kitchen floor - "her head on a pillow beside the oven door with a coat over her". Alan found all the taps on the cooker and oven were open - and, recalls Alan 50 years later, "the smell of gas was overwhelming". Holding his breath, Alan "instantly" turned off the gas. He opened the windows and the doors, and with it Vera and a local gardener, Michael, ran into the kitchen. Alan and Vera "moved Mum away from the oven door and stretched her out on the floor. She didn't react and there was no sign of life".
As for Menken and Schwartz, they bring enormous cred to any original musical. They shared an Oscar for the animated film Pocahontas , and their other collaborations include Enchanted and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame . Menken has a total of eight Oscars on his shelf for films that include Disney’s Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Beauty And The Beast . Menken is now working on that Disney adaptation of Beauty And The Beast that Gad is starring in. Schwartz separately wrote the music and lyrics for the stage musicals Pippin and Wicked , and also won an Oscar for The Prince Of Egypt . Wicked started at a Universal movie project before being mounted as a smash stage musical. It’s now being turned into a feature by the studio.