"To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." - Raymond Williams

Man versus Nature – The Road to Victory

by Shaun Chamberlin on September 11th, 2008

A very watchable 9 minute video outlining the mass extinction taking place on our planet right now – an event with substantially more significance for our lives than the infamous tragedy that took place seven years ago today.

Lest we forget, humanity is dependent on the web of life for our food, our drinking water and even our oxygen. The dominant cultural story of our separation from Nature is transparently, demonstrably false.

Burn up

by Shaun Chamberlin on July 27th, 2008

Neve Campbell in Burn Up

I have just watched the BBC’s outstanding thriller Burn Up, starring Rupert Penry-Jones, Marc Warren, Bradley Whitford and Neve Campbell (trailer available here).

It is a dramatic account of the intrigue, betrayal, sex and violence surrounding characters in the oil industry, international diplomacy and the environmental movement in the build up to the international conference that will decide on the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. For those who haven’t yet seen it, be aware that the discussion below the cut contains spoilers. Read more »

Reinventing collapse

by Shaun Chamberlin on June 29th, 2008

Reinventing Collapse

As George Carlin once said, “they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe in it”.

At the risk of this blog becoming ‘review corner’, that seems the perfect introduction to the book I just finished reading – Dmitry Orlov’s brilliantly enjoyable Reinventing Collapse. This is a true work of dark optimism, with a fair dash of dark humour to boot.

In it, Orlov draws on his experiences of the collapse of the Soviet Union to explore the future American residents like him are likely to face as the effects of the USA’s disastrous economic, energy and foreign policies take hold. Read more »

The Age of Stupid

by Shaun Chamberlin on June 23rd, 2008

Having now had the privilege to see this film twice as it has developed I can’t wait to witness the impact its full release will have on shifting the consciousness of the world around the issue of climate change. The breadth of vision, brilliance of presentation and intimacy of communication combine to make this by far the most powerful call to awareness and action on this issue I have yet encountered.

My heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved.

DEFRA’s pre-feasibility study into TEQs

by Shaun Chamberlin on May 19th, 2008

Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This is just a quick post to point people towards the DEFRA pre-feasibility study into TEQs that came out earlier this month, and in particular the critical responses to it posted by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and The Lean Economy Connection (pdf) (this one written by David Fleming and myself), in which we argue that a number of important misunderstandings are contained in the study, and that DEFRA’s consequent decision to delay a full feasibility study into the TEQs concept is ill-advised.

TEQs is the only realistic and effective way I see of enabling the necessary national emissions reductions at the same time as addressing the challenges of Peak Oil, so this could hardly be more important.

TEQs discussion on Newsnight

by Shaun Chamberlin on March 11th, 2008


There was an interesting discussion on Newsnight last night regarding green taxation. The programme can be seen free-of-charge for the next 6 days through the BBC iPlayer The full feature is no longer available online, but part of it can be seen in the video embedded above, starting at around the 7 minute mark. The remainder is summarised below.

The three guests for the discussion were Sian Berry, Green Party London Mayoral candidate; Stephen Hale, Director of the Green Alliance; and Kenneth Clarke, former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer. TEQs (or Personal Carbon Quotas as they were termed) were not explicitly up for debate, but they were raised by Tim Yeo, Chairman of Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee, in a pre-recorded video segment, and endorsed by Sian Berry. Read more »