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

David Attenborough on global population

by Shaun Chamberlin on December 14th, 2009

David Attenborough

I recommend David Attenborough’s excellent documentary How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?, which can be viewed on BBC iPlayer here for the next four days on YouTube here. He observes that the human population has increased from 2.5 billion to nearly 7 billion in his lifetime, and begins to ask some of the key questions about how we might respond to the challenges that brings.

It was interesting to note, however, that despite the litany of limiting factors on future population growth described in the programme, it was universally agreed that our numbers will surely increase by another couple of billion or so.

The Transition Timeline – a closer look

by Shaun Chamberlin on April 15th, 2009

The Transition Timeline - front cover

The last month has been a bit of a blur, with very well-attended book launch events all over Britain, a two-day seminar at the Centre for Alternative Technology scoping out Zero Carbon Britain 2, more radio interviews, and even being caught on film for the first time (more practice required methinks!).

While I’ve been zipping around, a number of people have requested a more detailed write-up on The Transition Timeline than I have so far provided online, so let’s take a closer look. Read more »

Why Mark Lynas is wrong to say he’s wrong!

by Shaun Chamberlin on June 7th, 2008

Mark Lynas
Last week Mark Lynas wrote an article for the New Statesman in which he surprisingly argued against carbon rationing. As he acknowledges, this is a complete reversal from his earlier article in which he argued for it in the strongest of terms. Unfortunately, I believe his thinking on this is moving in the wrong direction.

His argument is essentially that we need the cheapest, simplest way of implementing a firm global carbon cap. I absolutely agree that such a cap is crucial and necessary, but it is a mistake to imagine that this alone is sufficient to realistically address climate change. The setting of a cap is a fairly abstract process – the real challenge is to develop a society that can exist within that cap. Read more »