Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
Two years ago he sparked a major controversy with an article in The Independent calling on environmentalists to drop their long-standing opposition to nuclear power, which does not produce the greenhouses gases of conventional power stations.
Global warming was proceeding so fast that only a major expansion of nuclear power could bring it under control, he said. Most of the Green movement roundly rejected his call, and does so still.
Now his concerns have reached a peak - and have a new emphasis. Rather than calling for further ways of countering climate change, he is calling on governments in Britain and elsewhere to begin large-scale preparations for surviving what he now sees as inevitable - in his own phrase today, "a hell of a climate", likely to be in Europe up to 8C hotter than it is today.
...) One of the most striking ideas in his book is that of "a guidebook for global warming survivors" aimed at the humans who would still be struggling to exist after a total societal collapse.
Written, not in electronic form, but "on durable paper with long-lasting print", it would contain the basic accumulated scientific knowledge of humanity, much of it utterly taken for granted by us now, but originally won only after a hard struggle - such as our place in the solar system, or the fact that bacteria and viruses cause infectious diseases. [ read more ]