…meanwhile, back in the Dark Ages

I am off to Chiltern Wood Recycling to get the materials I need to build a ducking stool. I will build it right there on the Rye. Were witches meant to float or sink? We don’t want any unfortunate mistakes. Witchfinder Generals have a reputation to preserve. They have science on their side. So bring your spare firewood down to the Rye. We are going to have a witch-burning. All in the best possible taste.

And whilst we are about it we don’t need to worry about catching criminals anymore. We all know that crime can be treated by the careful application of leeches. And what’s all this nonsense about the oxidation of carbon? Never heard such rubbish. Common sense dictates that it is phlogiston. And I also demand my right to promote the theory of elective polarity, neptunism, racial purity and the corpuscular theory of light. (I suggest you Google them.)

Of course these ideas are absurd & outdated. To say otherwise would provoke public fury. In the last thousand years so many ideas have come and gone into the dustbin of history. Some of them are now considered to be so silly that to even raise them in polite conversation is to invite ridicule. Worse than that – some ideas could also be considered morally repugnant. Obnoxious. Outrageous. Offensive (Or at least politically incorrect.) We have a certain moral code in public life. If you want to get anywhere in this life you really don’t want to come over as a bit-of-a-luny.

It just makes me wonder at which point in time do we abandon outdated ideas? And at what point does the promotion of outdated ideas ITSELF become unnacceptable? How long do we have to wait for someone’s “point-of-view” to become offensive? I don’t know but it seems a long time in coming. It seems almost academic to the newspapers when they print “both sides of an argument” in the name of balance. The danger of standing neutral in such a discourse is that you lend legitimacy to doing nothing.

Doing nothing is not an option. We know what has to be done: I would be betting on thousands of homes getting 300mm of loft insulation. I reckon on there being millions of energy saving lightbulbs in use in Wycombe by 2020. Maybe another 5000 homes with solar panels. Maybe an upswell in interest in growing vegetables. How about a massive wind farm along the M40 motorway? How about multiple community-scaled combined heat-power plants burning waste wood chips? All this connected with a heat distribution network to keep Wycombe-residents warm in Winter.

Not a single idea I have just mentioned is offensive. It’s common-sense. What I find offensive would be the suggestion that any of the above isn’t necessary. To me, the very idea that we sit idley by as the waves of inevitable change wash over us, is as offensive (and as outdated a view) as witch burning. We need to modernise and move out of these dark ages.

About post-carbon-man

A passionate advocate of a peaceful transition to a sustainable political-economy, Mark hails from a working class farming background. Today he is a Company Director and Chairman of the Low Carbon Chilterns Co-operative. Whilst at University (Engineering Masters) he was active in Conservative Student politics but has had no affiliation since. He has travelled widely on business covering the USA, Europe, Middle East and Central Asian Republics. In 2007 Mark founded Post-Carbon-Living and a year later co-founded Transition Town High Wycombe. He lives with is wife & daughter in a home they retrofitted to be carbon-neutral. Today he blogs about surviving politics on a shrinking planet and is passionate in his rejection of Nationalism.

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