Saturday, 14 November 2009

Thrills, chills and the spirit of epic adventure

I was chatting to a friend about the TN Blog, and he told me that a friend of his, Norfolk-based author Alex Scarrow, had written a thriller based on a fictionalised Peak Oil crisis. So the next day, I popped into Norwich library and borrowed Last Light. It's a fast-paced and visceral read, and a frightening picture of a week in which the flow of oil into the UK is stopped by terrorists. I couldn't put it down, and finished it in a couple of days. It's easy to dismiss it all as fiction, but the author doesn't hold back from presenting the serious message about just how vulnerable our society really is.

There must be something about Peak Oil catching the attention of people right now - Episode 2 of the BBC's gripping drama series, Spooks on Wednesday was all about the threat of societal collapse caused by an interruption to oil supplies. Thrilling stuff, and I have to say, watching it with "transition eyes" was an unexpected added pleasure.

To make sure all this disaster was starting to get me down, I found plenty of powerfully positive stuff to keep me going! Duncan Green is Head of Research for Oxfam GB and writes the excellent From Poverty to Power blog for Oxfam (as well as a book of the same name). On Thursday, he wrote about resilience in the context of resilience from global economic shocks, but his views hold lots of truths relevant to transition - one of the key things he points out is the need to develop "Social capital (family networks, social organizations, faith/religion)". Sounds a lot like Transition to me.
And finally, I found a wonderful analogy for our collective journey. John Manoochehri, writing for the BBC News' Green Room blog calls for the spirit of epic adventure in tackling all that climate change may throw at us. Stirring stuff indeed!

1 comment:

  1. Very kind of you to review the book Jon. PO scared the bejeezes out of me five years ago, and this book is meant to do the same out of the mainstream head-in-the-sand audience. For your information, a sequal to is coming out in 2010. It's called AFTERLIGHT (do a search on Amazon)

    Anyway, thanks again for the review....and the good work with TranisitionNorwich.


    Alex Scarrow