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Why I am fleeing to the hills XR activists won't give up their middle-class lives


November 23, 2021   8 mins

In our current era of wildly overheated political discourse, there are few things as remarkable as the gap between people’s stated preferences (what they say they believe) and their revealed preferences (what they actually do). We see this in the recent trend for liberal Americans, particularly in the country’s northwest, to begin a speech with a preamble acknowledging that they stand on land stolen from one Native American tribe or another, without showing any intention of actually divesting themselves of their property and returning it to the tribe in question: it’s a purely rhetorical device, and surely quite insulting in its effect. 

We’ve stolen your land, they say, and we’re very sorry about this terrible injustice — but we’ll keep it all the same. Similarly, when purveyors of political discourse claim that America is now a white supremacist or even Nazi state — as in this response to the Rittenhouse verdict — you wonder why they aren’t urgently fleeing to some safer location, or at the very least organising some kind of underground armed resistance movement. People say all kinds of wild things, but if they don’t follow through on the logic of their claims, then it’s very hard to actually believe them.

A similar dynamic is observable in terms of climate change discourse, particularly with the Extinction Rebellion movement and its offshoot, Insulate Britain. Both their activists and spokespeople make the most alarming claims about the imminent end of civilisation, perhaps within the next couple of decades. But their revealed preferences don’t seem to match the intensity of their predictions. 

Personally, if I genuinely believed that Britain was going to become a post-apocalyptic wasteland within the next twenty years, I wouldn’t be campaigning for the Government to retrofit British houses with insulation: I’d be selling everything and fleeing to the hills in a desperate effort to keep my family alive. And yet they don’t. I have friends who go on XR demonstrations, and repeat their most apocalyptic prophecies, yet show no inclination of altering their middle-class lives in London: their revealed preferences therefore cast great doubt on their stated beliefs.

It seems that, with climate change in particular, there are only two modes of thought for most people: either nothing will change at all, or everything is about to collapse in horrible and world-destroying ways. There is a more obvious conclusion that people seem resistant to thinking about: that things will change, in many ways for the worse, but life will go on. As the Green philosopher Rupert Read asks: “why do we find it so hard to think about a world where the climate has changed massively, veering between ‘it won’t make much difference, everything is going to be fine’ to ‘it’s the apocalypse, the end of the world, there’s nothing we can do’, but refusing to think about the awful, but more middling realities?” 

It would seem more productive, then, instead of continuing with the path of climate change mitigation — which is probably now too late to succeed — or of giving everything up for lost, to instead focus popular attention on adaptation: on making the best of a situation we cannot change, but which is far from an apocalypse, at least for the UK. 

The issue at hand is that Britain is responsible for a mere 1% of global carbon emissions, so that even if we achieved Net Zero tomorrow, nothing will change in terms of arresting climate change. China’s increase in coal production this autumn alone is already greater than Britain’s total carbon emissions: halting this process is, in the real world, almost entirely out of our hands. 

But if we can’t change what is about to happen, we can at least prepare for it. If you read the Climate Change Commission’s risk assessment for the rest of the century, it assumes that Britain’s temperature will rise by two degrees by 2100, in the worst scenario as much as four degrees. Such an outcome will be disastrous for much of the world’s population, and I am not dismissing the gravity of the situation for billions of guiltless people.

But I live in Britain, and for Britain having a similar climate to central France will not be the end of the world — but we should start planning for it now. Just as no-one now starves their families in solidarity with the hungry of the Global South, it is absurd and irresponsible to not plan a resilient and comfortable near future for our own country out of fatalism or an inchoate sense of global solidarity.

A rise of two degrees will return Britain to its climate during the Roman Warm Period, when an admittedly lower level of civilisation functioned perfectly well. The risk assessment highlights the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, the risk of drought in summer, and the risks of disruption to international trade. But its observations are all, with sufficient planning and adaptation, perfectly manageable. It even observes that there are opportunities as well as risks, and promotes a vast expansion of vineyards on British soil, which with appropriate planning could become a ÂŁ50 million annual industry. In just such a way, if the British government cannot change what is about to happen, it can at least start shaping the inevitable near future in ways that are beneficial for this country. And by doing so, and by being seen to act as if they believe what they claim to believe, the Government is far more likely to convince people about the inevitability of climate change.

To understand why, consider the early days of the Covid crisis. When governments and newspapers were dismissing the severity of the coming pandemic, I was convinced to take it seriously by witnessing friends stockpiling masks (while we were being assured they were useless and even harmful) and laying in stores of food and other essential goods in case of trade disruption. Seeing people whose opinions you respect take a potential crisis seriously, and planning how to navigate the changed world that comes with it, is a convincing signal that you should take action yourself. It means far more than hearing the government warn about doom on the horizon and then doing absolutely nothing — like closing the borders — to mitigate against it. Deeds are convincing in a way words are not.

In the same way, I personally take climate change seriously. I believe in the predictions of the vast majority of the world’s scientists, and thinking through the potential outcomes of such a world-changing process, I am planning how to adapt my lifestyle to best manage what is seemingly inevitable. In the New Year, barring some unforeseen eventuality, I will sell my house and buy a smallholding somewhere hilly (and so at less risk of flooding than the coastal town where I currently live) and with enough land that I can ensure my family’s food supply in case of trade disruption or rising prices. Already, in suburban Kent, we produce our own eggs and grow our own vegetables, but I want to be self-sufficient in meat and milk, beer and cider, clean drinking water and bread. (I intend to document our progress in this column.) 

It’s a way of living some are calling Doomer Optimism: I don’t believe that society will collapse within my lifetime, or that starvation will soon stalk the land. But I do think there’s a strong possibility that the cost of living will become significantly higher within the next two decades or so, just as the after effects of Covid are now manifesting, to such a degree that it makes sense to rethink my family’s way of living now to ensure a decent future quality of life in the years ahead. 

The question here isn’t one of survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but of ensuring an atmosphere of comfort and plenty in a likely world of consumption taxes and restrictions brought in through poorly-thought out climate change mitigation efforts, the intervention of corporate interests, and occasional disruptions to international trade. The current discourse around radically limiting food consumption presents such a dystopian and wildly unattractive future that it is no wonder people reject it, especially when it does nothing to address the over-consumption of the world’s richest. I will not, as they say, live in the pod, and I will not eat bugs, and neither should you. We should demand better, and there are alternative futures. 

But first we need to show that we’re tackling the problem seriously. As Rupert Read remarks in the recent book Deep Adaptation, “every time we are seen to be preparing for possible/likely hard times ahead
 we are making it possible for people and politics to start to really face climate reality.” As he observes, if you act as if you mean what you say you believe, people will believe you. If you don’t, they won’t. In this way, Read argues, “it is a political act to act as if collapse is possible”, even if you don’t believe it is likely, just as you still install fire alarms even if you don’t believe your house will imminently burn down.

As with individuals, so with government. The Government’s push for Net Zero is expending a great deal of political capital on a mitigation effort that, whatever its moral worth, will do nothing to alter the risk of climate change one way or another. In doing so, it is alienating many people who appreciate, even if only subliminally, the vast disjunct between what the Government claims is about to happen, and its broader actions. If the threat is so real, people naturally think, why isn’t the nation mobilising to deal with the coming effects? The narrow focus on Net Zero, along with the attempt to prioritise individual, essentially meaningless mitigation efforts like eating less meat, is at this stage wildly counterproductive. 

Instead, the Government should, like my family, say that they can’t change what is coming, but that we can at least adapt to it now so that the wrench is less painful when it comes. What would that mean on a national level? If we accept that flooding is likely on Britain’s most productive agricultural land in East Anglia, we should be planning to open up currently marginal hill pasture for crops to ensure a more stable food supply. What would that look like? It would probably be less mechanised, and smaller scale, simply due to the topography: so we should be relearning how to manage such a mid-20th century form of agriculture at sufficient cumulative scale, which we are currently not doing.

If the Thames floodplain is at risk of occasional but devastating flooding, not from the sea but from built-over inland rivers, we should discourage building in flat estuarine land — as insurers are already warning — and instead rezone hilly land in London’s outer suburbs for housebuilding, as well as improving London’s overwhelmed Victorian drainage infrastructure. 

If the Government is incapable of building HS2 properly, it is surely poorly-equipped to deal with the amount of adjustment that will be necessary to maintain currently functional levels of infrastructure. We should be making railtracks more resilient to flooding, building viaducts where necessary and digging new water features and marshlands to absorb sudden deposits of water. We should be overhauling our water supply to minimise the risk of drought and prevent avoidable water losses through leaky pipes. We should be pedestrianising and planting trees in cities now to make them cool and shady in twenty or thirty years time, and building clean new transport infrastructure to take the place of cars. We should be building more houses, relaxing planning restrictions for family homes in the countryside so that more people are affordably able to take control of their personal family food supply. If we claim that disasters are on the horizon, yet do not build up the infrastructure now to cope with them, why should anyone take these claims seriously?

There is a great deal of ingenuity in this country only now being focussed on technologies such as nuclear fusion, which may soon provide clean sources of almost limitless energy, or on fast electric aeroplanes and capacious electric airships, which may be better used for freight than for human transport. The medium term may be uncomfortable, but the long-term future may be very good indeed, if only for Britain. 

To manage this will take a certain frontier spirit, a willingness to make the best of and thrive in a harder situation than we are accustomed to. Instead of prophesying doom and then doing nothing about it, we should be imagining a positive vision of what a Britain adapted to climate change would look like: a country of high-speed trains hurtling across tall viaducts between new hill towns, with lush vineyards overlooking the broad new wetlands on what was once farmland. It is not too late to make the Britain of the near future not just liveable, but an improvement on what we have now. Life will go on: it is our duty to make it as comfortable and prosperous as possible, not just as individuals, but as a nation.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

A couple of things. Firstly, you need to look at the rate of change. We’ve had about 1.1C of that 2C warming already in the past 120 years. Have you noticed? We’ve had about 25-30cm of sea level rise. Have you noticed?
At current rates (about 3cm a decade) we’re due another 30cm of sea level rise. IPCC says maybe up to 75cm by 2100 if the as yet unseen acceleration kicks in.
So why to the hills – where you’ll need more transport, and possibly more heating – the biggest domestic uses of energy? Cities are actually more efficient than the countryside due to the higher population density and ease of distribution.
And in your lifetime the change will be slow, so much so that someone young living on the coast might be moving into retirement flats by the time sea level becomes an imminent issue.
If you want to feed a large population then you need to produce food efficiently – not waste productive land with amateurs looking out for themselves. Better to have professionals who can afford water pumps (as in Lincolnshire) and more productive land.
So notice how your emotions have been manipulated. The idyllic life for one family, saving the world by isolation. Very Maria Antoinette. Modern life relies on efficiency at scale to create abundance, environmentalists in contrast are often pushing for a return to scarcity, and scarcity creates poverty, hunger and cold.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

This is absolutely on the button. To move a family to the hills, because you can, is the worst and most selfish thing to do.

I think 2015 figures showed that 87% of people in Britain live in large conurbations. It is the 13% who are using the energy. They need more cars to go shopping for food, they often live in detached houses which are a pain to heat, they bus their children long distances to schools, etc. My wife and I have had exactly the opposite discussion – to remove heating and travelling costs our children need to live in or nearer to a city.

People originally moved away from cities to get a better quality of life. Today, we need to clean up our act in the cities to get people to move back.

Guy Johnson
Guy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

they bus their children long distances to schools,”
Bus ??

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Guy Johnson

Yep. Big things which hold up to 40 kids.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Or a system built to transport data within a computer

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Also known as people carriers, usually distinctive by their enormous size and lone occupant, occasionally joined for a few minutes by additional small occupants.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I think Aris is talking about a greater level of self-sufficiency for his family. Well, perhaps he can, perhaps not, but as you say whether hypocritical or not, it is beside the point in the big picture. The vast majority of the population are not going to be able to take to the hills and take up small scale agriculture!

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I don’t think you begin to understand the vulnerabilities of a large conurbation. It imports all the necessities of human life, food, water and power, the latter in various forms. Eliminating power ensures that supplies of water and the means to prepare food fail too. Under no circumstances can a large conurbation be regarded as self-reliant, dependent as it is on a compliant hinterland for food, water and power. If you live in such an environment, good luck.

Quo Peregrinatur
Quo Peregrinatur
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

No, Mr Roussinos has already clarified that he will not live in the pod, and he will not eat the bugs. Nor will I.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

A superb comment that oozes with an inconvenient truth.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

3 to 7 billion population growth in 50 years (50 to 68 million in the UK, almost all through immigration) is the elephant in the room. We should be shrinking our population not pandering to it.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

and promotes a vast expansion of vineyards on British soil, 

Exactly. We’re growing half the food we eat and importing the other half. Rising population means that we will need more food. Global warming may make our local climate feel agreeably French, but it will play hell with the global food trade.
From where do we import all the food our growing population needs?
France has the same population as the UK, twice the land area, and is self-sufficient in food (and energy). The dinghies are travelling in the wrong direction.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

What a charmingly old-fashioned view of the wealth of nations. Poor old Adam Smith needn’t have bothered! Japan, South Korea or Taiwan didn’t become rich countries because of their huge natural and agricultural resources. Have you ever learned about the abolition of the Corn Laws in the 19th century? Which was achieved to the huge benefit of the ordinary population and the loss of the aristocratic landowners. We don’t have to produce all our food in this country, and have not done so for a very long time. Is there a single scrap of evidence that world food supplies are threatened? No there is not, productivity is greater than it has ever been. If this were not the case, the protectionists would not be getting their knickers in a twist about the Australia – UK trade deal, because Oz would not want to export any of its oh-so-scarce food to us anyway!
Of course if we did attempt to become self-sufficient, food prices would rise much higher. No doubt many middle class virtue signallers would be ‘happy’ with that (or would they?). However to other ordinary people, already disproportionately affected by other nutty and fashionable policies on energy, it would mean their becoming poorer. Perhaps the government would also need to confiscate land used for other purposes. I wonder how that would go down?

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have homogenous, intelligent, hard-working populations. Do we have that in the UK?

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

No longer.

Quo Peregrinatur
Quo Peregrinatur
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Alas, such is the strength of Diversity.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

MORE self-sufficient. We’ve ready seen how precarious things are if our energy comes from Russia and our food comes via France. We should be able to provide the basics and import the ‘nice to haves’. We have gotten used to having strawberries in December and there is no need for this ridiculous self indulgence. Obesity is an epidemic. In fact I’d prefer it if we shrank our population to sustainable levels rather than ask how we feed an ever increasing and ever more gluttonous population.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Global supply chains are fragile. If food production supply chains fail then people starve.

J B
J B
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Firing squads? Or maybe just find smarter ways to deal with a higher population (which is predicted to peak and fall by the way).

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago
Reply to  J B

Britain has had a negative indigenous birth rate for decades.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

World population is to some right wingers what climate change is to Left – an almost religious belief quite impervious to any rational argument. First of all, check out a few facts about how growth is rapidly stalling world wide especially as women and girls become better educated, families do not need as many children, a high proportion who would be expected to die as an insurance policy for old age and other social factors. And then there is the airy insouciance about what governments would actually do to bring about a much more rapid decline is never mentioned. It has been tried – forget ‘woke’, we would be be living in an even more draconian and tyrannical state than modern China, or Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of forced sterilisation etc. Of course, as has already started on here, the doom mongering about population decline then becomes the fashion!

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

And I think you’re impervious to statistics.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Umm I’m not calling for genocide, I’m calling for managed population reduction and that means no immigration, no benefits for more than 2 kids, increased benefits for those with none or 1, voluntary euthanasia, that kind of thing. No genocide or firing squads required. I’m really not sure why some people see the explosion of human population as a good thing. 99.9% of us just make up the numbers. The congestion, crowding and just plain ugliness of sprawling urban slums and high rises looks like the kind of vision in dystopian sci-fi films, where people end up eating bugs, or other people. No thanks.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

There is no such explosion. This is not the 60s. All European populations are heading to or in population decline (without immigration). None are replacing themselves, not one country has a TFR of 2.1 – which is necessary to keep the population stable. Because of population momentum from previous generation some european countries still have greater births than deaths but much of Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, hasn’t. They have started disappearing. Italy is worst. And once deaths pass births the situation isn’t recoverable. Even if the birth rate was to grow to a tfr of 2., which no country has ever done, because of previous negative generational momentum populations will drop for two generations. Present trends continuing Europe will lose more of its population than the Black Death in the next few generations, which is mich more of a problem than climate change.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

There’s no evidence of that. The world population will max out at 10B or so. Both climate alarmists and conservatives — in fact the public in general — don’t seem to realise that Europe is about to enter in a few decades of population free fall. From which there may be no exit.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

I don’t know how old the author is, but I’m in my 60s and this climate fear mongering has been going on all my life. We’re all going to freeze to death! The planet has a fever! Electric planes, that’s the ticket! No nukes! It’s always reeked of the three Ps of politics: Panic, Power, and Profit.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

Neurosis is forever fashionable not to mention more prevalent today than ever.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

That doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
But now you mention it, I don’t remember any talk about climate change in my youth.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Is 1975 in your youth? That’s when I read, in the “New Scientist,” that some (Real) climatologists were worried about a new “Ice Age”. What we are going to get has been labelled the “Modern Grand Minimum” which will commence before the end of this decade although it might not be felt much before 2035. It will probably only last for about 15 to 20 years but it should knock the GW Alarmists back a bit. I do remember that (not-so-great) National Treasure, Sir Richard Attenbrough, saying a couple of years ago that “We’ve got 12 years to save the planet” I wonder if someone has put him properly in the picture and he’s going to try and claim the credit of galvanising the GW effort to greater action.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

To each his own.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

I wish that I could be alive in 80 years to witness the lamenting of Aris’s great grandchildren on why their great grandfather moved his family to the hills amid the exaggerated claims of climate doom during the early 20’s. They might enjoy a better tasting carrot or tomato, but that is all.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“I will sell my house and buy a smallholding somewhere hilly (and so at less risk of flooding than the coastal town where I currently live)”

I did the opposite of that, when looking for land to build I found the lowest and wettest place I could find – my land is barely above the water level and floods all the time – it is a wetland forest, and I got a bit where an old house once stood – so I could get permission to build on this protected wetland – and that is why I have no neighbors, my house and cottage built high on wooden pilings. Many times in the big floods the dogs and I go swimming through the woods to a bit of high land so they can pea as the house is on its pilings rising from total water in flood, and then swim and wade back to the house – it is really cool to swim your roads and trails you usually drive or walk, and with your dogs by your side…. The hills are boring – the water is life, think of living on the water – much better.

Stick with the water, you can fish. One of the things which keeps me going is my couple hours a day I typically spend on the water fishing, and I feed a number of people and family, including my own fish dinners 3-4 days a week, but mostly I get to be interacting with the water as I do all kinds of things in/on it – I always catch my own bait, this means being in the marshes netting, and grubbing about in mud and water, or netting open water – and so I know all the life, the seasons, and the intimate details of the life of the creatures. – I need to be dealing with the water as it is the time I can be in the here and now, and not thinking and worrying – I garden too – fruit, flowers, veg, but has always been the water which calls to me most…I can just sit hours, utterly focused on everything from the weather, the creatures (there is a big world of night creatures here in the South) sky, water, and the fish and life, and not thinking, just being.

Aris – get the wettest land you can, it could be cheap, and no neighbors, and build your house on pilings – this is the closest to mine as I could find in ‘Images’ but mine has a second floor – British never build up like this – but it is 100% strong as one built on the ground, and it costs the same, and meets all International Building Code. Then you can be on water (or occasionally flooding river) or wet marsh – I have hand built 3 of these Piling houses – build it yourself, be an adventure, I can build one in about 9 months from ground up with one helper – 100% build every bit of it…. Build a house on the water and write of it here – (the gardens do not care if they flood) – The first house I hand built I did not really know what I was doing – trades skills are all on youtube, how to do everything now – I just figured it out, I have done 18 houses in my life.

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Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Absolutely marvellous! I am very envious.

Bob Pugh
Bob Pugh
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I shudder to think what my local planning office would think of this in the UK.
I think it’s a great concept though I rather go with the Dutch floating pontoon house arrangement. https://www.thenational.scot/news/14859658.how-floating-dutch-homes-simply-rise-with-the-floodwater/
Also what happens to the golf cart ?

Last edited 2 years ago by Bob Pugh
Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Pugh

Golf cart into swamp buggy. There’s an adaptation. Didn’t many of our European ancestors (including Britons) live more or less “on the water”? And don’t forget Puddleglub, the Marshwiggle, was most the most stand-up guy in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair ?

Sally Owen
Sally Owen
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

How absolutely wonderful. I am so jealous!..

Mark Thomas Lickona
Mark Thomas Lickona
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Dude, can we talk when I get over to the UK in a couple of minutes? You’re doing the kind of thing (building smart) that I unfortunately only dabbled in as a former micro-organic subsistence farmer. Thinking about the future of my family here. (Not a prepper, just a traditionalist who feels more strongly than ever that “backward” is the only way forward.)

Thanks too for the education I got reading your comments on MH’s crypto piece.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Excellent response. We need to think in a different way and plan to live in many different adapted ways. Innovation is needed. Thanks for sharing.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Do you have a DUKW or modern equivilent? Where do you moor your boat?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

I’ve been saying this for ages. Let’s return to being a small self-sufficient population with a big f*** off defence perimeter. We look after our own elderly, grow and pick our own food and wean ourselves off instant and disposable convenience. Fortress Britain not Global Britain. As far as I’m concerned, globalisation, mass immigration and rampant growth obsessed consumer capitalism are the worst things to ever happen. I’d happily go back to the population and lifestyle levels of the 1970s. No 24×7 news, politicians knew their place and people were more responsible for their own actions, could fix stuff themselves and were a lot less dependent on the state.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

And (oddly perhaps to the modern mind), more social, or even socialist. The difference with nowadays however is that those social and civic bodies of old were ones that many, probably most people, belonged to and were active in in small but regular and telling ways: unions, churches, clubs, institutes, benevolent societies etc. etc. Crikey, there was even an annual conference for Conservative Trades Unionists! Now we either sit at home chomping Pringles and surfing Netflix, or go out and glue ourselves to a fence while making impossible demands of powerless politicians to ‘do something’ to save us.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Amen sister !

Nicholas Rynn
Nicholas Rynn
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

I’ll believe you as soon as you stop uploading to social media sites.

Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago

I believe that Britain will have a substantial competitive advantage in the next few decades.

First and foremost we have a temperate climate (the Met Office forecasts 18 days over 25C in 2100 rather than 10 now with a third fewer days below freezing).

We have gradually growing population and so are not prey to the demographic crunches likely to hit China, Japan and Germany. We now control our own immigration rules and so can select who comes here to join us and what skills they bring – the BNO programme is I think a good example of this. We are good at integration compared to most other countries and have few ethnic ghettos.

We are an island and should (given the current dinghy problem) be able to work out how to limit and grant entry through our borders – important if global warming leads to ever increasing migrant flows.

We have a great pedigree for innovation, engineering and research – only 2 countries designed, tested, manufactured and distributed effective COVID vaccines. We are also free of the one-size-fits-all EU regulatory structures.

We have started investing in a proper blue water navy capability and strengthened our old alliances with AUKUS which is important for protecting trade routes.

We are beginning to spread out around the country rather than coalescing around London due to remote working practices driven by the lockdowns. House prices have levelled-up for the first time in living memory this year: 18.8% growth in the North West and Yorkshire: only 5.6% in London. This will allow couples to buy homes big enough to raise families and so produce a contented and stable society. We are also limiting low-wage immigration so boosting the wages of the working class.

If we get it right we can be energy independent by the middle of the century with nuclear, hydrogen and renewables.

We have a stable political system that bent but didn’t break despite the travails of leaving the EU and COVID. The threat of the SNP and the other nationalists is overblown.

I even think Charles might make a good king.

Despite what you might be told, Britain’s best days are ahead.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt M
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

important if global warming leads to ever increasing migrant flows.

Indeed. Don’t forget there will be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Do you mean 2100?

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
2 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

No, he means 2010. This is what the UN said in 2005. Of course, they were wrong.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

More like a billion. All headed for the West. And there probably HAVE been 50 million climate refugees- the Syrian conflict alone is purported to have started because of water shortages.

Last edited 2 years ago by Cheryl Jones
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

A meme started in an environmental journal, of no substance. Yes 2004-7 was drier in N Africa and the ME. How come a civil war started many years later and only in Syria?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

And I see vineyards appearing all round our area.

jill dowling
jill dowling
2 years ago

I am reminded of a conversation with an acquaintance who has joined XR and has enjoyed inconveniencing working people now that he is more or less retired. When asked what he was personally doing to help combat climate change he replied “nothing. It’s the government’s job, not mine.” Imbecile.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago

“I believe in the predictions of the vast majority of the world’s scientists”.

Do you really? Or do you believe in ‘the science’ the media, politicians, NGOs and others with vested interests are pushing?

This seems an exact replica of covid science, ie. there is only one world view and all scientists believe it and if any scientist dares to not to agree they will be discredited and lose their reputation and their funding.

i prefer to keep an open mind on these things and never stop questioning and trying as best as I can to listen to ALL of the opinions out there.

Any science that claims to be ‘the science’ is, IMHO, the science that you REALLY need to question.

And this rolling out of the term ‘vast majority of the world’s scientists’ has to stop as that originally came from a serious misreporting of a VERY flawed survey conducted by the environmental lobby.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Any science that claims to be ‘the science’ is, IMHO, the science that you REALLY need to question.

It’s interesting that if something has “the” in front of it, it’s good, whereas without it, the word means what it would appear to mean.
So if you say climate science is bo11ocks, that means it’s poor, whereas if you say it’s the bo11ocks, that means it’s really good. Likewise if something is 5hit it’s bad, but if it’s the 5hit it’s good.
The same thing is going on here. If climate bedwetters tell people to trust the science, they think it’s somehow more persuasive than just “science” – even though, as you set out, the opposite conclusion is likelier.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Climate Change is hardly a science anyway. The vast majority of the field is dominated by statistics generated from meta-studies and computer models. The field is a “study”, not a “science”.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

There certainly is a science, and it can explain much about the world’s climate, but t is incapable of making predictions which are anything more than crude guesses, and possibly may never do.
However, one development is becoming increasingly apparent; where once Man thought the world almost infinite (such as the oceans), it is now clear that Man’s effect upon it is ever greater, and almost always adverse, and possibly irreversible.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Colin, it really is not a science. There is not a shred of actual scientific evidence that man has had any significant adverse impact on the climate. An impact? Yes. Beavers and ants affect the climate. But “Even greater”? Event greater than what exactly?
Look, science drives us toward certainty and reduces doubt. Climate ‘Science’ does the exact opposite. It seeds confusion which is masked by fake certainty to protect careers and reputations.
Physics is a science. It clarifies. It creates anchors that form the platform for the next stage of our existence. I know physics is a science, because when I fly my plane it takes off, when I turn my computer on it works. If physics was a quasi-science like Climate Science, then all it would be capable of would be forming a consensus where the vast majority of physics scientists agree that computers can do everything we can’t, they will replace humans, we will be extinct, but nobody has yet seen a computer but we have written some stuff on some paper that says it will get worse, whatever “it” is.
Back to reality. It is clear, that there is evidence that the climate was more volatile 200-300 years ago. That forest fires were 10 times worse 90 years ago. Those heatwaves killed thousands in Europe 110 years ago. Hard evidence? No, only circumstantial. Now what?

David B
David B
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

The vast majority of scientist know jack sh!t about climate science. I wouldn’t trust a climate scientist on Covid. Why would I trust a random virologist (e.g.) on climate?

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
2 years ago

Having experienced in close quarters what movements like EX are, belting out the end of the world is near but it just never arrives, it becomes very difficult to fall for this stiff. It’s hard to convince people of how false these organizations are and how manipulative they are. They most often leave more destruction in their path then anything else. In the end their leaders die and their followers are left out in the dry, often splitting up into new groups of radicals. An endless cycle off repetitive destruction. The worst thing about it, people keep falling for it all over again.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

Climate bedwetters are no different to the saps who follow David Icke.

Jane H
Jane H
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

David Icke believes man made climate change is eco fascism and a hoax. If you read David Icke’s predictions 30:years ago you would know all his forecasts have happened/are happening now. The media did the biggest hatchet job on him because he gets too close to the truth.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

Yes, when I see Ferguson’s and Hancock’s revealed preference for sh*gg**g a mistress while telling the rest of us to stay home and hug no one, on pain of a long lingering death, I know I’m being lied to.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago

I personally take climate change seriously. I believe in the predictions of the vast majority of the world’s scientists”
Oh, okay. So you take it seriously because you trust the scientists or that climate change is obvious which proves the scientists are right?
Out of curiosity, which scientists for this “vast majority”? Also, since when had consensus ever had anything to do with science?
It would seem to me that you have no idea about the “science”, but are merely allowing yourself to be pushed along with the crowd.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago

As the Green philosopher Rupert Read asks: “why do we find it so hard to think about a world where the climate has changed massively, veering between ‘it won’t make much difference, everything is going to be fine’ to ‘it’s the apocalypse, the end of the world, there’s nothing we can do’, but refusing to think about the awful, but more middling realities?” 

It’s because anything practical in between requires effort and actually thinking through the problems at hand. Those two extremes don’t require much thought or analysis.
It’s everywhere in public discourse. Not enough women or BAME people in STEM jobs? Sexism and racism! Because working out a real solution would have to process, analyse and address the many many facets that cause these outcomes.

Last edited 2 years ago by A Spetzari
Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

You need to read the book Thinking Fast and Slow. It talks about this very concept, that dealing with incongruities actually requires substantial effort. Not that I would put too much faith in such studies, but they have found that such thinking (using System 2 – as they put it), actually consumes huge amounts of energy and that it has been demonstrated that when people are tired or low on sugar they are much more susceptible to being seduced by adverts.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
2 years ago

I’m sorry to say, as much as I disagree with their doom-laden forecasts, I think your XR friends are right to stay in large conurbations if they want to be as sustainable as possible. The idea of small scale self-sufficiency, in my experience, actually leads to greater waste and resource use, if you’re truly honest about what you’re doing.
You will almost certainly be driving more, in a city you can quite easily not drive at all. Your house will probably have at least two more external walls than your city friends, inevitably losing heat, however well you might insulate, which you might in fact find impractical if you move to a traditional house, so your heating requirements are likely to be much greater.
Growing vegetables on a small scale will probably require a substantial amount of tools and equipment such as a polytunnel, a compact tractor and perhaps some bought in compost or muck, used just for yourselves and maybe a few close neighbours, when the same, but slightly bigger tools and equipment could feed many multitudes more people in a properly commercial setup.
You will almost certainly not in fact be truly self sufficient as you will need these tools and pieces of machinery and ongoing parts for them, your car, your house, your computer, unless you seriously think you’ll be chipping away at flint for tools and living in a cave, which would be the reality of true self sufficiency, and I suspect not a life for which you would find yourself either equipped or prepared to suffer. Growing your own food and trying to use the resources close at hand is a satisfying thing for sure, but I encourage people to be honest about the fact that they are doing it for life satisfaction, meaning, and even perhaps a little one-upmanship, rather than pretending they are really ready for eco-collapse, or that they’re really helping avoid it’s arrival.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jake Prior
Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Good points. And I’d also add that anyone who has actually tried to grow their own crops will tell you it’s not as easy as you may think
I’ve had an allotment for many years. The main difficulty is spring temperature and rainfall. This year was awful for fruit trees. Sweetcorn was fine ( but about enough for three meals). Beans good. Tomatoes ok from greenhouse but outdoor ones suffered. Root veggies generally successful. Brassicas always eaten by cabbage white caterpillars. Potatoes always successful but storage and frost can be a problem.
So while the author has these untested ideas of self sufficiency, he should maybe adjust his optimism. From my year’s harvest I have a few bags of redcurrants and tomatoes left in the freezer. That won’t feed us this winter!

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

Indeed, things can go wrong so quickly it’s quite instructive. This year was terrible for fruit down in Cornwall too. One year a hail storm in May wiped out all the fruit and seedlings in 5 minutes flat. Squash is my favourite for keeping deep into winter without the addition of vast quantities of vinegar, salt and sugar or an enormous freezer.
But the real benefit of growing food is understanding just how brutal our beloved mother nature really is. In my case at least this has given me a much greater appreciation about why the world is as it is, and for all the obvious warts, we have so much to be thankful for. Our ancestors had it bloody hard, we owe them much more than we seem to understand these days.

David Lonsdale
David Lonsdale
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

And I suspect that when the people short of food in their urban conurbation hear that old Aris up in the hills has a few fields of veg ready for harvest they’ll be paying him a visit!

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

You are assuming that resource scarcity will be the real problem, eg energy for heat and cooking, fuel. But in the hardships of tbe 2 WW resources were greater in the country, eg fuel, methane gas, horse’s for transport, food. Which problem are you thinking about? Saving energy?

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago

I’s take this nonsense a bit more seriously the moment anyone actually starts discussing the real issue (i.e. world overpopulation). Yet no-one mentions it, ever.

Meanwhile in the UK will build on reservoirs to help house 10 million + imported people and then start to complain because we have “no water”. You couldn’t make it up.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago

I agree with a lot of this. BUT I think the author is too sanguine about food supply. Or at least doesn’t think through the issues associated with global warming impact elsewhere. We aren’t as a nation able to feed ourselves. We are dependent on food imports, largely from countries which will be more badly affected and will struggle to adapt. We can’t all flee to a hill farm and live the authors bucolic existence, there simply isn’t the land for the population.

Food security is the risk of this approach and vines aren’t the answer, as appealing an idea as they are.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Food, like everything, will sell to the highest bidder. The way to avert food shortages is to implement capitalism and thereby remain a rich country, rather than implementing ecofascism and becoming a poor and hence hungry country.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Or it will be the nation with the biggest military and even if wealthy our size will give us extra challenges. I suspect it will be countries with huge resources, manpower and militaries that will corner the market. They will have the money, the resources other people want and the numbers to impose it.

China has already started.

Of course this is on the assumption that there will be excess food to purchase in the first place.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Well, strictly it’s on the assumption that there will be food shortages. This is not going to happen.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

In 2010 there were droughts in Russia, Ukraine, China and Argentina and torrential storms in Canada, Australia and Brazil — all major wheat and grain producers. The Middle East and N Africa have to import a lot of their grain because of a shortage of suitable arable land and water. The result was an increase in the price of bread and food riots in the ME and N Africa producing extra instability in an already stressed region and then Mohammed Bouazizi self immolated.
In 2019 the Chinese had to do a huge pig cull because of an outbreak of African swine fever. This meant that there was a shortage of animal protein. The ever resourceful chinese meat traders compensated by upping the supply of wild and farmed animal protein (e.g. civet cats, bamboo rats, porcupine, snakes etc. – a total of 64 species farmed for consumption). Nearly all this activity now banned, allegedly, post Covid apart from fur farming.
So, even with / because of our current globalised system of commodity trading there are food shortages. Making each and every country self sufficient as far as food is concerned would seem to me to be an almost impossible task without huge investment in soils and water provision.
If countries continue to import some of their food there will be environmental shocks, as there were in 2010 and 2019 which will cause food shortages.

Last edited 2 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

I would like to be a Chinese-speaking fly on the wall of the CCP politburo when it discusses global strategy.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You might want to throw away that libertarian ideology from 2001. Supply chains are fragile. It’s even possible that relationships between the EU and the U.K. might cause a massive increase in food prices.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

Supermarkets around here are investing in ‘container farming’ — grow your crops in a shipping container. We’ve got to the point where it is commercially attractive. The last time I was in JĂ€mtland (northern Sweden) the places that were doing this had produce that was cheaper than imported stuff from Holland. Of course, food prices here for vegetables in the winter start ‘very high’ and go up from there. .

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

The Government’s push for Net Zero is expending a great deal of political capital on a mitigation effort that, whatever its moral worth, will do nothing to alter the risk of climate change one way or another. 

And will utterly fail anyway.

technologies such as nuclear fusion, which may soon provide clean sources of almost limitless energy, or on fast electric aeroplanes and capacious electric airships

This was the point where I actually started laughing. You know you’re reading the ramblings of a wingnut when he brings up airships.
Look, it’s very simple. Nothing much will happen and whatever does will be good.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago

I look forward to the inaugural episodes of Aris’ Farm on Amazon Prime
Perhaps you could enlist Julie B whilst you’re at it, keep her busy.

Last edited 2 years ago by A Spetzari
Mike Taylor
Mike Taylor
2 years ago

Over 20 years ago I was telling my GCSE & A level Physics students to ensure any house they bought was over 20m (or better 50m) above sea level. I wonder if any ever took that advice. As mentioned below none of this is new – remember the self-sufficiency trend of the late 70s – but what action was taken by individuals?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Taylor

New York was supposed to be 20 feet underwater by now as well.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Taylor

Yes – I am reminded of the Maldives in the 1990s who continually pushed the narrative that they would be Atlantis post-millennium, largely in order to drive their number 1 industry; tourism.
Which coincidentally would surely be the number one contributor to their demise.
It’s still there and not underwater as far as I’m aware

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
2 years ago

Interesting and sensible but only for a minority … it simply isn’t possible for our urban populations to move to the countryside … either financially or physically.
So we must analyse our urban areas and make the necessary adjustments and defences for the whole of our population?

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

At last – some sensible planning for the future – and, as you say, even the possibility of an IMPROVED future where we have recognised that a life lived in cyber land and/or spent in meaningless repetitive work is really no REAL life at all…

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago

Am very much looking forwards to hearing how that goes ! – along with Paul Kingsnorth.

Nick Wells
Nick Wells
2 years ago

China’s increase in coal production this autumn alone is already greater than Britain’s total carbon emissions: halting this process is, in the real world, almost entirely out of our hands. “
Is there anything we, as consumers, can do to object to China’s apparent disregard for the effects of their economic policy on the global climate? While we continue to consume gleefully everything that China produces so cheaply, partly because of their low energy costs through burning coal, we are surely supporting their decision to build more coal-fired power stations.
It seems that it is not easy for the government to impose some form of carbon import duty on imports from China for fear of trade-war-like retribution. However, I would love to see a grass-roots, consumer-led campaign that boycotted Chinese goods (wherever possible) in an attempt to register disapproval of China’s reliance on coal-burning power generation.
I remember a successful campaign to boycott South African goods in the days of apartheid … but I doubt anything like this will ever happen for China because we so easily put our consciences aside when looking to buy a new computer or a new phone!

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
2 years ago

Maybe before starting on all those new infrastructure projects, you could just take care of the sewage?
I look forward to hearing of Aris’ progress – it’s a genre I love. I’m saving up Niall Williams’ new book ‘In Kiltumper’ for Christmas reading. One of favourites in the genre is Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, vegetable mineral: a year of food life’, another good Xmas read.
Can the Unherd writers please give us their ‘best books of 2021’ – I always like getting reading tips.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I want to echo that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a really good book – Kingsolver is of course a master writer. Her collection of short stories on environmentalism entitled ‘Small Wonder’ is also good, especially the essay ‘Knowing our Place’.
An excerpt: “Oh, how can I say this: People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know once again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about our economic status or our running day calendar. Wildness puts us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.”

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

After reading that extract, this becomes a book that I must get hold of, thanks for this.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

The Poisonwood Bible is my favourite book of all time. The Lacuna has been on my shelf fir ages, I should finally read it.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

It is a very good article on climate hypocrisy. If we are taking an admittedly narrow UK point of view, then sea levels have been far higher than they now are in historic times, as well as the climate being significantly warmer. Just look at the map of the south coast of England – you know where Romney Marsh is!
If the Romans and Normans could manage land reclamation, then I think we could just about manage some effective adaptation, as has the Netherlands for centuries.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

The Roman warm period gave us vineyards as far north as York. When climate change in France is leading to wines that are verging on fortified, this is a great opportunity. The Romans also gave us Hadrian’s Wall: perhaps time for a Channel Wall? Maybe Donald Trump was a Hadrian ahead of his time.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

So the future may be more of whining and dining? I shall rephrase: whining 
 yet still dining?

John Urwin
John Urwin
2 years ago

My wife produces most of our vegetables and Aris should be aware that is so time consuming that he won’t have time to write…Best to get a gun and steal other people’s like everybody else will be doing!

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That pretty well sums up the brainwave activity of most activists!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

It doesn’t actually misrepresent what they think, either. They don’t express it that way but it is unquestionably what bedwetters believe.

David Lonsdale
David Lonsdale
2 years ago

So you will sell your house as it’s in a doomed environment. Will you expect full market price? Will you explain to potential buyers the reason for selling? I find this a little unethical. Also, a warning. Running a smallholding or nursery is very rewarding until old age sets in. Then you might become reliant on the goodwill of others or the services of the State to keep going. Your children may want a different life to you. Good luck with your venture, but I’m not convinced it will bring all that you want.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Yes, plan for it. And immediately start addressing environmental issues that can be changed in the short to medium term.

George Wells
George Wells
2 years ago

Instead of fleeing to the hills, you could simply concentrate on making more money. I suggest you do this by selling articles like this to newspapers and magazines of all persuasions, because your point of view needs to spread.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
2 years ago

Yes, we in Britain should start preparing now, to get our coastal defences impregnable.

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
2 years ago

No, Britain should not be building more houses. It should be building blocks of flats! Flats are much more efficient in every respect, especially land use and energy costs. They also make for more mixed neighbourhoods and greater social cohesion. There are many new developments in Switzerland that GB would be well advised to emulate.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago

I read lots of pieces about climate change, mitigation versus adaptation, less meat less heat, how green energy is really a con…
It always for me comes back to the same conclusion: Our planet is grossly overpopulated. 8 billion high-calorie brains shitting out top-of-the-food-chain consumption and burning body heat is simply too much for our planet to bear over time.
Ten years ago I would have said we need a Global One Child Policy (and no, this is not about compulsion – it’s more about pensions than forced sterilisation) but now I don’t think it’s politically feasible. After the nonsense that has been COVID hysteria, I don’t believe we’re capable of rational, collective action.
So it’s Malthus all the way, I’m afraid.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

The tribes in Washington state have done quite well actually. Not only their tax exempt status and casino money. They also have exclusive fishing rights and make good use of it. How many conquered people in history have been treated so well? Rhetorical question btw. I watched a great interview with Roger Hallam on Triggernometry a year ago. He said all the ice would be melted on Greenland in 12 years. So we have 11 years to go. LOL.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago

Most European peasantry were self sufficient on very small farms. In the 70s (bicycle and tin of sardines time) I took over a 12 acre smallholding in the West Midlands. The previous family were self sufficient in everything but tea, coffee and sugar. In that really cold decade ( 3 months only each year without no morning frost) I learnt the rhythm of that way of life.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

Great article, and I look forward to reading how the new life out in the hills goes.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago

I wonder what people were thinking about during The Blitz?

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

So it’s come to this. Sheep farmers are herding their sheep in mini-tractors and the poor sheepdogs are miserably following behind. Gabriel Oak and his dog George would be flabbergasted.

Last edited 2 years ago by Christopher Chantrill
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

Absolutely in line with my strategy of anticipating a changed climate, and doing nothing except enjoying it in the U.K., which will benefit hugely.
Maybe buy some farmland that’ll be good sites for vineyards.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

My take-out from this article is that the author is fleeing to the hills because he is a millennial wuss.

Nicholas Rynn
Nicholas Rynn
2 years ago

I’ll give you a month till you surrender to latte withdrawal syndrome.

robert stowells
robert stowells
2 years ago

I thought that Aris was “an angel of devastation” so it is sad to see that he has “turned chicken”.
I was prepared to accept that there were natural “builders” and “destroyers” in life but this article turns that on its head and it is just “sooooo unfair”. Read on for some extra colour but not necessarily further elucidation (dropping now to very much lower quantum orbit).
Aris points to hypocrisy of the climate doom merchants for not living according to their beliefs and puts forward that if they were true to themselves they should be running for the hills not staying put. However I believe that Aris is precisely guilty of the same hypocrisy. He is the one that is running for the hills while his climate doom merchant friends are staying put presumably in the cities and townships which are the very places where the political changes which are at the centre of Aris’s own beliefs would take place (climate change is a peripheral issue for Aris). Refer the members event “Has Lockdown Changed us forever” Glasman/Thompson/Roussinos/Harrington
Not only does Aris use the charlatans trick of disarming by asserting the opposite of what is true in seeking a justification for running for the hills but he also sets at least one “rabbit away” in relation to the development of the reaction to COVID in the UK (Tom Chivers normally contents himself with just a general blurring of issues to justify his lack of position).
The “rabbit away” relates to the COVID crisis where he puts forward that in the early days of the COVID crisis governments and newspapers were dismissing the severity of the coming pandemic. This is untrue.  Apologies but the nature of rabbits is that they are easy to set away but hard to catch so bear with me. I was 62 years old when I had the flu jab in late 2019. After visiting Malta in February 2020 I very soon after began to experience flu symptoms around 11 February 2020 which I later believe to have been COVID. From 11 February 2020 I worked 11 hour shifts/7 days a week in the Middle East through the moderately severe flu and it was indeed a misery and lasted about 10 days. Eventually after a few weeks because of the worldwide outbreak of COVID everyone at my work in the ME was demobilized. I was flying back out to Malta from the UK (for a holiday) on the evening of 13 March 2020 and met a work colleague in Victoria Station in the morning, a month before the UK lockdown, to whom I mentioned my thoughts regarding Italian debt conspiracy and COVID being no more than a flu which was not on the flu jab. I do not follow the news at all but was aware of the seriousness of how COVID was being reported and my thoughts as expressed to my colleague in Victoria station on 13 March 2020 were those of one who was sceptical about the severity of COVID to the extent that I was uncharacteristically for the first time in my life putting forward effective conspiracy theories about the Italians having agreed to become a centre of COVID breakout in return for having their national debt paid off (in truth it was the sanest explanation back there and in early March 2020 and I continue to believe that I was correct in my suspicions). I would not have needed to push back in my own mind by uncharacteristically developing conspiracy theories to gain sanity unless there was a strong message coming through the press and government such that it was penetrating even to myself as a person who did not follow the news.
Just to go a little further. Actually this idea that COVID and the lockdown was one which was positively supported by the people of the UK was one put forward by Helen Thompson in the member’s event “Has Lockdown Changed us forever” which was . Helen stated “I think there was sufficient sense of collective solidarity that most people could tolerate the fact that this was being done more for some people than it was for others in terms of their health risk”. 
I actually disagree with Helen and think that this is a “chicken and egg” situation. People believed or trusted the government and press and that may have led to the “collective solidarity” but it was one which was driven by the government and the press not the people. Hence the result of people taking to the lockdown like “ducks to water” but only because of trust in government (similar to the trust in Blair that there must be a definite plot and incalculable weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but which all prove to be a baseless witch hunt).
Maurice Glasman swiftly took his opportunity in the member’s event to pocket the offering of Helen that the lockdown was driven by the people but it has taken Aris quite some months to find an opportunity to do the same.
As a final word Aris mentions the idea of “alternative futures” in the article as he did in the members event. I see the most likely “futures” alternative as being the financial “futures” and I could see the surprisingly soft spoken Aris as evidenced at least in the members event as being that person one speaks to when being devastated financially having ventured into “futures instruments” on the stock market. So he may yet be that devastating presence.
Anyway. Hopefully now that Aris has taken to the hills we will not get any more of that political flag waving in the central square of Athens.

Last edited 2 years ago by robert stowells
Philip Stott
Philip Stott
2 years ago

Bravo Aris, for a wonderful, thought provoking article!