Jeremy Leggett is a challenging person who is a new energy pioneer and insider. He is also a chronicler of the carbon revolution, of peak oil, of climate change.
THE GENERALIST knew him back in the late '80s when Jeremy was working at the School of Mines, situated behind the Albert Hall, studying ways of using satellite reconnaissance as a mechanism to encourage nuclear disarmament by increasing transparency.
'No Winners' being put together by Paul Hardcastle, who'd had a massive hit with '19'. The consultant on this protest/awareness record was JL. Some of the proceeds went to Greenpeace,
Since those days, Leggett has done some excellent things - establishing Solar Century, a pioneering company - and Solar Aid, a charity supplying solar lamps to Africa amongst them.
'SolarAid is extremely proud to have launched ‘the world’s most affordable solar light’.
After years in development, this little light, called the SM100, is now being distributed across Africa via our social enterprise, SunnyMoney.'
He is also Non-Exec Chairman of Carbon Tracker which is 'an independent financial think tank which provides in-depth analysis on the impact of climate change on capital markets and investment in fossil fuels, mapping risk, opportunity and the route to a low carbon future.
What is significant now is that, since Trump, Leggett has widened his parameters and broadened his focus. This is what he says about it:
'Suddenly believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing human co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues can now realistically plot the polar opposite: a new despotism rooted in rising isolationist nationalism and human conflict.
The more we dig into how the demagogues and their supporters have organised their recent successes, in particular in using technology to manipulate voter beliefs on an industrial scale, the more terrified many of us find ourselves.
Yet at the same time, tantalisingly, our visions of a better civilization, one appropriate for common security and prosperity among nations in the 21st century, seem more feasible today than they have ever been, at least in some of their component parts. In this struggle between two vastly different world views, a kind of global civil war seems t o have broken out in the last 9 months or so.
I am changing this blog to reflect these changed times. For years now I have been chronicling only two relevant themes: climate and energy. Starting with this blog, I will be covering seven. After the evidence of Donald Trump’s opening month as US President, I no longer think it is valid to consider climate and energy separately from the bigger global picture.
I invite the reader to consider my seven chosen themes as dials, each of which will need to be turned up near to full positive in the next decade. They are labelled climate, energy, tech, truth, inequality, reform, and conflict.
This list is not comprehensive in capturing the struggle between appropriate civilization and new despotism. But I contend that if most of these particular dials are turned down anywhere near full negative, demagogues will have found their road to new despotism, and we can expect a future based on unbreakable police states.'