Clean energy in remembrance
Isis are brutal theocratic bullies – we all know it, homosexuals, women, and many gender-fluid people. But perhaps nobody knows it better than our friend and colleague, south Cardiff man Craig Watts, the third (until now unreported) person caught up in August’s drone-strike tragedy. An expert in low-trauma de-growth, over the years Craig has become very familiar with the problem of de-cluttering (ridding yourself of material possessions to help the save the planet) too fast. So when Isis started their de-cluttering programme in Iraq, but doing so in YouTube-friendly events often lasting no longer than ten seconds, the horrific extent of the group’s savagery was something he was terrifyingly qualified to appreciate. Spurred to remind Isis command of more traditional, slower techniques of dismantling systems of material idolatry, when the religious group moved on to Syria and restarted instantaneous bombing of ancient monuments in Palmyra he knew then the biggest and most important bike ride of his life was unavoidable.
Basingstoke Holiday Inn
Craig reached as far as Basingstoke when news of the strike reached him from Raqqah. And it was in Basingstoke’s branch of Holiday Inn that the full impact of what could have happened to him – if he had got to Syria much quicker, via train, for example – hit him. Craig is still there today, trapped amongst the hollow comforts of the value-hotel experience, sustaining his stay through a Patreon account, as he works through his vicarious traumatic stress disorder. This is a scandal. How did we get here?
Carbon-Cameron has depersonalisation disorder (and other severe mental ill-health conditions) on his hands
In many ways Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, Emma Thompson, currently running for the post of Head of Climate Impacts at Hampstead Theatre, and Al Gore ex-vice president of the United States, are right to say climate change is the big story behind the Syrian exodus. But it’s not, as they suggest, a simple question of civil-strife compounding the low survival opportunities of an already drought-ravaged population. It’s actually more simple than that.
All religions, all sciences and most cultures know climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity; all religions, sciences and most cultures therefore know that cutting back, or de-growth (breaking our attachment to woofers, cordless drills, flat-screen razors, turbo-hats, plimsols, mobile toilets and idolatrous statues and artefacts) is our only option. But not all religions, sciences and cultures know how fragile people are when it comes to their material attachments (Isis being the prime example). In fact, detaching people from these things without threatening their sanity and risking wider hysteria and large-scale population upheaval is a delicate business. It takes time.
How have Craig (and his team) learned to do it?
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Islamophobia vs Islamophrenia
What Craig knew, then, was at the heart of our islamophobia is their islamophrenia. Isis’s commitment to a non-idolatrous non-materialism draws on ancient wisdoms, yes, but they are simultaneously consumed by a need for instant, modern communication. Their savagery is therefore not medieval but deeply modern – a product of the narcissistic western materialism they reject.
Coincidentally, on the very day we heard about the extra-judicial extermination of Craig’s balance and calm, as if time and space sought to pay its own mysterious tribute to him, further insight into ancient, slower techniques of de-growth was gained with the discovery of a second, earlier stonehenge. Food remnants near the older, buried stones allowed archeologists to patch together a picture of small groups of revolutionaries working very slowly to push the stones over over a twenty to thirty year period.
There is a further coincidence to this: in fields nearby to the newly discovered second henge, plans for a new solar array have in the last week been abandoned, meaning LFG (and our partners) can no longer see a viable financial future for the array.
And yet the positioning of these ancient, henge-senior stones – their contiguity and aspect – is interesting. Their positions fit what would be required for a concentrated solar thermal plant.
In a spirit of compromise we therefore ask David Cameron for a public inquiry but also for the green light to go ahead and use the henge stones as structural additions to a public solar-plant celebration of our beleaguered colleague Craig’s unwavering, single-minded commitment to de-growth. His subsequent loss of calm and balance – through the realisation he could now be dead if he had got to Syria quicker – could also be marked by clever use of the steam release function, to give an impression of a sort of sustainable anger.
Many, of course, wish to see the stones made available for public display in their ancient context. To these people we ask: what’s more important? Gazing leisurely on relics of a backwards cult of sun-worshipers, or moving forwards (with clean technology)?
Artist’s impression of the Henge 2 memorial solar plant
De-Growth: the way to a new life in a yurt
Having lots of stuff (stuffitis, thingcer, Munchausen syndrome by boxes) is the surest way we know to kill the planet. Along with Craig and his team, LFG began workshops on de-growth in 2006 which, as popularity of the courses grew, slowly evolved into comprehensive programmes that saw ordinary people leave their demolished homes for a new life in a yurt. Below is a page from the brochure (with input from LFG) that greeted successful de-growthers in their new sustainable homes:
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