I first met David in November 2006, at a residential course at Schumacher College called ”Life After Oil“. He made a deep impression on me, and we struck a friendship that lasted through time.
Every Transition presentation I have ever given, ends with a photo of David and this quote:
“Localisation stands at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in it’s favour that there will be no alternative.”
I’m not sure why, but it always gets a laugh from the audience.
David was an extraordinary man. I have never met anyone like him. He had a brilliant mind, brimming with visions and ideas, along with a vast knowledge of art, culture, science and history. He was also a humble man, a true gentleman, sensitive and kind, with a unique sense of humor that brought tears to your eyes.
A founding member of the UK’s Green Party, David was an esteemed ecological economist. He was the originator of Tradable Energy Quotas, a simple but innovative carbon rationing system that could: ”reduce our reliance on fossil fuels fast, guarantee that we meet our agreed emissions obligations and empower communities to address the challenges of our times, allowing us to move into a happier, thriving future.”
He was very concerned the preservation of culture: “It’s the culture that comes first. What it’s really about is starting now to build localities that ring with creative vitality and which we can call home”.
The week after I met David, was the launch of Transition Penwith. From the very beginning, he was hugely supportive of my transition efforts, and played a key advisory role in the evolution of Transition Penwith as it unfolded in my community.
He told me: “If you are magnetic enough about being clear where you are going, then you will find that other things fall into place unexpectedly. The universe likes direction, and will show its appreciation if you just absolutely hang on in there.”
In March 2007, I invited David to come to Penwith for the weekend, where he gave a wonderfully entertaining talk on “Peak Oil and Climate Change: Crash or Transition” and an all-day workshop on “Peak Thinking: The Lean Economy“.
He stayed as my guest, and we spent a magical couple of days together, walking the wild and windy cliffs of the rugged West Cornwall coast, sharing our hopes and fears, our thoughts and inspirations. At one point, as we discussed the plight of our people and the planet, David and I found a lizard’s tail, thrashing around on the path before us. It was synchronistic. Poignant. An omen.
We stood still and held the fragile yet robust tail in our hands. We pondered on the tale of the lizard’s tail, the meaning of life and death, the cycles of transition, and the role we played in the great turning. I will always remember that moment.
To be in the same room as David, was to be in the presence of a luminary. He gave light to those around him. He was alive in every sense of the word.
I loved him dearly, and I will miss him.