Shaun Chamberlin

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Shaun Chamberlin reading from Lean Logic at the posthumous launch of David Fleming's books.

Shaun Chamberlin is an author and activist, based in London, England. He is the author of The Transition Timeline, co-author of several other books including What We Are Fighting For, chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and was one of the earliest Extinction Rebellion arrestees.

He is also known for his collaboration with the late David Fleming, having brought his award-winning lifework Lean Logic to posthumous publication, developed from it the paperback Surviving the Future, and served as executive producer on Peter William Armstrong's 2020 feature film about Fleming's legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?


  • Our globalised world finds itself caught on the horns of a seemingly impossible dilemma – either cease growing, and so collapse the economy on which we all depend, or continue to grow until we overwhelm and destroy the ecosystems on which we all depend.
  • Have you noticed how over recent decades, our expectations of the future have gradually shifted? How maybe we used to quietly assume that life for the next generation would be better than ours, and now quietly assume the opposite? That is not the mark of a civilisation that is making good choices. That is not a show that we need to get back on the road.
  • There’s a really interesting thing about despair, I think. It has a spark in it of deep motivation. I think despair can be described as looking at every possible scenario and seeing no hopeful one. But what that means is, if you can present someone in despair with one scenario that looks hopeful – that looks like a real possibility – then there’s this immense wealth of motivation to drive toward it, because despair is not a nice place to be.
  • Whatever you do will change the world. If you take the most default option, you follow the most mainstream, down the line, ‘just keep your head down and get on with what they’re telling you to do’, approach, then that’s the world that you’re helping to create. There is no way that you can not change the world.
  • It has become impossible to be simultaneously realistic about both the political climate and the science of climate. The two stubbornly refuse to reconcile, so we are forced to decide which carries more weight, and then be profoundly unrealistic about the other. To take present policy seriously demands a total rejection of the science. To take the science seriously demands a total rejection of the policy on the table. And so grassroots movements like the Extinction Rebellion and Climate Mobilization are emerging – the realists of a larger reality.

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