David Fleming


The late David Fleming, a former Chairman of the Soil Association, read modern history at Oxford, business administration at Cranfield, did management training in industry; had a doctorate in economics and had been an investment management consultant. He was a good friend and colleague of Richard Douthwaite, who recommended his work to the editor of this website in 1998.

He formed the Lean Economy Initiative (see Lean Economy Connection) with the Elm Farm Research Centre [now the Organic Research Centre] in 1996 and wrote A Lean Logic Dictionary, which explained the implications of ‘sustainable resilience’.

Described as one of five renowned teachers, he worked with Richard Heinberg and MP Michael Meacher on a popular Schumacher Life After Oil course, in November 2006. To a full house at the College’s open evening, he outlined his Practical Guide to Energy Descent.  Articles on energy-related subjects in Prospect magazine led to speaking engagements and work as an energy consultant with some organisations.

Following the publication of the report from his group’s Domestic Tradable Quotas Brussels workshop, sponsored by the EC: Domestic Tradable Quotas as an Instrument to reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions : EUR 18451 – ISBN 92-828-4379-3 he continued to work on energy-related matters. His main focus was on Tradable Energy Quotas [TEQs] – known also as Domestic Tradable Quotas (DTQs), Personal Carbon Allowances (PCAs), Personal Carbon Trading, Carbon Quotas, and Tradable Permits. See the website http://www.teqs.net/


Welcome to Shaun Chamberlin 

David Fleming’s colleague, Shaun Chamberlin, who is working on various aspects of David’s legacy, was invited to step into the space left when David died in 2010.  He has replied that he will be happy to do so, naming the work of several New Era members well-known to him and ending: “I’m happy to be associated with you all.”

See his website: “Dark Optimism  – a better future for a troubled world – works with a wide range of colleagues and collaborators, specialising in uncovering the underlying fundamentals in the areas we study. This has led our work together to date to focus on energy and the environment, the two crucial areas without which all others are unable to function.

”We are unashamedly positive about what kind of a world humanity could create, and unashamedly realistic about how far we are from creating it today. Out of this viewpoint comes a firm determination to do what we can to create the world we believe everyone wants to live in – one which is peaceful and creative, resilient and exciting, and one in which we all have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.

His recent book, The Transition Timeline lightens the fear of our uncertain future, providing a map of what we are facing and the different pathways available to us. It describes four possible scenarios for the UK and world over the next twenty years, ranging from Denial,

in which we reap the consequences of failing to acknowledge and respond to our environmental challenges, to the Transition Vision, in which we shift our cultural assumptions to fit our circumstances and move into a more fulfilling, lower-energy world.





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