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Shaun Chamberlin is an author, activist and the editor of both Lean Logic and the paperback Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy.  He has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, cofounding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline.  He worked closely with David Fleming until his death. His website is:  On Twitter, he is @DarkOptimism

Dr. David Fleming (1940 – 2010) was a visionary thinker and writer who played significant roles in the genesis of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement, and the New Economics Foundation, as well as chairing the Soil Association. He was also one of the early whistle-blowers on oil depletion and designer of the influential TEQs carbon/energy rationing system. He read Modern History at Trinity College, Oxford, and later earned an MBA and then an MSc and PhD in economics (in 1988). These enabled him to better engage with and confound the mainstream, in support of his true passion and genius: understanding that diverse and mysterious thing “community.” Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It was the work of over thirty years.

David Fleming’s posthumous masterpiece of wit, whimsy and rebellion:

Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It

Shaun Chamberlain’s concise short version of David Fleming’s central ideas:

Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

4 Responses to “KunstlerCast 310 — With Shaun Chamberlain, Editor of the Late David Fleming’s Book “Lean Logic”” Subscribe

  1. Walter B December 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

    So it sounds like Davis was and Shaun is another one of us who are convinced that the only wise way to proceed forward is to concentrate on reducing consumption rather than increasing supply. All well and good, and it is always encouraging James to listen to those who would so advise us, but as we all know it just ain’t gonna happen, is it? Just as the preaching of Jesus insisted that the only way to live well was for us all to live together in peace and caring, all it takes is one or two creatures with bad intent to screw up the works. I do believe that American corporations and consumers will only be willing to do with less when there is nothing to be had at all. That oughta learn ’em!

  2. Myrmecia December 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    Walter B, you sum it up very well.
    But let me jump in first with compliments to Jim and his guest – a great discussion by two articulate people – dare I say “experts” – who have studied independently the trajectory of Western consumer civilisation over decades and come to pretty much the same conclusions.
    To return to Walter B: Although David Fleming may have decided that demand reduction is the best way to go, demand reduction is not going to come from personal pledges, community commitments or national laws.
    It is a pity that David Fleming did not live to witness the brutal fanaticism of ISIS, to assess the global imperial ambitions of China (not just for lebensraum, but for domination) or to to see Americans choosing between two spectacularly unsuitable presidential candidates. A post-war British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan declared his best-laid plans were forever being overtaken by “events, dear, boy, events” – that is, we are forever being blindsided by the unexpected. In this podcast Jim hinted cautiously at the possibility of global cooling – now, wouldn’t that throw a spanner in the works!
    So demand reduction is inevitable, but it won’t be achieved voluntarily; any Transition Towns will be plundered by ruthless groups determined to defer their own demand reduction at someone else’s expense.

    • Walter B December 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

      It is always invigorating to hear from others that understand, thank you. I have read much on the potential of a new Ice Age and the best treatise on the subject was done on a site titled “Escape to the Philippines”, sadly a place that can no longer be accessed, at least as far as I can tell. I did print out a copy of it though and yes indeed it does predict a coming ice Age. Is it not funny how in this age of information that information of any real value does not seem to exist?

  3. Chris at Fernglade Farm December 5, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for taking the time to put these podcasts together. And I particularly enjoyed this one.

    A few years back I was involved unintentionally with the transition movement, although that wasn’t my primary purpose and it was more of a happy accident. Anyway, the offshoot group comprised much older people (and myself) who had been growing vegetables locally on small scale, sometimes for decades. It was a great group and I learned a lot and got access to a lot of interesting locally adapted varieties of edible plants.

    Eventually, as time wore on, the participants simply got old and for some reason – possibly relating to age of the participants, aprons (a true but sad story!) and consensus politics – the group died an untimely death. But before it did, I grabbed as much resources and local knowledge that I could, and the social connections were shattered.

    That is what the present looks like to me.

    I do rather wonder about the efficacy of community building efforts – which Shaun discussed in the podcast – when many of the social interactions and relationships appear to be a bit bonkers. Dunno.



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