Academic and environmentalist
He grew up in England to parents who were keen gardeners, prompting his love of nature, but moved on to sociology and politics, in which he took a degree. It opened his eyes to human behaviour and the injustices of society, which in turn prompted an interest in self-sufficiency. In 1989, he took a course in permaculture, which teaches self-sufficiency in harmony with nature. A turning point came when he read a book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, which alerted him to the depletion of oil. He moved to Ireland in 1992 as a landscape gardener, giving courses in permaculture. Gradually, he became aware of the Peak Oil issue, but instead of seeing it as a doomsday message, he found it a great encouragement for the work he was doing on finding a sustainable future. He taught at the Kinsale College of Further Education in Ireland with Rob Hopkins, and played a part in the early steps to develop the Transition Town Movement, which has expanded rapidly around the world as a most positive means by which to adapt to what unfolds.
I started to think differently about how much we can really predict about the future.