Book Review- Manifesto

Friend of Tempo House and all round wonderful chap John Robb from legendary punk band The Membranes has written a unique, fascinating book here- part memoir, part activist manifesto. His subject, Dale Vince, is a pioneer in green energy in the United Kingdom.

Vince has had a fascinating life : as a child, he was obsessed with space travel, but eschewed his interest for, as he wryly puts it, becoming ‘an econaut instead’. Back in the eighties, as a member of the New Age travelling community, he had his share of run- ins with the law, notably as with the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985 which led to a brutal stand-off between police and travellers.

At one stage,he lived in a wind -powered double decker bus, and it’s the idea of living simply and harnessing the earth’s resources that has permeated throughout his life. In 1996, Vince set up Ecotricity, the first ‘green energy’ company in Britain and the first 1 MW wind turbine and solar park.

Vince is a humble but brilliant, lucid storyteller, and his accounts are vividly rendered by Robb, who never sensationalises nor soft soaps the struggles Vince encountered on the way to championing sustainable living, long before the likes of Extinction Rebellion became a popular force for climate change protest across the UK.

Manifesto is an accessible, relentlessly engaging book for anyone with even a passing interest in ecological issues, politics and peaceful protest.

Out now via Ebury Publishing

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