Stark by Ben Elton

Stark by Ben Elton.

Nearly 30 years since publication this still has a lot of very current themes running through it. I hope Elton’s finale is very different to the one humanity will see. Stark is all about waste, pollution, chemical waste and generally how humans are ruining this beautiful planet we live on. How we all blame the manufacturers of the waste we throw away yet never really stop to thin that we have the power to stop them making these pollutants just by not buying them or the products they make!

Firstly, the Eco Warriors. They are what most of us would have expected to see in the late 80’s, hippy types who simply by their lack of purchasing power are complaining about all the waste and pollution. I know that view has changed over the years but 30 years ago we all held different views on what we thought Eco Warriors were. Not one of them is particularly likeable but I did find Zimmerman the best of them. An Ex Vietnam soldier that served with the mainly forgotten Australian forces that were alongside the US Army. He is certainly deranged but in a friendly sort of way and always puts others in the group before himself whereas the other members seem quite selfish at times.

Stark are the moneyed elite of the world. The 0.1% that own 99% of everything on the planet. Egotistical, greedy, self serving and generally obnoxious. I’m not sure that in reality these people are like this but for the purposes of the book it is a pretty good stereotype. They have discovered that the planet is dying, rapidly, and have a way of escaping but because of their self serving greed, they don’t want anyone else to know so they design a plan to build their escape in the Australian Outback.

From here we have this adventurous and at times riotous journey through to the completion of the Stark Project and the end of the world.

As always, I enjoyed Elton’s style with his meandering slightly off topic in the same way that the hippies wonder off topic in their discussions. There is more than enough humour mixed in with the real mess we are making of the planet, even a couple of proper laugh out loud moments!

Great read and I highly recommend it.


‘Peak Oil’

Study of Peak Oil and Gas

Study of Peak Oil and Gas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I have plenty of time on my hands at the moment, I do my exercises, stay positive and in general, get on with things. Yesterday I was sat going through Netflix to see if there was anything I fancied watching and I came across the Documentary section. I do from time to time pick a documentary to watch, I like to be educated and stay on top of issues that I have an interest in. Anyway I’m flicking through the category when I come across a rather apocalyptic looking documentary called Collapse. The write up on Netflix is a little obscure so I plump for this and settle back to see where this will go and what, if anything, I will learn.

In this film we meet Michael Ruppert, he is the sole interviewee and we hear and see him talk about how we’ve reached Peak Oil and very soon the human race will disintegrate into a seething mass of violence and destruction, finally coming out the other side with a sustainable way of life, all because modern society relies on oil for just about everything from medicines to toothbrushes.

I then watched the next documentary that Netflix recommended after watching Collapse, this was called A Crude Awakening:The Oil Crash. This is an award winning documentary interviewing varied ‘experts’ on what they predict will happen when oil finally runs dry. Another very interesting film that I felt was more balanced that Collapse but still predicting a very similar outcome. It even looks into the possible replacements for oil with the conclusion that we will discover little that will ever replace oil.

In essence I understand what Mr Ruppert says and and quite happy to accept his vision will, in some way, come to pass. I have often thought to myself what the devil would we do without oil and his is one version of the possible futures to come for mankind. I then went on to do a little research about Peak Oil and found that Mr Ruppert is also a founder of Collapse Network which takes Mr Rupperts’ vision one step further and gives advice on how humanity should now be preparing itself for society to collapse in the not too distant future. All sensible information if mankind is on the brink of collapse even if it is portrayed in a rather scaremongering type of way.

This morning I’m in my usual routine of catching up with the news on the BBC website when I think of searching that site for Peak Oil news. Little of interest comes up apart from one feature called Shortages:Is ‘Peak Oil’ idea dead?  written by their environmental analyst, Roger Harrabin. His conclusions do not really differ from those above apart from one (in my view) quite vital point, if we carry on using oil and fossil fuels in general, climate change will increase to the point where we will cook ourselves long before oil and other fossil fuels reserves expire.

So I learned something! I will not be around to see the last oil pumped out of the ground but my children might. I am living through climate change as I type, my children will see climate change in all it’s glory because we are not really doing anything to change our use of fossil fuels, and there is in the long term little to replace it even if we could.

One day this planets resources will run out, not tomorrow but eventually. Humanity could still be around, if we don’t cook ourselves first, that society will be as unrecognisable to us as ours would be to a Victorian today.

As it has always been, the next generation will reap the rewards of it’s predecessor.


Waiting for the rain under a dark brooding sky,
ground already sodden but eager for more.
Crops that were wilting, desperate for water
now lay on the soft ground, ready to rot.
For all that water falling from the clouds
yet more hangs in the air to be carried to other lands.
Year after year deserts become dryer, expanding.
Wetlands become rarer or destroyed totally.
Water falls from the heavy clouds in deluges,
washing away all before it, scouring the land.
Coastlines fall into the sea as tides reach ever higher.
Defenceless beaches washed away in days,
leaving behind fresh scars in the exposed land.
And on it goes, we heat the air, it holds more moisture
to fall more heavily on unprepared lands.
Building on floodplains, then damming the rivers,
expecting them to cope with more volume,
surprised when our homes are flooded!
As a species will we never learn?

©2012 Trevor Litchfield



Long summer afternoons spent by water,
estuary, river, stream or sea.
Relaxing to mind, body and soul,
regenerating all that is jaded.

Water flowing through the mind,
taking with it lifes woes.
If only for the moment, quieted
into silence as peace descends.

All to soon, life invades as eve falls,
dusk is the time to reflect.
Taking account, reaching absolutes,
letting the water flush away the chaff.

©2012 Trevor Litchfield

The continuing Saga of Trevor Towers

I’m still getting used to my steamer but it is getting plenty of use and I’m getting plenty of practice cooking with it. Tonight has been the first evening in a week that it hasn’t been used! I am still procrastinating about using my pie tins though, they are washed and waiting their first outing which I would like to think won’t be too far away.

On more decorative matters, I am considering decorating the living room/dining room cum study here at Trevor Towers. The room where just about everything gets done, things like eating, couching in front of the TV and as now, typing furiously away with words running through my head much faster and far more accurately spelled than my two fingers could possibly ever cope with.

I was in a local shop today and they are nearing the end of their sale and oddly have garden ornaments going for a song. Anyway, they have some outdoor candle holders that are basically bottles with the bottom cut off and candle holders in the original bottoms place. They are mounted through the open end at the top by a chain connected to a tubular affair within the bottle. I know my description is rather crappy, see images to get a much better idea of how they look.

So, I purchase these two candle holders, some hooks and as soon as I am home I set the hooks in my ceiling and hang these two rather attractive bottles from said hooks. I know that they are made to be outdoors but they now provide a rather intimate light over my sofa as I relax in front of the TV. I can even dispense with my floor uplighter when I feel the need to have a more intimate evening with my TV 🙂

The other week I also bought a couple of coloured bottles from the same store, again a real bargain. They now hold some silk flowers that help give a bit of colour to the room.

Who would have thought that I would ever be this imaginative when it comes to the little things around Trevor Towers!


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