Over the past decade, as project co-ordinator at CAT, I have made many presentations to a diverse range of audiences on the technical findings of our Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB) research. The transition we describe requires changes that challenge what we currently think of as normality. 

The UN Paris Agreement on climate came into force in November 2016, which means we must now make some rapid choices on the relationship between human beings, energy and happiness. Taking the long view may offer us some useful perspectives. Our current relationship with energy is only the most recent chapter in a very long story. This wider historical context may help us to better understand and today’s energy-extreme lifestyles, seeing them not as a natural evolution of human development, or even well intentioned progress gone slightly astray, but rather a deliberate re-manufacturing of both our external (physical) landscapes and our internal (psychological) landscapes. This has led to a break in our connection with each other and with nature. Understanding this story can change how we think about our world and ourselves, opening us up to new possibilities. 

And it all began a very long time ago...