8 Dec 2008
When “Doing a Clarkson” Takes on a Whole New Meaning
While editing the Transition Timeline (coming soon), Shaun and I came up with the following from a section looking at transportation in 2018. “In addition, those who tried to flaunt wealth by driving a car everywhere and buying showy possessions increasingly became seen at best as rather selfish and passé figures of fun. Calling someone a ‘Clarkson’ became a gentle form of abuse, but one which underpinned how far society had moved away from the kind of flamboyant car culture seen 10 years previously”. However, over the last couple of days, ‘doing a Clarkson’ has taken on an entirely different meaning.
It has now come to refer to the most completely unexpected, the most completely jaw-droppingly improbable person, who has for years been a poster child for the runaway excesses of the Oil Age, and who once said “I’m not a scientist, but I read enough scientific literature to know the whole global warming theory is bonkers. A complete fairy story”, who now suddenly grasps the scale of change rolling across the world with inevitability.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Clarkson said, “the politicians know just how catastrophic it is going to be, and just think well there’s nothing we can do so we’re just going to not bother telling them… fiddle around, drop the interest rate…. I believe we are heading towards The End of Days, economically speaking, and that you’d better get yourself an allotment, personally. I talked to a couple of bankers who say ‘it’s SO bad’…. Buffet (?) the other day said “we’re not even in it yet…”
Jeremy Clarkson on his allotment, now there’s an image to conjur with. He then went on to argue that it was inappropriate for the UK government to bail out the car industry, because if they did so, then they should be bailing out every other business that is struggling. So, Clarkson advocating local food production, the end of the car industry, the end of economic growth… I have to say I never thought I would see the day… extraordinary.