“Do not go gentle…”

My father once took me to see Dylan Thomas’ play “Under Milk Wood”. I might have been three or four years old at the time, and I thought I was in for a treat. After all, the last thing we had seen together was Disney’s Aristocats. Alas, the great Welsh poet’s lyricism was lost on me. “Under Milk Wood” bored me silly.

Later I learned to appreciate Thomas and especially his most famous work, the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Thomas had written it for his father, as the man lay dying. It was an exhortation to live instead, finishing with the now famous stanza:

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Thomas’ words remind us to reject fate, to get up, to push harder, to make choices, to stand up for the those in need, and above all to not accept the status quo. I have come back to them on many occasions in my life.

Today at the age of 57 and after 35 years working in the technology industry, I find myself an unlikely climate activist. Friends are planning for retirement. Yet, I can’t sit still knowing what’s ahead.

So this blog is about many things. It’s about making sense of dense policy and scientific documents. It’s about the latest news relating to climate. It’s about the pragmatic steps that we can all take to do our part to meet greenhouse gas targets. And it’s also about the enormous opportunities the coming transition represents.

Sometimes it will be analytical, and sometimes philosophical. That’s because that is who I am in real life. Hopefully you will be entertained and informed.

And now, together, let us “rage against the dying of the light”.

Alec Saunders, June 2021.