Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Dave Hampton - The Carbon Coach
How old are you?
48 – gulp!
What’s your occupation and who do you work for?
I’m a carbon coach and I work for myself. (And for my children and their planet.)
How long have been doing this?
Almost 2.5 years now.
What is it about your job that makes it ethical?
My passion - for cutting the carbon. Also I hail from Essex and have a mild lisp.
What’s the best bit about your job?
The humour, especially when it’s not so funny.
What’s the worst thing?
When people laugh. (And when people don’t laugh.)
What have the last 12 months been like for you?
Surreal – somedays it feels like I need to go find a new job – the tide of opinion is turning so steadily - and there is so much healing, restorative and rapid-carbon-reduction stuff going on. Other days it feels more of an uphill struggle, but increasingly less so. I think when the history books get written, about our species incredibly protracted denial that there was any problem with the weather, it will be the years 2006 and 2007 that mark the tipping point - of the vast turning tide of public opinion and consciousness.
What were you doing before this?
The same sort of thing but for people in ‘corporates’ or public sector - who were each hiding their face behind each other - and going along with the madness. It was great though – without this glimpse of collective irresponsibility - and mutually assured destruction - I woudn’t have set up on my own - as a coach to private individuals – one on one – face to face – climate charity starts at home you know! People can agree with me privately now. (Leaders would often say that they agreed with me privately, in the pub after, but couldn’t in public! That idea seemed deeply alarming and unnatural to me, so I resolved to have more private pub conversations.)
What was your very first full-time job?
Blowing up high efficiency gas fires for British Gas R&D. I worked on the first gas condensing boiler, smart controls, and a glass fronted gas fire that only needed a tiny plastic waste pipe for a ‘chimney’. After a few years I started to question just how serious the company really was about selling less gas – despite receiving advanced training in the company line.
What advice would you give to someone wishing to embark on the same sort of work as you?
It’s the future. Don’t expect huge riches, but job satisfaction is good. Get on with your boss. (You)
Have you got any plans for the next 12 months you’d like to share with us?
To coach Gordon Brown and the Cabinet.
What do you do to relax?
Count carbon sheep.
Who do you live with?
A truly amazing lady called Jan who has been my wife for 23 years now – and who is the mother of our four beautiful children, Tom, Dan, Martha and Grace. We have two cats too.
Whereabouts do you live?
Marlow, Bucks in an energy efficient house of course.
If you were Prime Minister, what’s the very first thing you would do?
Meditate. Then I’d carbon coach all my friends and colleagues in their homes.
As cheap and easily available oil is expect to run out in the next couple of decades, what do you think will be the predominant form of transport in 2027?
Bikes and something new we haven’t quite imagined yet, pedal powered with solar assistance.
Have you got any guilty carbon secrets?
My total footprint – all inclusive – the whole lot – is around about 18 tonnes CO2 for our entire family, including all secondary impacts, consumption, waste, water, food, lifestyle.
That’s before including the effect of green tariff (I’m on Good Energy) and offsets etc.
Some calculators tell me my indi. footprint is just 2 tonnes CO2 by the way – before you gloat.
What have you done that you were most proud of?
Discovered that boring old CO2 really comes in big bright purple balloons. Lots of them.
What single issue are you most concerned about in the world at large?
Runaway catastrophic climate destabilisation – and all because we didn’t think we could do enough - so we did nothing.
Which person in the public eye do you most admire and why?
Caroline Lucas. She tells it as it is without patronising people.
What’s your website address?
What are your three favourite other websites of the moment?