THE audience at yesterday’s lunchtime performance at the Swindon Festival of Literature leapt forward in time for a talk on the future of renewable energy.

While former government advisor and Director of Forum for the Future, Jonathon Porritt, was scheduled to appear, it was his alter-ego Alex Mckay who gave the first half of the talk.

Jonathon was at the festival to speak about his new book The World We Made, which explains the world situation in the future from the perspective of Alex.

He spoke from the year 2050 at a time when the earth has been ravaged by the effects of climate change, but there is hope as renewable energy is being harnessed in a far more efficient manner.

Swindon was given much praise for being the first town to adopt its commitment to creating 200MW of renewable energy by 2020 and ‘Alex’ said it was this foresight which provided inspiration for much of the country.

Throughout the talk he spoke of numerous schemes which the world adopted to combat various problems associated with climate change, such as vertical farming and the extraction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

More tellingly ‘Alex’ spoke of how he felt this change was all brought about by the younger generations demanding change from politicians who had failed to act to tackle alterations to the environment and a growing poverty gap.

In the second half, the floor was opened for questions from the floor for Jonathon to answer.

Much of the theme of these questions was how to go about creating a society which could bring about serious change.

He said: “I understand the frustration of many people who see a political system which is resistant to change and I have given up hope that enough individuals will bring about change. “At local level is where the biggest difference can be made and communities are the crucible for bringing about change.

“All over the world you can see towns making decisions and deciding on their own way bringing about change.

“In America the government has ground to a halt over this and seemed to have entirely disregarded science but you have 80 cities which have committed to zero carbon emmisions regardless of what is happening at a federal level.”

Overall, the talk was very entertaining and informative though certainly geared towards those with sympathies towards green politics.