In my understanding, many of us around the world – perhaps most of us – are living miserably and/or dying prematurely. All of us, due to the combined threats of climate change and nuclear annihilation, are now in ‘extreme danger’. As such, the survival of humanity itself – all existing and future human life – is in question. We are truly up against a ‘sea of troubles’. If this is news to you, have a listen to this bulletin (or read the transcript), prepared in the style of BBC News’ bulletins familiar to listeners of BBC Radio 4.

The action taken to date by the institutions and peoples of the world has fallen well short of what is required to avoid disaster. These troubles are of our own making however; they are well understood; and, we are not alone :  it is well within our power, collectively, to make ourselves and our family – the human family – safe, within the short time we have left to do so, if enough of us chooses to do so.


The Decency & Survival project is my effort to come to terms with the reality of our situation. Its aims are : to clarify in lay terms the situation we are in; to clarify the changes that need to be made;  to identify a list of everyday and ad hoc concrete actions that citizens need to take to effect the necessary changes in the time available; and to communicate the same to those of us who might be described as ‘already politically active’, as well as those who are ‘potentially active’.

A number of main elements are envisaged : ‘Regional Rides’, an illustrated guide; a podcast series; and perhaps more, in due course. More of each element can be discovered by using the links above. I have also created a public list on Twitter : search for ‘Decency & Survival’, or follow me @jonathanoates74.

The project will be researched through a combination of fieldwork (featuring a UK road trip) – including observations, ‘expert’ interviews and possibly some group discussion – and desk research. The road trip took place as scheduled, lasting from mid-September to mid-October 2017. I am currently working through that material – hundreds of audio files including conversations with a variety of experts, activists, and others around the country, and thousands of photographs, and will make it available on a rolling basis.


I am hoping I can make this my day job.

Access to my content is free.

If you think it is of some merit, and would like to contribute financially, I would be very grateful for your support.

To that end, I have set up a account and website, which can be reached here.

If you would prefer to use another means of payment, please contact me by email (see below) and I can send an email invoice or discuss an alternative.


My name is Jonathan Oates, a writer, researcher, and teacher, until recently based in Bath, England.

I was born in Guildford and raised in south west Surrey, attending Church of England primary and middle schools, a state comprehensive and sixth form college, before reading Economics & Politics at the University of Bath in the mid 1990s.

My working life has included episodes in IT services, new media and advertising, market research, and higher education – in recent years at the University of Bath as a teaching fellow.


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Speaking at Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution

I also co-directed the experiments of Forum Bath and Democratic Accountability Bath, after returning to university to study International Public Policy Analysis in 2011/12.

I am, for the moment, a member of the Green Party, UCU, the PKSG, the AHE, and the WEA.

Media production and writing credits include Universe : a view from Bath of the past, present, and future (Pick of the Fringe, 2004), Test Tube (Cheltenham Festival of Science, 2004), A Sketch History of Bath (The Sketch History Company, 2009), and Housing, Recommodification, and Financial Crisis (MSc dissertation, University of Bath, 2012).

I can be contacted by email : jonathanoates74 at