In the comment piece Natural Born Survivors (Guardian, 2 May 2008) journalist Harriet Green discusses (with something less than total seriousness) the plausibility of the ‘survivalist’ thesis – that the world now stands on the brink of catastrophe and that we should all therefore prepare for the worst.
In the article she observes:
In the 70s, with the threat of nuclear war in the air, government leaflets suggested we stock up on food and drink to last 14 days, and advised how to build our own fallout rooms. Some of my cousins left the UK for a nuke-free life in Australia.
Then there was the oil crisis, with associated blackouts and abbreviated working weeks. In 1975, the BBC reflected the forced move towards self-sufficiency and survivalism in two landmarks series: on a lighter note, Tom and Barbara dug up their back garden in The Good Life while, more apocalyptically, the drama series Survivors imagined that 90% of the world’s population had been wiped out by a deadly bacterium in just a few days. The series followed a few disparate survivors as they struggled to form ad-hoc communities, relearning ancient skills in order to survive. The BBC recently announced that it is remaking Survivors to air this autumn. I can’t help thinking it’s horribly timely.