Dave Hampton

investor_Dave Hampton
Marlow, UK
Day job:
The Carbon Coach
Dream job:
The Carbon Coach
The Age of Stupid
Time on the job:
Probably 30+ working days, spread around.
Jet, jeep, bus or bike:
Red Mini One diesel, purple bike, feet and train. I don’t fly.
Original connection:
Totally wowed by rough cut of film shown at Be The Change 2007.
Why did you get involved?:
Utterly believed in the power of this film to make a difference. Hence impossible not to do all I can to help.
Memorable moment:
When Pete Postlethwaite came and joined me for a pint of Guinness after the Westminster screening.
Scared of:
Not doing enough to turn the ship round in my lifetime.
Guilty of:
All seven, but less as i get older, sadly.
Planning to spend profits on:
An Earthship or two.
Will we save ourselves now we have the chance?:
N, n, n, n.. Yes.


Dave’s mission is helping us humans overcome our addiction to oil, ton by ton, one by one, one on one... joyfully, playfully and energetically... powered by respect for freedom fairness and fun - for kids sakes.
A former international rower, (1982 and 83) Dave is a well-known and entertaining public speaker, and freelance campaigner consultant coach. An advocate for deeper environmental and social change, his early career was especially with the construction, facilities management and property industries, and he was chair of the Construction Industry Council's Sustainable Development Committee 2001-2004.
Dave has a central life purpose: creating a happy and viable low carbon lifestyle at home. He wants his children to have a future, and sees life in those stark terms: We adapt or die.
A Cambridge Engineer, Dave started his company Carbon Coach Ltd in July 2005. Dave provides life-style coaching - helping influential individuals trim their 'home' carbon dioxide emissions - saving cash - while enhancing personal reputation and leadership potential.


Dave put behind him an award winning career as a professional sustainability consultant, and the Directorship of thriving sustainability consultancy ABS consulting, to become “the carbon coach” in July 2005, long before carbon-lite was cool!

Authentically outspoken, and speaking from the heart, Dave ditched the world of strategy, business, qualifications, networks and committees, for a role in ‘stand up’ - or public speaking at least to try to galvanise deeper action on climate crisis. Comedy and climate change may seem unlikely partners, but if we can’t talk about our own mortality – let's face it – we all die!

“Helping the world get off its addiction to fossil fuel one at a time: joyfully, playfully and energetically” was and is Dave’s mission. Dave coaches key individuals (including celebs, CEOs and VIPs) in their relationship with carbon dioxide, but he also works with primary school children and community groups. “Pub conversations” is how Dave describes the flavour of the former. Stripping off the dark suit, the jargon, the MBA speak, Dave keeps it real, simple, fun and based on first hand practical experience. "It's kids stuff after all!" he says.
Dave lives in a highly carbon-efficient (refurbished) house in Marlow, Bucks, with his wife and 4 children and has calculated his family's total primary carbon footprint (*before* green tariff or offset) at 9 tonnes (3 tonnes per adult) ... and falling. In 2005 he was honoured at Building magazine's first Sustainability Awards, as the first winner of the Sustainable Leadership Award.
In 2004 he coined the “If CO2 were purple we'd have witnessed the sky change colour during our lifetime” and sparked several ‘wear purple day’ and purple balloon campaigns. He is an indefatigable participant in the growing team delivering the big carbon detox of the century. He lists interests as life (ongoing), cycling, rowing, freedom, beer, douglas adams, carbon, wild optimism, escape. And “my lovely wife, my family, and my dog.”

Pete Postlethwaite and the giant People’s OBE
In March 2009 Dave, together with friend Katie Keegan, presented Pete Postlethwaite with a giant People’s OBE (Order of Bravery for the Environment) gong, after a screening, to replace the OBE Pete courageously threatened to return to Her Majesty the Queen. The moment was captured here. http://www.eco-tube.com/v/NEWS/Pete_gets_an_OBE.aspx

The Age of Stupid – "One Investor’s Mov(ie)ing Experience"
By Dave Hampton, the carbon coach

It was at ‘Be The Change’, back in December 2007, in Central Hall, Westminster, that I had the good fortune to watch a rough cut of this documentary, and to fall in love with it. It had another name then, “Crude”, but the essential nature of the film was already fully formed in genius Director Franny Armstrong’s mind: slick.

I loved how the six main characters wove deeply together, to paint a big picture, and to paint it true. A veritable oil canvas, (sic!) within which each of us can choose, or not, to part-recognise our self. Every single one of us, a ‘bit-part player’ in the destruction of our own home planet? Not clever?
It struck me that the film was a rich depiction of a passing era of humankind – the start of the end of “full-on party mode”, soaked stupid in fossil addiction, and drowning in our own mess. Our wise species in a collective denial ‘pact’: mostly drugged and unconscious! Something had to be done.
This was clearly a ‘big picture’ that could lead people to stop and think – and to critically re-assess everything we think we know. It was obviously a ‘picture’ so firm in its foundations and so upright in its truth that it demands we turn everything in our lives upside down - until the picture is the right way up again!

In short, I convinced myself the film was a masterpiece – and the right way up. I could see how the Age of Stupid would come to mark the tipping point of human evolution! Surely only a few would be able to watch it and leave unshaken / unstirred. I could see it was a film that would change lives. Deeply. I could see it was a film that invited us to call ourselves to account, and to hear the call to action. What I couldn’t see was any way I could afford to help! This lady, Franny, was asking us for feedback on the film... oh yes... and for our money! If we ever wanted to see the film again!

But of course I was totally captive. To have walked away from the opportunity to help make this film happen would have felt like walking on by, past my own children, lying injured by the roadside. So, on the one hand - species annihilation; on the other - a slightly bigger mortgage. The rest is history.
There were many like me given this same opportunity, back in December 2007, to put our money where our mouths were, and to get the film finished, via an investment model they called ‘crowd funding’. No-one in the ‘crowd’ that day looked like they had any spare cash! But most sensed that this was something we simply had to do. Something that could really make the difference: between the kids legacy being a burning home planet, or the kids being given their future back!

So, to finish the story, a few months later (and a few thousand pounds lighter) I officially became a movie investor (darling.) One of a huge crowd of passionate small investors - with a ‘few hundred quid’ each - rather than the usual small, elite (and never quite independent) few.

Given how much old wealth can be tracked back, one way or another, to striking oil, black gold, or to mining fossil fuel, this was something the film creators were always crystal clear about. Exxon simply wouldn’t be allowed to sponsor a single pixel of the film!

My hand shook the day I made out my cheque to a body called ‘OOPS’! (One Off Productions.) As I write this review I still have no idea if i will get a single penny back, and my hands shake for a different reason. With excitement at how HUGE this is going to be.

It’s true that the films chances of commercial success were given a boost when Pete Postlethwaite agreed to play the role of the old man looking back from 2055. But the film deals in a currency far more important than those green slips of paper we argue about: in life itself. And I have not given up hope of getting all my money back, the way things are going.

Age of Stupid is not a conventional film, nor part of any genre, nor made for art’s sake, nor made for fame or riches, nor made to win awards. It is my belief that is it made with 100% pure authentic intent – urgent passion to create something that would bring about a collective species awakening - as never before dreamt of.

It’s a film that will not just change the course of human history, but give us a second chance at having a future history atall. It will catalyse a mass (global) collective awakening such that we get the chance – together - to choose life. To choose ‘Not Stupid’. And to reclaim our children’s birthright: to expect to have a future.

If it ends up being bigger than Grease (sic!) and I make a few quid out of it, I won’t feel guilty. I will be too busy celebrating that the film really did reach the parts that the other films didn’t. Proud that us ‘crowd funders’ proved Margaret Meade right:- that a small crowd of thoughtful, committed citizens really can change the world.