Dan Olner

Recent Articles

“Our climate crisis requires us to evacuate our normal ways of doing things”

A powerful piece from Rebecca Solnit: “people in power and bureaucrats seem exceptionally obtuse when it comes to recognizing that the world has changed and the old rules no longer apply.” She compares often exactly wrong official responses to what is needed for survival in radically new situations: “during 9/11, survival meant evacuating the south tower of the World Trade Center” – not listening to the building tanoys telling people to return to their desks. [more]

“Global warming standstill?” Leo Hickman collates some sanity

A Met Office model revision found its way into the skeptic-o-sphere a couple of days back and, from there, onto some BBC news outlets. Predictable cries of “warming standstill!” ensued.

Guardian environment correspondent Leo Hickman has started collating information on the fallout – it’s a great thread. The sanest quote, for me, from Prof Chris Rapley, professor of climate science at University College London:

William McDonough: Cradle to cradle design

An old TED video from 2005. Among many highlights, some interesting things to say about growth. McDonough talks about one type of ‘growth as asphalt’ which is ‘destroying the Earth’s underlying operating system’. In McDonough’s vision of a technical metabolism as intricate and resilient as anything biological, “the question becomes not ‘growth or no growth’ but ‘what do you want to grow?’ ”

Yet here we are in 2012, seven years after this video’s impressive proposal for new Chinese cities built on these principles. [more]

Stephen Emmott’s ‘Ten Billion’: “In truth, I think we are already ****ed.”

Stephen Emmott’s sold out Royal Court show in London. Emmott is Microsoft’s head of computational science and part of the 2020science research group. In his show, ‘Ten Billion’, he lays out what we’re doing to the planet in an exact replica of his office ‘right down to the slowly ageing tangerine that he has left in one corner’. He doesn’t offer much in the way of the hopey-changey stuff. Much argument about ‘the message’ is thrown about – but is the problem that its too harsh and needs sugarcoating, or is it that Emmott and others’ work is a quiet but insistent squeak drowned out by a cacophony of comforting illusion?