Monthly Archives: March 2011
On Monday I went to an afternoon of science lectures from four incredibly knowledgeable speakers. The topics ranged from climate modeling to zero carbon Britain (without a reliance on nuclear), climate negotiations on a global scale to the psychological processes of dealing with climate change on an individual scale.
One question I’ve heard asked about climate change many times over is “what will you tell your children when they ask what you did when you found out?” Well, I’d be able to tell them where I was when my primary school teacher told me that by the time I had children London would be flooded (1987, Barnet), where I was when I marched through woods with my Mum to stop them being destroyed to make way for a motorway (Oxley, 1993). I’d even be able to tell them the moment that I realised that I was certain we were all doomed (Camden, April 2007 in case you’re wondering).
But, perhaps it would be more interesting to tell them the story after I ‘found out’ once I started to understand and visualise the scale of the problem. I’d be able to tell them there was the period of two months when my colleague and I would sit in silence unable to converse because we were so depressed about the future, the argument with my flatmate about accepting funding from oil companies, getting cross with the strawberries flown in from Chili that I found nestling in my fridge, the irritation at anyone bringing a plastic bag into my house, the annoyance when people dared ask “I know it’s a problem, but what can I do” and my helplessness at the ease at which denial and science have became opposite ends of a meaningless spectrum.
Research tells me I’m not alone. The thought processes to accepting climate change are similar to how we react to loss. So here are some of the things to watch out for (friends you might recognise in a few of these stages); denial, shutting off emotions, numbing the pain with alcohol, drugs, manic activity, feeling helpless, bitter, angry, refusing to love, turning away from life. If you can find me someone who has worked in this field for longer than a year without experiencing one of those emotions, I’d give them a very big gold star and buy them a pint.
Before one can act on climate change, one has to accept some pretty big losses, not necessarily behavioural losses (turns out I can still put the heating on when I’m cold), but accepting that the planet isn’t what we once thought, resources aren’t abundant, this can lead to an anxiety that we are responsible for the loss of something beautiful. Climate change is loss. Loss of good things, loss of bad things, loss of ice, loss of flying, loss of pollution, loss of polar bears, loss.
Of course loss also happens on a local scale. We need to learn from how we get over loss on a local scale and apply it to how we react to climate change on a global scale. Today I lost my keys, I was late for a meeting, got really anxious, walked faster to get there quicker, gave my apologies and moved right to agenda item 1. Not sure how this will help with my reactions to climate change, but it’s a story to share with my therapist nonetheless.
24 March 2011
We were involved with the multi-layering / datascapes workshop for the MA Interaction Design at Umeå Institute of Design, in collaboration with IDEO. The students were to collect data on a subject of their choice and visualise their findings into a large poster. Shown here is the result of the work by Alexis Morin and Maria Zenkevich on beer consumption amongst the students at UID. Did you know that students are happiest dancing around a Christmas tree?
Starring Mark, Hugo and Badger.
If you so happen to be in Tignes this week, check out Looking Sideways. Looking Sideways is an ongoing project which celebrates the creativity which surrounds & defines boardsport culture. The project aims to explore the fringes of the snow, surf and skate scenes; the art, music and diverse creative culture which elevate our sports into lifestyles.
From the Bartlett / Unit 8 blog: “A set of diagrams exploring the use of layers of insulation around the house. The house can be ‘wrapped’ in winter by an outer coat, as the temperature increases the house can ‘shed’ these layers and in doing so creates a series of enclosed courtyards.”
From the Bartlett / Unit 8 blog: “Imagine looking up through a roof of snow…”
Work in progress from Jakob: “The strategy is create a ride-able edge. This could be jumped over from side to side, split and form a half pipe as well as provide shelter on three sides for the building. The idea is that its made 1-1,5m lower then it needs to be (subject to mountain-biking issues) and then gets higher as its covered in snow.”