Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Media Recognition for Polar Cities Idea is Hard to Come By

A reporter for a major news wire service tells me today:

Hi Danny

I appreciate the originality of your idea of polar cities, and your enthusiasm, and your independence. I really do. But unless you are a scientist or engineer, or your idea has gotten some serious traction somewhere, I cannot justify doing a separate piece on you and your work. But I have made a note of your website and your work, and if the opportunity arises for me to allude to them, I will get back in touch. Honestly.

Interesting coincidence: I spent an hour in conversation with Dr. Lovelock yesterday.


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Anonymous said...

Hey Danny,

I've been reading your posts at dot earth for a while, and I have a question for you: why do you think that it's more important to make major investments in "polar retreats" rather than other more immediate and massive preparations, say like moving some of the world's major port cities farther up-river? Or research into capturing photons, or dispersed low-input non-degrading food production, or any of the countless pressing issues that need to be dealt with to make life better for humanity as we go into energy descent and climate change and consequent reduction of population?

Not that any of those things are likely to attract any major investment, but they are much more likely to do so than high-latitude disaster retreats for the far future.


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reader writes:

"Thanks for the response, Danny. To answer your question, I don't find the idea of polar cities at some point in the future a silly idea; if that is what people at that time need then I suppose they will exist.

BUT I do find it very difficult to concern myself with the needs of 30 generations from now.

I suspect I am fairly typical in that feeling - it is just too far away. In fact, people today in dire circumstances probably don't even concern themselves with the needs of next year.

I'm not in dire circumstances but I don't have the resources to plan for more than a few years into the future - in that also I am probably fairly typical for a first-world citizen.

Also I think that the future possibilities are too unpredictable to be planning out so far as 30 or even 20 or 10 generations.

I am aware of Lovelock's prediction and although I consider it an outside possibility I think that the likelihood is considerably less severe. It seems now that world pop will stabilize at 9 billion, which can probably be sustained for a generation or two without creating a plummeting crash and loss of technology.

Several generations from now, maybe sooner, I have a feeling population will start to decline and in combination with doing more with less may bring humanity to a "soft" landing at a sustainable point.

Learning to live with constantly-rising sea level and more extreme weather will be part of that sustainability.

Why do you find the far future so important?"



James Lovelock's Accidental Student