Friday, May 14, 2010

James Lovelock, climate change and the future of human kind -- Polar Cities?

Global climate activist and media gadfly Dan Bloom explains how,
without a Ph.D. or any academic background, he came to be "James
Lovelock's accidental student" over the past 4 years and with Taiwanese artist
Deng Cheng-hong has created an Internet meme that won't go away

Bloom writes:

Nobody takes me seriously, and that's okay. I don't have a doctorate, I
don't have any academic backing or instittutional sponsorship, and I flunked my
science classes in college.

So there is a good reason why few people take my ideas about "polar
cities" for survivors of future global warming seriously. I accept the
criticism, and I accept the fact that few newspapers or
magazines want to report on this.

But I press on with my quixotic venture that posits that the human
race might -- might! -- need polar cities
to survive the coming climate chaos in the next 500 years. Not now. We don't need polar cities now. Life is wonderful now. Taiwan and the
rest of the world is okay for now.

At the same time, polar cities do not spell doom and gloom. They offer hope to humankind, and while the name "polar cities"
is a bit of a misnomer, since these climate refugee settlments in the
northern regions of the world won't be at the poles per se and they
won't be cities, just thinking about the A-word -- adaptation! -- shouldn't hurt.

The idea for polar cities sprang directly from the writings of
British scientist James Lovelock. He
spoken about "breeding pairs in the Arctic" who will ensure the
survival of the human species in some
future era. Lovelock said that. I merely tried to envision where these
breeding pairs of human might live.
I am not a prophet, and I am not a scientist. I
cannot see the future. But I see "polar cities".

With the help of Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong, who has created
a series of computer-generated images of polar city landscapes, people
around the world can now see what
these climate refuges might look like. []

Deng's images have been reproduced
in the New York Times science blog Dot Earth and have appeared on the
front page of a daily newspaper in Colorado. Websites from Gizmodo to
Geekologie have reported on the images and the ideas behind them, and
most of the reporting has been dismissive and mocking. That's okay.
New ideas are never accepted quickly, especially when there is no
commercial incentive.

Polar cities are not a business, and nobody is
selling anything. There is no money to made from this discussion, and
there's even not much use in talking about something so far away that
most of us do not even want to think about it.

Still, if you have a moment, take a look at some of Deng's images
-- http://pcillu101.blogspot -- and google the "polar cities" meme online for more information.

When I sent Deng's images to James Lovelock in Britain, he replied
a few days later by email, saying: "Thank you for sending me these
images of polar cities. It may very well happen and soon!"

That's why I now call myself "James Lovelock's accidental student." He
is my teacher in all this."

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