Wednesday, March 27, 2013

James Lovelock on Cosmic Evolution's Next Step on Earth; a species beyond the human species

James Lovelock on Evolution's Next step; a species beyond human species -- which will be

better equipped than MAN/WOMAN to live on EARTH in better ways that make it possible
for the Earth to overcome to problems of AGW climate change and global warming in the next million years or so and therefore MANKIND will become a thing of the past, gone with the wind, RIP forever, and this new SPECIES, a species beyond and superior to the human species for getting along with the other plants and animals and inanimate objects on EARTH so that while HUMANKIND will disappear, this NEW SPECIES which Evolution has in store for us will make it so that EARTH can survive into the future, and not just the ROCK of Earth, but also the green lush environment of earth and its many many animals and plants.
MAN AND WOMAN might be gone, but this new SPECIES, as yet un-named and un-described, but presumably taking off where mankind left off, will be the answer to what ails the EARTH's ecosystem now.
ANY guesses what this new SPECIES will look like, what it might be named, and how many genders it might engender?

James Lovelock says Evolution Will Produce Another species more capable than humans for lfie on Earth and therefore all is not lost despite the fact that 'we're doomed, we're doomed"


James Lovelock tells John Gray in the UK that his next book will consider the possibility that cosmic evolution on Earth may produce another species, one more capable than human beings have been of coexisting with other life forms on this planet.

Agree or disagree?


In the book, he will say that he believes there is a possibility that someday in some distant future COSMIC evolution might produce another species, post human species, that can learn to get along and live in harmony with all life on this planet. Otherwise, he suggests, "we're doomed, we're doomed."

But Lovelock is an optimist, even at 93 going on 94, and long live bright-eyed optimism and dreaming at age 93!!!

He also says he is still a firm believer in global warming caused by humans, AGW, even CAGW, and while the time frame is no longer 2100 AD as he said in earlier interviews in 2006, he still believes we need to get out act together by 2500 or 3500 AD. OR ELSE.

James Lovelock's new book from Allen Lane Publishers Due Out January 15, 2014

And the  next Lovelock book in his GAIA trilogy will consider the possibility that evolution may produce another species, one more capable than human beings have been of coexisting with other life forms on the planet.

 Lovelock, in his tenth decade, 94 when the book is released, continues to produce ideas that fundamentally challenge the prevailing world-view. A unique and profound thinker, he has no obvious successor, yet in gaining wide acceptance of the idea that our planet is a self-regulating system, he has had a profound effect on many branches of scientific inquiry.

Millions of readers  can’t wait to hear the latest thoughts of the scientist who, more than any other alive today, has changed the way we think of the Earth and our place on it.

Notes from John Gray at the New Statesman and author of “The Silence of Animals”,  published by Allen Lane, the same publisher that publishes Lovelock.

Monday, March 25, 2013


CLIVE HAMILTON in Australia told me via email:

••Hello Danny

I got your voice phone message -- at 1.30 am in the morning!

Thanks for the material on your ''polar cities'' ideas. I don't really know how to respond. While I obviously share your assessment of the situation, and the alarm it should generate in a rational person, I think the world is perhaps two decades away from taking the "polar cities" idea seriously.

Some of us are much too far ahead of the times, and it drives us mad. It will be no comfort to be vindicated in 2040.

All the best

Climate Etc Open Thread Praises and Critiques the POLAR CITIES IDEA

Climate Etc Open Thread Praises and Critiques the POLAR CITIES IDEA

1.When DANNY BLOOM asked the OPEN THREAD at Judith Curry's very good blog CLIMATE ETC, they replied as follows:


3.QUESTION: Could I ask readers here if they have heard about my pioneering work

about “polar cities” for survivors of climate chaos 30 generations

from now and that the time to start discussing them and planning and

even pre-siting them might be now, as there is still time to prepare?

see my work at or google the term,

“polar cities” – and wiki also has page. It’s a bit CLI FI, my work,

and I produced two books already on Amazon, a novel titled POLAR CITY

RED, well reviewed in the Alaska media, and a nonfiction history of

polar cities, POLAR CITY DREAMING. go look and comment pro and con. I

am most interested in feedback, and all POV welcome. – Danny Bloom, who?
March 24, 2013 at 11:14 am
Reply I just love it every time I confuse you Danny with Steve Bloom. Excellent conversations I’ve had with the wrong one in mind.=============

•Jim D
March 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

•I speculate about the distant future sometimes. What would a 1000+ ppm world look like in 2500 AD? Would sea-level be well on its way to rising 70 meters? Would tropical areas still be habitable with 35 C oceans and steam-bath climates, and if not, how would evacuation take place, or would worse things happen to those populations. Would there be hypercanes? Where would the food sources be? What would the energy sources be? What about fresh water supply? Would acidification lead to ecological disaster in the oceans? The fact that polar latitudes have smaller areas than lower latitudes and that 70% of the world population lives within 100 meters of sea-level may mean population crowding and less area where food can be grown, especially in the southern hemisphere as people escape to higher ground and higher latitudes. This is an interesting area for cli-fi, for sure. A 350-400 ppm world in 2500 AD would look more friendly from an environmental viewpoint.

•Beth Cooper
March 24, 2013 at 11:50 am
Reply Yew quote:

‘Clive Hamilton [see below last comment here] shows that the climate problem is now primarily

a question of social science: of psychology and political


Say, I’d go along with that. :)

Hmm , though I am a smidgeon worried about ‘the pause’

and the present cold spell in the UK.


March 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm
Reply Danny

Before I glance at your work can you assure me its not a joke?


March 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Not so much a joke as a very imaginative response to last decade’s fear of a boiling earth. I commend Danny to your attention, but feel sure we’ll all be squished metropolitanly together toward the Equator long before Danny’s utopic visions come to pass.=======


March 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm


•Beth Cooper
March 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Hi tony,

re polar cities)


March 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Good grief. What with our Govt busily shoving up energy prices whilst the UK temperatures plummet, and this guy promoting Polar cities, it is difficult to know how to keep our sanity.

Has the world lost all sense of perspective and context?


March 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm
Yup, more geology and theometry.


•Beth Cooper
March 25, 2013 at 2:00 am

Madness …yes! (

Re Long term prediction, looks like Danny needs ter read

Taleb’s ‘Black Swan’ … but I predict he won’t. )

Beth the serf and so on.

March 25, 2013 at 10:18 am
True geniuses appear on the most Northern and most Southern horizons.


March 25, 2013 at 1:45 am
Reply RE: '': Could I ask readers here if they have heard about my pioneering work

about “polar cities” for survivors of climate chaos 30 generations

from now and that the time to start discussing them and planning and

even pre-siting them might be now, as there is still time to prepare?”

30 generations? About 900 years? I haven’t yet checked your link, but I’ve said before that at any time in human history, predictions of the world 90-100 years hence would have been wildly wrong, we have no capacity to make sensible or useful predictions over the time-frames you mention, and it would surely be mad to put resources now into a fantasy 2900 AD.

If you want to do it as speculative fiction, that’s another matter, but it would have no policy relevance.

•Peter Lang
March 25, 2013 at 2:50 am

Thanks. I was going to get in before the rush and buy a beach front property. But thanks to your advice I think I’ll wait a while.

••MEANWHILE CLIVE HAMILTON in Australia told me via email:

••Hello Danny

I got your voice phone message -- at 1.30 am in the morning!

Thanks for the material on polar cities. I don't really know how to respond. While I obviously share your assessment of the situation, and the alarm it should generate in a rational person, I think the world is perhaps two decades away from taking the "polar cities" idea seriously.

Some of us are much too far ahead of the times and it drives us mad. It will be no comfort to be vindicated in 2040.

All the best


James Lovelock's Accidental Student

James Lovelock's Accidental Student: Danny Bloom on Polar Cities to

House "Breeding Pairs in the Arctic" in the Far Distant Future

Question: How did you come to be "James Lovelock's Accidental Student"?

DANNY BLOOM: Two years ago I read Fiona Harvey's wonderful lunchtime

interview in the Financial Times in the UK with Dr Lovelock over

some good wine they were sharing in London, and in the interview, and

in other places, Lovelock talked about his vision

of the far distant future being a place in northern regions where the

only survivors left on Earth, perhaps just 200,000 people,

would be "breeding pairs in the Arctic". This hit me hard, right in

the gut and right in the center of my brain, too. I kept thinking

about those words for a few days and finally I asked myself, where

will these "breeding pairs" live, I mean, what kind of settlements

will they be housed in, and where will these settlements be located?

And also: who will govern these settlements, and who will be

allowed in, or who will get in, and will they survive the long long

Long Emergency that will be happeneing then -- an event I now call The

Great Interruption -- and so one afternoon after waking up from a nap

in my cave in Taiwan I envisioned something like "polar cities" for

these breeding pairs in Lovelock's Arctic. That's how the term polar

cities was born. And that is how I became James Lovelock's Accidental

Student. This was also around the same time as the IPCC report was

coming out in February 2007 to great media fanfare and there were

headlines every day in my local English newspaper in Taiwan, so I was

obsessing with the issues of climate change and global warming for the

first time in my life. Just two years ago. Before that, I was not

involved in this activism or visionary thinking at all.

Question: How did you find an artist to illustrate your viision of a

polar city to house Lovelock's "breeding pairs in the Arctic"?

BLOOM: I knew I needed to put this idea of polar cities for breeding

pairs into some kind of visual showcase, because when I first started

blogging about my polar cities idea, the response was basically no

response at all. The words themselves -- polar cities for survivors of

global warming in the year 2500 or so -- just did not wake people up

and attract interest from readers or reporters or bloggers. So I knew

I needed some kind of visual to show what I was talking about.

Near my home in Taiwan, there was a small advertising agency run by a

pontailed man named Deng Cheng-hong. I rode my bicycle over to his

shop one Sunday afternoon and asked him if he could illustrate my

polar cities idea with some hand-drawn art or some computer-generated

work. He also had never really thought about global warming in a very

deep way, either, but he understand what I was talkingh about, even

though he did not speak English and I do not speak Chinese, but we

communicated and I showed him some very rough sketches I had done up

at my home in pencil and crayon on paper. He took these sketches and 8

weeks later came back with these wonderful, color illustrastions of

his artistic view of what a polar city blueprint might look like. I

knew this was it. He had given life to my vision, which I gotten from

Dr Lovelock's interviews and books and speeches. Dr Lovelock is my

mentor in all this.

When I showed Mr Deng's images to reporters in the USA -- and to Dr

Lovelock himself in the UK by email -- the response was very positive.

The New York Times blog Dot Earth, written by veteran science reporter

Andrew C. Revkin, wrote about polar cities, with Deng's images printed

on the blog as well, on March 29, 2008. The response was immediate,

both pro and con. I have not stopped promoting polar cities since that

day. The New York Times gave me the greenlight and I decided to spend

the rest of my life promoting and talking about, both pro and con,

polar cities. But this was not part of my life plan before 2006. I am

a writer, an editor, a poet, a dreamer. But after I read Lovelock's

words about "breeding pairs in the Arctic" I became haunted, obsessed,

with those words. And here I am, age 60, James Lovelock's Accidental

Student. I have no PHD, no academic sponors, no credibility at all. I

am nobody. I am nothing. AndI love this work. This is my life's work

now. A few more years here on Planet Earth and then I'm gone. I care

about the future. Deeply. I care about what life will be like on Earth

30 generations down the road, in 2500 or so. Polar cities might save

us from extinction.

QUESTION: Have you ever met or spoken with Dr Lovelock?

BLOOM: Never. But I did email his office one time, and showed him

Deng's images and my website about polar cities for his breeding pairs

in the Arctic to live in and he replied: "Thanks, Danny, for showing

me those images. It may very well happen, and soon!"

QUESTON: What's next for you?

BLOOM: More of the same. Promoting the concept of polar cities, what I

also call climate retreats for climate refugees, for the rest of my

life. These polar cities will be not be at the poles per se. They will

be in northern and southern regions of the world, from Tasmania and

New Zealand and Patagonia and Antarctica in the southern hemisphere to

Alaska and Canada and Russia and Greenland and Iceland and Norway in

the north. These polar cities are where Lovelock's breeding pairs will

live. We need to think hard about who will get in, who will govern

them, who will administer them, and what life inside will be like.

That's my brief.

QUESTION: Who gave you this brief?

BLOOM: Lovelock gave it to me. He does not know it, but he gave it to

me. I am just following in his footsteps. Using my visionary skills

and out-of-the-box thinking and global PR skills to create an important

discussion, both pro and con, online, in print and in classrooms, too.

Who gave me this brief? I gave it to

myself. I am James Lovelock's Accidental Student. It's energizing. I

enjoy this work.

It's my 24/7 obsession, but a healthy, productive, creative obsession.

Thank you, James Lovelock! But all this is not something that makes me

happy, and it's not a pretty picture. We are talking about some very

dark times coming down the road in 30 generations or so. I don't get

enjoyment out of this work. But I do get a sense of doing something

positive and important. And I remain an optimist, despite what it

might seem. I am an eternal optimist. That is why I envisioned polar

cities to save humanity from extinction in some future time when

global warming's major impact events have reduced the human tribe to

just 200,000 men, women and children barely surviving -- but

surviving, yes! -- in polar cities scattered around the world. The

Earth's populations of humans will have dropped by then from 25

billion to just 200,000 souls. I am ready to talk about this. Who

wants to join me in this important scientific and spiritual

discussion? I think there are lots of people who understand exactly

what I am saying, and thanks to Dr Lovelock, am trying to promote as

an important idea for the future.



Friday, March 22, 2013

Welcome to the Clipocalypse: Planning for Polar Cities for Possible Survivors of Global Climate Chaos Circa 2500 AD

An ebook in progress, publication date 2015.

by Daniel Halevi Bloom, climate activist, polar cities pioneer

The 25 chapters in this nonfiction book explore who ''gets it'' and who doesn't and why. Among
those who get is: Clive Hamilton, Jim Laughter, Stepahan Malone, Margaret Atwood, James Lovelock, Mark Lynas, Fred Pearce, Tim Flannery, James Hansen, Joe Romm, David Roberts, Alistair Doyle. Among those who don't get it: David Roberts, Joe Romm, Anthony Watts, Marc Morano, Tom Nelson

Advance orders welcome!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I took the longest walk

In the world last night

From your arms to your front door

I heard the saddest words

In the world last night

When you said you loved me no more

Requiem for a Species

Why are most people 'everyday climate denialists' ....? Dr. Steven Yearley talks about his sobering lesson reading Clive Hamilton's powerful book...
'Requiem for

a Species''...

In a perverse way, says Clive Hamilton, we are nearly all

climate-change denialists. We tacitly deny the seriousness and

severity of the upcoming climate shocks in the way that we continue to

live our everyday lives, organise our investment decisions and

pensions, cast our political votes and pursue our jobs and businesses.

Unlike other writers who are keen to leave us some room for hope,

Hamilton offers us a requiem. There can be no business as usual. We

messed up and it's already too late - especially after the

underachievements of the Climate Change Conferences -

to undo the mess. To believe anything else is to deny the climate

truth and engage in wishful thinking.

Hamilton makes this argument in stages in his book. First, he reviews the evidence

to impress on us how bad the situation is already and how much worse

it will get. Then he examines the roots of our denial, both in terms

of our resistance to the evidence and in relation to the actors and

agencies motivated to deny the truth. Last, he looks at some likely

futures and reflects on what we can do about it all.

Hamilton draws on other explanations as well. The problem is in

part one of the human psyche and our psychological adaptations. As

philosophers have long pointed out, we all know we are going to die

but few of us respond with the urgency and moral seriousness that such

knowledge surely implies, at least until death is close. Hamilton

invokes evolutionary psychologists' accounts of the nature of the

human mind to explain why people may be "hard-wired" to respond to

threats with selfish and acquisitive behaviour.

Consumer culture also

comes in for vicious criticism from Hamilton, who points out that the

recent close connection between one's sense of worth and identity and

the discerning consumption of products leads to ever-greater demands

for goods. Even our conceptual frameworks are implicated because

modern, rational science has led to epistemological alienation from

nature over the past 300 years.

This is a provocative and sobering book, in which Hamilton shows very

clearly that the climate problem is now primarily a question of social

science: of psychology and political economy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Climate Activists: 'Wxxxxx xxxxxa' condemned to Hell?! NYT's Krugman: Skeptics 'punished in the afterlife' --- McKibben: 'White America' has failed

Climate Activists: 'White America' condemned to Hell?!

NYT's Krugman: Skeptics 'punished in the afterlife' ---
McKibben: 'White America' has failed Inbox

Also see: BURN IN HELL: NYT Paul Krugman to those whose 'deny' global warming: 'May you be punished in the afterlife for doing so' -- Calls 'denial' an 'almost inconceivable sin'

Bill McKibben laments 'White America' has failed: 'White America has fallen short' by voting for 'climate deniers'

McKibben's 'White America' in the La Times: 'We may need, for example, things such as a serious tax on carbon; that will require mustering political will to stand up to the fossil fuel industry. And that's precisely where white America has fallen short. Election after election, native-born and long-standing citizens pull the lever for climate deniers, for people who want to shut down the EPA, for the politicians who take huge quantities of cash from the Koch brothers and other oil barons'

Last week, global warming activists condemned climate skeptics into eternal damnation. See Paul Krugman: See: BURN IN HELL: NYT Warmist Paul Krugman to those whose 'deny' global warming: 'May you be punished in the afterlife for doing so' -- Calls 'denial' an 'almost inconceivable sin' -- Krugman invokes God's wrath on skeptics: 'You can deny global warming (and may you be punished in the afterlife for doing so — this kind of denial for petty personal or political reasons is an almost inconceivable sin).'

Now Warmist Bill McKibben wants 'white America' to wake up to man-made global warming fears.

Reaction to McKibben/LA Times' 'White America' claims – McKibben/LA Times 'Goes Full Racist' – 'If they blamed the weather on some other ethnic group, they would probably be investigated by the justice department'

Flashback: Activist Bill McKibben At Copenhagen: 'I Went To Church And Cried...People are dying already' -- 'This crisis is so terrifying that when you let yourself feel too deeply it can be paralyzing'

Warmist Bill McKibben Blames 5,000 Years Of Middle East Instability On Your SUV


George Shultz, Fmr. U.S. Sec. Of State, Addresses Policymakers on Capitol Hill for the First Time About Need to Plan for Polar Cities for Survivors of Climate Chaos in 300 Years, [maybe sooner]

On March 8th, 2013, For the first time Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1982-1989) visited Capitol Hill to publicly address congressional policymakers about the pressing issue of POLAR CITIES.

On this rare visit, Secretary Shultz, a member of PSA's Advisory Board, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on Capitol Hill. The topic of the discussion was polar cities, national security, energy, and climate change. Joining PSA Executive Director, Andrew Semmel, Secretary Shultz discussed about the pressing issue of POLAR CITIES, too.


Although most policymakers and pundits are not talking about climate change in terms of national security, those at the forefront of this field are. As climate change has become increasingly well-recognized as a “threat multiplier” in the security community, Secretary Shultz joins other prominent national security experts who are speaking up about about the pressing issue of POLAR CITIES.

“It is quite clear that our national security establishment, especially over the past couple of years, has been keenly aware of the threat of climate change – but now it’s time to act.”

- Lee Hamilton, Congressman (D-IN) 1965-99, Former Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

“The U.S. national security community, including leaders from the military, homeland security, and intelligence, understand that climate change is a national security threat. They're not talking about whether or not it is occurring – it is. They're talking about addressing the problem and protecting the American people. It's time Washington does the same.”

- Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security 2003-05, Governor (R-PA) 1995-2001

“The combination of … [carbon] feedback loops together with growth in world population and use of energy is going to put us into a situation in which we have a number of national security issues that are going to come cascading down on us.”

- R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence 1993-95

Secretary Shultz’s visit follows the recent launch of an open letter organized by PSA identifying climate change as a national security priority signed by 38 former high-ranking Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – including seventeen former Senators and Congress members, nine retired generals and admirals, both the Chair and Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, and Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials from the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), Clinton, and Bush (43) administrations.



Secretary George Shultz –

PSA Event on Capitol Hill March 8, 2013

SHULTZ: Thank you. I really feel privileged to come and talk with Hill staffers particularly on the subject of energy and national security. I’ve been here for a couple of days with colleagues from MIT and Stanford talking about energy game changes. And Susan Hockfield is here who was president of MIT, led the MIT Energy Initiative. Sally Benson is here who has run the Stanford energy effort. Tom Stephenson is here who’s my partner in the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force and Jeremy Carl, just so we have our team and we’ve been here in Washington talking about game changers in the field of energy.

I believe, and I think there’s a very good case to be made, that we here in the United States are on the cusp of a true revolution in the field of energy, and if we can capitalize on these opportunities we’ll have a much better energy future from the standpoint of our national defense, from the standpoint of our economy, and from the standpoint of our environment (inaudible 00:01:26) so let me get at that a little bit by giving you two stories.

Story one way back in 1969. I’m secretary of labor. And for some reason the president makes me chairman of a cabinet task force on the oil import program. President Eisenhower thought that if we imported more than 20% of the oil we used, we were asking for trouble in national security terms and you could see if you analyzed the situation that that was going to be a very hard thing to hope. So we made a report, and we said the problem -- national security problem is not so much a military attack as it is turmoil in the Israeli-Arab situation that will cause (inaudible 00:02:24) we ought to get prepared. We ought to have a repository for oil that we could use in an emergency. We should limit our supplies from that part of the world and so on. President patted me on the head, said nice report, it was published, there were hearings in several congressional committees. People were interested but nothing was done. So a few years later I’m secretary of the treasury. There’s no energy department. And on comes the Arab oil boycott. I said to myself, you know, President Eisenhower had a point, because it was directly cutting off supply from the national security standpoint. At that time (inaudible 00:03:10) generated a lot of electricity by oil. So Christmas lights were doused. President requested, and it happened, that gas stations closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, that would restrict driving. And so it messed up our national security. It messed up our (inaudible 00:03:33). And I remember it specifically. I also remember that people came in and said look here are alternative ways of producing something in the energy field that might work. They looked interesting, but I could see they were a long way from any possible realization. So I learned from this. I learned that it’s very hard to get a decision on a strategic issue on the basis of analytics alone. Something has to happen for people to do something. I learned that when the price of oil went back down, all interest in alternatives disappeared. So that can happen.

Then another story. Back in the mid ’80s I’m secretary of state. And scientists are pointing out that the ozone layer is decreasing. And there’s controversy. There’s some who doubt. I did. They all agreed that it happens, it’s a catastrophe. So I always had twice a week private meetings with President Reagan and we talked about this and he decided we should take out an insurance policy. And so we negotiated what was called the Montreal Protocol. And it’s interesting how when there’s something definite that seems to get decided the creative juices of the American entrepreneurial university scientific community kick in and this time the DuPont Company invented something that we could say do this and it basically would. It turned out that the scientists who were worried were right. And the Montreal Protocol (inaudible 00:05:37) What I learned from that is if you wait till you’re boiling you may have missed your moment. You have to look and see what’s happening and act on the basis of that.

So now onto revolutions. The first one comes out of the development of fracking technology that has had the effect of dramatically increasing the supplies of natural gas in this country and more and more crude oil as well. And it is kind of amazing because the energy field of thought is so vast that to make any difference it took centuries practically. But this is happening just like that. Suddenly there’s a wholly different picture and it’s having a very positive effect. Including rejuvenation of American manufacturing, a lot of other good attributes. It is known that there are problems. It is known how to deal with the problems. So one of the things that we can do to take full advantage is do we have the right kind of regulatory process like it probably has to go, to a certain degree, state by state because formations differ. But not in place so we don’t have somebody who cuts corners and creates a big problem, sets everything back. But so far so good. And this is a revolution. So have to play our cards right.

The other revolution is in a way more profound and with more long term meaning. And that is the emergence of alternative ways of creating energy and using energy. Much more insight into how to use energy more effectively. And in all of these processes, we improve our national security. For example we can see that security depends to a very considerable extent on creating energy where you use it. And you look at the convoys into Afghanistan getting blown up, and its not only you use, but people are getting killed in the process. Let alone, in more civilian terms our vulnerability to cyber attack (inaudible 00:08:19) and we need to have more energy created where you use it. A lot of issues very clear directly on that (inaudible 00:08:23) obviously the more diverse our supplies of energy are, the safer our economic side is.

But I think where much of this research will bear its greatest fruit is in improving the quality of our environment. Because after all if you save the use of energy, that’s clean energy. If you learn how to have an electric car go further and be more a part of the fleet, that’s very clean energy. I see a young man here from Stanford who has recently figured out how to fix a lithium ion battery so it’ll go four times as far as it now does. So that suddenly gave much more range for an electric car than it did before. So all these things. Better solar. All these things make a gigantic contribution. And I think it’s essential that we apply the insurance policy, Ronald Reagan’s insurance policy concept, to our present circumstances. Because a lot of us think -- and the statement that you referred to reflects that -- that the globe is warming. And we should be taking steps to do something about that. These are the steps, that we talked about. Now first of all, let me disaggregate this problem a little bit. Because I know I read particularly on Capitol Hill there are a lot of people who think that science is not sufficient and so on. But there’s a man named Gary Roughead who retired a year or so ago as chief of naval operations so he knows something about oceans. And he’s now out at Hoover at Stanford. And he has a little film. He showed it to us yesterday at our meeting and he showed, among other places, of the Arctic, an ocean is being created that wasn’t there before. How could that be? It can only be because it’s getting warmer, there is no other explanation.

And one of the things about this film that catches your eye, it covers about a 25-year period, and the film is of sea ice. As the years go along, you see the sea ice running around and edging down a little bit. Then about the turn of the century there’s a discontinuity, and it suddenly starts shrinking. So I think it’s the discontinuities we have to be thinking about, as you can imagine all sorts of ways. Permafrost really starts to melt in a big way, a huge release of methane gas connected with that. So there are potential discontinuities here that tell you that you better apply Ronald Reagan’s insurance policy.

So what does that insurance policy look like? I don’t think it’s even that difficult. One part of it is sustained support for energy R&D. And one of the things that has emerged from the partnership between MIT and Stanford on this, we look at what the Stanford people are doing, we look at what the MIT people are doing, Susan has led, we see that people are accomplishing things. It’s happening. And there are a lot of things that are close. There are a lot of things that are a little further back that are revolutionary. An example of that is large-scale storage of electricity. And the people are very gifted people working on that hard, and they have this conceptually figured out. Maybe it’ll be four or five years. I don’t know. But they’re getting somewhere. And this is a revolutionary kind of development.

Another one is significant and sustained support for energy R&D. It’s interesting in the case of MIT and Stanford, and there are lots of other places. I’m not just trying (inaudible 00:13:11) they just happen to be the ones I know about. In both these cases, a significant amount of the support comes from industry. Both institutions are comfortable with that. After all Stanford, Silicon Valley is just a big Stanford spin-off (inaudible 00:13:33) MIT’s whole ethic and tradition. I served -- I have a PhD from MIT and I served on the faculty for about ten years. So I absorbed the ethic of MIT. It’s very much the same way. So we’re comfortable with industry partners. And they give us this attribute. If somebody develops something that’s doable and scalable, there are people around who know how to do it and can take something and turn it into a widespread and used product. And I think that’s a great advantage because that’s obviously the name of the game in the end.

So sustained support for energy R&D. And I think when the government has a good level of support it tends to encourage industry to come in too. And if suddenly the government stops that’s a big signal. And it’s a very undesirable signal. So this is really important. And the amount of money involved is not -- by anybody’s standards but the federal government, would be a lot, but by federal government standards $6 billion, $7 billion, $8 billion, $10 billion, $15 billion; I think when I was director of OMB we rounded to those numbers. (laughter) (inaudible 00:15:05). And then I think to myself that it would be good. And I remember Dick Lugar I think this month or -- he said oh just put flex-fuel motors in our cars. Doesn’t cost very much and it means that you are saying to the automobile engine is open to different kinds of fuels more easily than now, and so you could do something like that. Then I think, and I know people on Capitol Hill are worried about things like this, somebody has to propose these things, so why not me? I think that we want all forms of energy to compete on a level playing field. Right? We’re going to have a game, we want a level playing field. Wouldn’t be right for Cal to have six downs in a football game and Stanford only two. Wouldn’t play that game. You want them both having the same number of downs. So we want all forms of energy to bear their full cost so they can compete in the marketplace properly.

Part of the cost of energy is the carbon that’s produced. And it’s particularly something to worry about because it has a lot to do with the climate problem that we’ve been talking about. So how can you possibly create a playing field by taking a step that makes all forms of energy bear not only their immediate costs of production but bear the cost of the pollution that they emit? Some produce nothing, like nuclear power. Others produce a lot. So my proposal is to have a revenue-neutral carbon tax. As an economist I prefer a tax to a cap and trade system because it’s an old-fashioned straightforward way, there it is, and it’s obvious that what you tax you get less of. That’s well known. And so that’s the way I would go about it. I would start small and have a legislated scheduled increase. And why revenue-neutral? Because I want this to be justified and thought of solely and only as a way of leveling the playing field. I don’t want it to be seen as a way to raise money for federal operations because then people would say, gee we got to do more of this and that and so on. Justify it purely on the basis of leveling the playing field. No other reason. That’s a big enough reason. There are various ways of making it revenue-neutral. I favor one that’s very visible. That is you take an existing organization that has already the job of taking in money and paying money out and giving that existing bureaucracy the job. Making everything very transparent. Money comes into a fund. It’s there, you can see every day how much is in it. It’s not included in the unified budget so it doesn’t get spent. Social Security Trust Fund. And periodically pay it out to people, some clear broad spectrum. And we’d pay that in the form of a check labeled carbon dividend. So every once in a while I get my carbon dividend. (laughter) But at any rate there are various ways of making it revenue-neutral. But that’s the way I would favor.

So I think that if we do these things, we will wind up seeing the creation of a lot of new ideas that come to market profitably. Different forms of energy. After all, all energy comes from the Sun. And we don’t have to wait a thousand years for it to get blown around; can’t we just take it directly? And people are figuring out how to do that better and better.

I’ll wind up with a little personal experiment. I’ve had a home on the Stanford campus now for about 40 years. It’s a really great place to live. And about five years ago, a little over five years now, I put solar panels on the roof of my house. If I were doing it today, the panels that I could put on would be substantially better than the ones I put on. But anyway I put on what was that when we had them. And I have a little chart showing my electricity bill before I had them on and after I had them on (inaudible 00:20:27) by this time the amount I saved on my electricity bill pays for the cost of installing my solar panels plus the opportunity cost of the money invested. I’m driving an electric car. So I say, I’m driving, and it’s free. Take that, Ahmadinejad. (laughter)

M: Thank you very for that. (applause) I wonder if Ahmadinejad was listening, but I hope he was. You had touched on so many different issues here that I’m going to throw this out to all of you out there for some questions and answers. I just take the advantage of being here to ask you one or two very questions very quickly. And the one question -- you touched upon this. I was just wondering here in this body, the Congress, there’s a big issue about what the role of government should be in terms of its funding, spending, policy development and so forth, as opposed to leaving this stuff primarily to the private sector. And you touched upon this a little bit. Could you elaborate a little bit on what the role of the government should be in terms of dealing with the energy of climate change and the problems?

SHULTZ: Well, I think it might… has a regulatory role obviously. And it has jobs to do. The field I’m talking about in the fracking arena I think needs to be studied carefully, and find that regulatory process that will work. I might say experience with regulation shows that the over-the-shoulder type regulation really doesn’t usually work very well. Got to find the kind of regulation that incentivizes the person being regulated to do what you want to have done. And you can work that out. But at any rate that’s one kind of a role. In the field that I’ve just been talking about, obviously, I think there’s a role for government funding of R&D. I would personally limit the D part to bringing something to the point where it’s clearly doable and scalable. And then leave it to the marketplace. I know around MIT Kendall Square a lot of people looking for new ideas, they have money. And around Stanford as I said earlier. After all we created big spin-off, Silicon Valley. So there are always people looking around for things. But at any rate, sponsoring that research. A sustained basis, but it doesn’t have to be so much that it’s totally dominant there needs, to do it in such a way that private money also comes in so there is an interactive process. And I think obviously we want to have a chance for these things to come onto the market. And that can be done. I haven’t mentioned nuclear. Nuclear power obviously is a very clean form of power. So it’s desirable. And one of the things that people are working on, and Burt Richter, who isn’t here, has been talking about this in our meeting; he’s a Nobel laureate in physics at Stanford. The small modular reactor has a lot of promise to it. It’s safer. And you don’t have to have as big a capital bite. And this is something that’s now really sort of developed by industry; there’s an interactive process because for very good reasons nuclear power is heavily regulated. And the process of getting permits to do things is really complex in this field. That’s to be expected. That’s going on now. So that’s a positive. So I think there’s an interactive process here. I -- personally -- maybe it’s my University of Chicago background, but I think the marketplace is terrific. And to do a lot of good for you. And if you interfere with it too much you will distort where things might go. So rely on the marketplace.

M: I’ll ask one more question. Then we’ll open it up. In the letter that we talked about before that’s I think distributed among all your chairs, you signed along with 37 other distinguished Americans, the letter stated -- I’ll quote from it -- “The potential consequences of climate change are undeniable. And the cost of inaction paid for in lives and valuable US resources will be staggering.” End quote. Could you maybe just take that line and just elaborate a little bit more? What are the risks involved (inaudible 00:25:58) what do you see (inaudible 00:26:02) the global community doesn’t address this climate change issue?

SHULTZ: Well, there are huge changes that are in the works if we don’t moderate what’s going on. Changes in heat levels. Some places are going to get very very hot. And we’ve already experienced some of that. Even Vladimir Putin got out of Moscow a couple summers ago (inaudible 00:26:40) so you’ve got that problem. You’ve got when the sea ice melts as I was describing, that doesn’t change sea level because the ice is in the sea anyway. But the icecap on Greenland is also melting. That does affect sea level as ice goes from land into the sea. So you get rises in sea level. So you have a rises in sea level and then you have big storm that you get periodically. The consequences of a storm are much more severe because there’s much more vulnerability. So you have things like that. There are big areas of the world where the consequences to a country are severe. Take Bangladesh. It’s a very low-lying country. And it can be basically inundated. Or all the islands in the Pac — I’m a marine. And during World War II I fought in the Pacific. We fought among those islands. And they’re just little islands out there in the ocean. And so things happen with them. So you can create conditions that leave people who want to fight about things. If I suddenly find that I’m losing all my land, I want to get somebody else’s. You’re going to have a lot of tensions emerge. So I think it’s a problem in our defense side (inaudible 00:28:24)It’s a big deal.

M: I just might add that the State Department, the Defense Department and the National Intelligence Council all elevated this issue of climate change to a high priority national security issue. We’ll take some questions. And if I call on you, please state your name and your affiliation.

SHULTZ: Let me just add. I think climate change is part of it, and it’s also worthwhile to say let’s put all forms of energy on a level playing field. And that will help with climate change. I think it’s only fair that all forms of energy compete on an equal basis.

M: So let’s start over there.

COLLINA: Tom Collina. Arms Control Association. I want to apologize for asking a slightly off topic question. But I wanted to thank you for your Wall Street Journal op-eds you’ve written over the years. And ask a specific question about them. Previous ones had called for movement forward on the Test Ban Treaty. The latest one did not. I’m wondering if you could give us your personal view on whether the United States should ratify the Test Ban Treaty as a way to enhance US security. Thank you.

SHULTZ: Yes. I think clearly we should ratify that treaty. We didn’t have it in the present one because it just wasn’t part of it. In one we did the other day, we were saying this issue has lost its attention. And we need to get back on the offense. And here’s a way to get back on the offense (inaudible 00:30:11) I think that in some ways, and Senator Nunn puts it this way. If you can say that a senator might have been right to vote against it when it was first put forward and right to vote for it now. Why? Because things have changed. It’s now not just an idea that we can detect tests. There is a network that has been built out now and has been demonstrated that we can detect even small tests. So I find it hard to see how we would justify going and producing any new nuclear weapon. We have quite an arsenal right now.

M: I think maybe our mic’s up here faded out. (inaudible 00:31:04). For those of you who want to see and read the latest article that the four statesmen have written, it’s in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. For your reference. Next.

M: (inaudible 00:31:22) center for national policy and former energy person during the energy crisis (inaudible 00:31:30) staff in the ’70s. And my question is international. And the question we looked at (inaudible 00:31:39) marketplace here in the United States (inaudible 00:31:42) can in fact develop and push good alternative energy. On the global issue I’d like to know how you think that we as America in terms of our initiative can in fact create a structure, since we’re not the only polluter of CO2. How we can add, at this moment, with this kind of (inaudible 00:32:04) to this process on an international basis, and what, if you were sitting as secretary of state with Obama, you would tell him that he should do.

SHULTZ: Well, that’s a very good question. And it’s a matter of the degree to which the United States can give leadership effectively. Let me give a little background on this. At the end of World War II some gifted statesmen looked back. And what did they see? They saw two world wars. They saw the first war was settled on rather vindictive terms and helped lead to the second one. They saw 70 million people were killed in the Second World War at least. They saw the Holocaust. They saw the Great Depression. They saw the protectionism and the currency manipulation, part of it whether we like it or not -- (break in audio 00:33:21) -- and how the human body works. And the emergence of pharmaceuticals and medical procedures and so on. You can examine your insides without cutting you up and so on. Mostly this has come out of the United States. The United States has been in the lead. That doesn’t mean that people do whatever we want. When the US is leading, people say well, US is in the game (inaudible 00:33:50) and things happen. I saw that a lot during my time in office on all kinds of issues. So I think that in the climate issue we have to be a leader; we have to be. And when the US takes the lead, take the Montreal Protocol experience. The US led the science. US led the diplomacy. We located it out of this country, Montreal, so we didn’t say look at us. We just wanted to get it done. And we had great consultation I might say between executive and congressional branch, because as we were going along we said to our friends in Congress look, here’s this problem. What do you think? Here’s what we’re doing about it. What do you think? So when it came to be ratified it was really not a problem. So I think we should go about it that way. We should find out well, what can we do about this. A lot of the clean energy things that we’re talking about in our MIT-Stanford business are directly relevant. And results of this research can be made known everywhere. And people are avid for this. Then at least as I would be going about it, I think these gigantic meetings as in Copenhagen and so forth, they are bound to fail. They’re just too big and unwieldy at that point. You need to get the key countries together and figure out what we are going to do. And then expand that circle to make it more widespread. That’s what we did in the Montreal Protocol. And I remember way back when I was secretary of the treasury we had the problem of creating a new monetary system. And on one occasion I was about to announce the US plan at a Bank/Fund meeting. And I did something I really didn’t think about this way. But I asked the finance ministers of France, Germany, Japan, Britain, those were the main trading countries at the time, to come in and look at my speech before I gave it. And none of them tried to change the structure of the speech but they had little nuanced suggestions that I could take and that would make it a little easier. So one time we’re having another one of those meetings, and I wanted to have our group together. And I told the president about it. He said, “Well, I’m not going to be in the White House this weekend. Why don’t you use the White House and give your meeting a little class?” We met in the library of the White House, as you know, the best room on the ground floor. It was a very pretty room with a nice fireplace. We met there and I had a great meeting. And we knew -- this is the key -- we knew that everybody wanted us to meet and nobody wanted to know that we met. One of those things. In other words they want guys to get together and then tell them, but they want you to do it because they know it’s got to work that way. So we decided to call our group the library group so we could refer to it without anything that triggered what it is. Actually that led to the G-7 meetings of heads of government because the guys I was meeting with like Giscard and Schmidt later became head of government, and with Jerry Ford they established the process now. But anyway something like that. Because it’s obvious that if we do something and get ourselves, our emissions under control and China doesn’t and India doesn’t, it’s not going to do much. So we have to have a process of getting there. And I think the process is work on the science part, work on what you can do, share that information. And work together with these other countries. I don’t know how many people have been to Beijing lately. I was there not quite a year ago. And man, you don’t dare go out of your hotel and take a deep breath. It’s awful. And they know it. And so they’re looking for things. They aren’t resisting. And I think if we keep at this R&D that we’ve been talking about here -- and I keep referring to Stanford and MIT, but that’s just where I happen to know something. But lots of other people. I know Sam Nunn is part of our group, and he’s sitting there. He says, “You know, we guys down in Georgia, we know something too.” So there are lots of people working on this. And that’s what we want to encourage. And our experience is that a little collaboration helps, because you say oh, is that the way you think about it, how about this and so on. And it’s also fun. So that’s the way I would approach it. And I think it can be done. But just to say OK, let’s get it 190 countries together and sitting around, that doesn’t work. We’ve got to go about it in a much more intelligent way.

M: Using privilege of the chair. Just let me just follow up on that. So you think it’s really possible then for some kind of a global treaty that sets limits and has some enforcement mechanics built into it, through sanctions and others that just do not comply that has some legal binding rules and so forth.

SHULTZ: We’ve done it before. Why can’t we do it again? George H. W. Bush did that. So good work on conservation and the environment is in the Republican genes; we’ve been the guys who did it. So we just got to get back to that. And I might say at least as I took part in them, these things were done by Republican administrations. But not in a partisan spirit. There was deep consultation and support for them was general. It wasn’t like it was a divided kind of thing. So somehow or other. Get back to it. I think on the global warming issue the reason I mentioned the Arctic is that I respect science, and I’m not -- but people are saying they don’t like the science and so on. So I’m saying well, never mind the science. Just use your eyes. A new ocean is being created. That’s not science, that’s just plain observation. And if you look at the chart on the way in which the sea ice has been disappearing, the most stunning thing in it is how in recent years suddenly there has been a shift. And the discontinuities are the thing you have to watch out for. Because something may come and hit you faster than you believe because of the operation of the discontinuity. And people can see that and look at it. And what we were trying to do, the reason why we brought our MIT-Stanford act here to Washington yesterday, was to make a point around here that the R&D on energy is producing results. There are things that we know how to do today that we didn’t know how to do yesterday. As I said before there are other things that you can see are going to happen. There’s a little more work to be done. But you can see it’s being done. And it’ll get done. There are other things that are further way, but you can feel reasonably confident about. As I mentioned earlier, large-scale storage of electricity. Think of what that means. It is a game changer. It provides distributed power. It takes the intermittency problem out of solar and wind among other things. It was interesting to listen to these guys talk about it two or three years ago, Susan, when we were at Stanford. An MIT guy was really very interesting on this. And he said, “Well, the first thing we learned was scaling up batteries is not the way to think about it. That’s just conceptually wrong. That’s not going to work. You have to (inaudible 00:43:16) a different thing.” Why? Well, a battery has to be light. You’re going to put it in a car. But if it’s stationary you’re not worried about how heavy it is. You can have a totally different way of thinking about it and warming it and so on. So we brought our act here in order to try to get across to people that the support they’re giving for energy R&D is important to sustain, and not in a dominant way, because if you do it right, industry pitches in, and there’s a partnership. And it’s partnerships that work.

M: Are there any congressional staff that want to ask a question? Yeah.

ROKEACH: Thank you very much for coming today. I’m David Rokeach with Congressman Randy Neugebauer. You mentioned getting energy sources back to market competition and sources competing with each other. So if you were able to account for the externality of carbon emissions and enact a carbon tax, how would you then treat energy subsidies both for traditional fuels and for clean and renewable energy?

SHULTZ: I would wipe them out. Let everybody compete on a level playing field. Now I don’t want to be too drastic about that. For example the small nuclear reactor. You talk about nuclear things, you’ve got to be real careful. Right? So there needs to be a careful process of examination and licensing and so on. And in effect that’s like a subsidy. Because the government is going to have to spend a lot of money on that as are industry people. But the putting up of that kind of thing is necessary. But we hope it’ll be worth it. So I don’t mean to be like a person that says here’s the rule and that’s that. But by and large I think if we eliminate the subsidies and let the things compete on their merits, and where something can’t compete keep working on it until it can. And this electric car I drive is a terrific car. I love it. And I just drive it around Palo Alto, around campus and so on. But if my friend over there gets his way on the battery, instead of going 80 to 100 miles in my car, I can go 320 to 400 miles on a charge. I’m really in business. His research is getting there. And he tells me that some battery companies are getting interested. And they want to see how they’re going to make it work and so on. That’s the way it should go.

M: OK. We have time for a few more questions. Yes.

FELZENBERG: I’ll be very brief, Mr. Secretary. This speaks directly --

M: Can you identify yourself?


M: Identify yourself.

FELZENBERG: Oh I’m sorry. Al Felzenberg, Joint Economic Committee. Excuse me. This speaks right to your point on R&D. You mentioned President Eisenhower a few moments ago. And one of the things he did late in his administration in response to Sputnik. The National Defense Education Act where if you went in the fields that the nation needed we forgave all or a good part of your tuition cost. Now I think it’s great that we’re trying to keep foreign-trained PhDs in the United States through some STEM legislation for technology and math. And is this not a better alternative than the way (inaudible 00:47:11).

SHULTZ: Nothing heavy, no big discussions. Just getting to know you. I think one of the most important functions, ideas that we ought to get in our minds is what I call gardening. If you plant a garden and you go away for six months and you come back, what have you got? Weeds. You can’t find the flowers or the vegetables or whatever you planted. Any gardener knows you’ve got to tend it. And I think the same is true in human relationships. I tried to develop this concept as I was secretary of state in dealing with people in other countries. But I think it’s very much the case in our relationships, I should think around here, that you’ve got to do gardening. You got to listen to people and talk to people in settings that aren’t always in a sense business settings. Just used to be in the old days everybody would relax and root for the Redskins around here; I don’t know whether that’s true or not(inaudible 00:48:27) at least they could agree on that. But I remember. I don’t know if this is a good note to end on but. I worked hard on Middle East issues when I was in office. One time I was over there peddling my peace ideas. As I (inaudible 00:48:45) there was a cartoon in the Jerusalem Post which showed me bending over, being hit by (inaudible 00:48:53) on the ground there was a piece of paper labeled Shultz peace proposals. An Israeli with a club beating on me. There’s a Palestinian with a club beating on me. There’s a Jordanian with a club beating on me. And the caption says, “Well, at least they agree on something."


Terrarepression and Terrasublimation

One of Glenn Albrecht's many correspondents via email him asked the following question:

QUESTION -- "What term can you/we invent to describe the general fear many people feel but are afraid to express about the world's ecological & social direction and the corporatocracy? I'm thinking of the fear that if I express my true passion and fears, I will alienate others, especially friends and family. This leads to silence/self censorship". (Paul Lipke 2013)

Glenn's response so far onm his blog is:

Terrarepression conveys the idea that we try to deal with the stress of global dread and other negative psychoterratic conditions by repressing them in the classic Freudian manner. We can also temporarily sublimate them by shopping and consuming. However, terrasublimation would involve the deliberate 'disturbance' of that which is repressed and its replacement by terraliberating forces (terraliberation).

I tackled this idea in an essay about ''Organicism and the Organic University'' some time ago:

“Freud's psychotherapy was based, in part, on a process of 'transference' where there is a creative and empathetic engagement between therapist and patient leading to the patient's previously ‘repressed’ motives are unblocked and given release. Anderson (an Australian philosopher) links this particular application of cooperative 'assistance' to a more general ethical context. He argues:

But the same may take place within one person's mind, when a conflict is resolved and a new type of activity emerges by the aid of certain abiding motives or sentiments. This is the process of sublimation, where one motive finds for another a means of expression, provides it with a language, puts its own ideas before it as objectives. This is also the process of education. It may be argued, then, that all good motives have this power of transference or conversion, whereby from hitherto dissociated material a new motive is formed which can cooperate with the good motive. Goodness is associative, evil is dissociative; goods have a common language, evils have not.”

To find good motives in the education of our children (and many adults) to overcome terrarepression and ecoretrogression (see post below) is the big challenge of our time.

As usual all this is work in progress! Get back to him
if you have a creative and constructive comment to make about these ideas and their value.

Glenn Albrecht on ''SOLSTAGIA''

Glenn Albrecht told this blogger a few years ago, maybe 2011:

''Hi Dan , they -- POLAR CITY SURVIVORS -- will suffer from solastalgia as they experience the

(hopefully) gradual desolation of their home environments and

eco-nostalgia for their old homes once they are living in polar cities.

Once something has completely gone you can only have nostalgia for it.''

His Blog at
Has more material on solastalgia within it.

''In Australia we will have to think about underground desert
cities/houses ... much like at Coober Pedy, the opal town:''


Mike Dettinger: Someone should be writing about the climate action concept of ''solastalgia'' among climate scientists, a form of nostalgia for a loss they are experiencing, because they can see it (and most of us can't).

Kit Stoltz tells this blog: "Over the weekend a notable climate scientist named Mike Dettinger tweeted that someone should be writing about the concept of solastalgia among climate scientists, a form of nostalgia for a loss they are experiencing, because they can see it (and most of us can't). "

Yes, Daniel Smith wrote about this term in the New York Times Sunday Magazine a few years ago, crediting the Australian word coiner who coined the term. It's been mentioned here and there and on DOT EARTH blogs and elsewhere. Needs more attention, yes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

''The world is perhaps 20 years away from taking the "polar cities"

idea seriously'' -- says top Australian climate writer

We just got a message from a top climate activist WRITER in Australia,

who i phoned last night in OZ about how he sees the future of the human

species...and my ideas of polar cities for survivors in the distant

future --
 -- and he replied by

email this morning


''Hello Danny'',

''I got your phone voice message -- at 1.30 am in the morning!

Thanks for the material about your polar cities ideas for the future.

I don't really know how to respond. While I obviously share your

assessment of the situation, and the alarm it should generate in a

rational person, I think the world is perhaps 20 years away from

taking the "polar cities" idea seriously.

Some of us are much too far ahead of the times and it drives us mad.

It will be no comfort to be vindicated in 2040.''


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search Solastalgia is a neologism coined by the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003 with the first article published on this concept in 2005.[1] It describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change.

As opposed to nostalgia — the melancholia or homesickness experienced by individuals when separated from a loved home — "solastalgia" is the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment. A paper published by Albrecht and collaborators focused on two contexts where collaborative research teams found solastalgia to be evident: the experiences of persistent drought in rural New South Wales (NSW) and the impact of large-scale open-cut coal mining on individuals in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. In both cases, people exposed to environmental change experienced negative affect that is exacerbated by a sense of powerlessness or lack of control over the unfolding change process.[2]

Conceptualising environmentally induced distress as mental illness has been discussed by Seamus Mac Suibhne.[3]

[edit] References1.^ G. Albrecht, Solastalgia, a new concept in human health and identity, Philosophy Activism Nature 3:41-44 (2005).

2.^ Albrecht, G., Sartore, G-M., Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Kelly, B., Stain, H., Tonna, A., & Pollard, G. (2007). "Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change". Australasian Psychiatry 15 (1): S95-S98.

3.^ Mac Suibhne, S. (2009). "What makes “a new mental illness”?: The cases of solastalgia and hubris syndrome". Cosmos and History 5 (2): 210–225.

[edit] External links"Psychoterratica"

"Clive Thompson on How the Next Victim of Climate Change Will Be Our Minds" from Wired

"Solastalgia: A new psychoterratic illness" from Healthearth

"Jargon Watch: Solastalgia" at

"Solastalgia and the Mental Affects of Climate Change"

Glenn Albrecht wrote:

> Hi Dan , they will suffer from solastalgia as they experience the

> (hopefully) gradual desolation of their home environments and

> eco-nostalgia for their old homes once they are living in polar cities.

> Once something has completely gone you can only have nostalgia for it.



> My Blog at


> Has more material on solastalgia within it.


> In Australia we will have to think about underground desert

> cities/houses ... much like at Coober Pedy, the opal town:


> homes.html




> Regards,


> Glenn.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

''The world is perhaps 20 years away from taking the "polar cities" idea seriously'' -- says top Australian climate writer

We just got a message from a top climate activist WRITER in Australia,

who i phoned last night in OZ about how he sees the future of the human
species...and my ideas of polar cities for survivors in the distant future -- http://polarcitymuseum.blogspot.som -- and he replied by email this morning


''Hello Danny'',

''I got your phone voice message -- at 1.30 am in the morning!
Thanks for the material about your polar cities ideas for the future.
I don't really know how to respond. While I obviously share your
assessment of the situation, and the alarm it should generate in a
rational person, I think the world is perhaps 20 years away from
taking the "polar cities" idea seriously.
Some of us are much too far ahead of the times and it drives us mad.
It will be no comfort to be vindicated in 2040.''

Friday, March 15, 2013

Climate change to affect Taiwan's water supplies in future, as Climapocalypse draws nearer and nearer, and as Taiwan as an island nation might have to be abandonned for polar cities in northern China and Russia

A researcher in Taiwan warns that island nations such as Taiwan could face serious challenges in terms of water resources due to changes in global rainfall patterns, as indicated by a recent study.


Academia Sinica

Publications: 115
Citations: 565

Fields: Climate Research, Engineering, Geophysics
Taiwan should try to make more efficient use of its water resources, said Dr. Chou Chia, a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Research Center for Environment Changes.
Chou said that in the study, his research team found evidence of increasing differences in worldwide levels of seasonal precipitation over the past three decades, based on analysis of global rainfall data from 1979 to 2010.
The study found that wet seasons are becoming wetter, and dry seasons drier, Chou said.
This trend suggests that the volume of rainfall in southern Taiwan will increase in summer periods and decrease in winter, he said.
If that happens, the nation’s reservoirs will no longer be able to cope with water shortages, Chou said, adding that reservoirs in southern Taiwan already cannot meet demand for a whole year.
The government should start setting priorities for water usage and adopting improved methods of water distribution and control, because it is unlikely that more reservoirs can be built, Chou said.
According to a synopsis of the study, the water vapor content of the atmosphere has increased over the past few decades as a result of rising global temperatures.
“This has led to wet regions getting wetter, and dry regions drier,” the study said. “Climate model simulations suggest that a similar intensification of existing patterns may also apply to the seasonal cycle of rainfall.”
The synopsis said that even if the total amount of annual rainfall does not change significantly, the intensified seasonal precipitation cycle could affect the frequency of droughts and floods.
Chou’s team recommended that the accuracy of forecasts for rainfall patterns be improved.
“As precipitation changes are usually evaluated from annual mean changes, seasonal changes in precipitation may have been overlooked until now,” the team said.
The study, titled “Increase in the range between wet and dry season precipitation,” was published in the online edition of Nature Geoscience on March 3, 2013. [GOOGLE]

Chou, Chia, Chia-Wei Lan, 2012: ''Changes in the Annual Range of Precipitation under Global Warming''. J. Climate, 25, 222–235.


The annual range of precipitation, which is the difference between maximum and minimum precipitation within a year, is examined in climate model simulations under global warming. For global averages, the annual range of precipitation tends to increase as the globe warms. On a regional basis, this enhancement is found over most areas of the world, except for the bands along 30°S and 30°N. The enhancement in the annual range of precipitation is mainly associated with larger upward trends of maximum precipitation and smaller upward trends or downward trends of minimum precipitation. Based on the moisture budget analysis, the dominant mechanism is vertical moisture advection, both on a global average and on a regional scale. The vertical moisture advection, moisture convergence induced by vertical motion, includes the thermodynamic component, which is associated with increased water vapor, and the dynamic component, which is associated with changes in circulation. Generally, the thermodynamic component enhances the annual range of precipitation, while the dynamic component tends to reduce it. Evaporation has a positive contribution to both maximum and minimum precipitation, but very little to the annual range of precipitation. Even though evaporation and horizontal moisture advection are small for a global average, they could be important on a regional basis.

Keywords: Climate variability, Seasonal cycle, Trends

Corresponding author address: Chia Chou, Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, P.O. Box 1-48, Taipei 11529, Taiwan. E-mail:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Death of Polar Cities Pioneer Danny Bloom


Danny Bloom (1949 - 2032)

Climate change activist, and polar cities pioneer

Danny Bloom, of Boston, Mass., died at the Polar City Red Retirement Home in Fairbanks, Alaska on Tuesday.

A 1971 graduate of Tufts University and a lifelong dreamer, he was 83.

Bloom spent the latter part of his long and unproductive life campaigning in the media and blogosphere for the recognition of polar cities as climate refuges for climate refugees, come the Climapocalypse around 2500 AD. His tireless work on the behalf of future generations went more or less un-noticed in both the West and in the East, and not one print newspaper ever interviewed him or did a feature story about his ideas about polar cities. Sadly, his work was more or less off the radar of most media outlets, although Gizmodo ran a small story in 2008, as the the New York Times DOT EARTH blog run by Andrew C. Revkin.

Geekologie website, TreeHugger and PlanetSave and DeSmog Blog ran some stories about polar cities, as did Stephen Leahy in Canada writing for the IPS news service in 2007. But for the most part, Bloom's ideas about polar cities for survivors of global warming went pretty much un-reported anywhere in the known media world, except for a few blogs here and there. Bloom was always okay with this, he said, because he understood that most reporters and media editors were in denail and afraid to even report his story even as a WHAT IF scenario.

For those who wish to know more about what Bloom was talking about, google "polar cities" -- it's not too late, even though he is no longer with us -- or search for polar cities at Wikipedia. His blog, which goes on despitem his death at the ripe old age of 83, is still up at and mourners (if there ARE any!) may leave their condolences or sendoffs (sendups, too) in the comments section here or there.

Rest in peace, Daniel Halevi Bloom; we hardly knew ye. He called himself "James Lovelock's Acccidental Student" and he meant it. Lovelock was his inspiration for the polar cities meme, especially Lovelock's quote that in the future "breeding pairs of humans will take refuge in the Arctic" as climate change gets worse and worse. Bloom asked "where will these breeding pairs live?" The answer:


A TOP CLIMATE WRITER AND FUTURIST in AUSTRALIA WRITES TO THIS PAGE TODAY SAYING after we phoned him last night in OZ about how he sees the future of our
species...and he replied email this morning


Hello Danny

I got your phone voice message -- at 1.30 am in the morning!

Thanks for the material about your polar cities ideas for the future.

I don't really know how to respond. While I obviously share your

assessment of the situation, and the alarm it should generate in a

rational person, I think the world is perhaps 20 years away from

taking the "polar cities" idea seriously.

Some of us are much too far ahead of the times and it drives us mad.

It will be no comfort to be vindicated in 2040.

All the best

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get ready Canada and Alaska, here come ''POLAR CITIES'' by 2191?

The frozen north is leaving and won’t be back for millennia due to heat-trapping carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, experts told IPS news service in 2013, thus paving the way for the increased discussion of ''polar cities'' for suvivors of climate chaos in the distant future.

IN FACT: By 2091, the north will have seasons, temperatures and possibly vegetation comparable to those found today 20 to 25 degrees of latitude further south, said Ranga Myneni of the Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University.

“If we don’t curb carbon emissions, Arctic Sweden might be more like the south of France by the end of the century,” Myneni, co-author of the Nature Climate Change study published Sunday, told IPS. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN!
THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

Canada, Northern Eurasia and the Arctic are warming faster than elsewhere as a result of the loss of snow and ice, he said. In 90 years, Alaska or Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic may have seasons and temperatures comparable to those in today’s Oregon and southern Ontario. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

Myneni is member of an international team of 21 authors from seven countries who used newly improved ground and satellite data to measure changes in temperatures and vegetation over the four seasons from roughly above the U.S.-Canada border (45 degrees latitude) to the Arctic Ocean. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

They found temperatures over the northern lands have increased at different rates during the four seasons over the past 30 years, with winters warming most followed by spring temperatures. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

There is a huge difference between winter and summer temperatures in the north, but that difference is less and less every year, according to the study, “Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands”. This measured change is happening faster than projected by climate models. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

“We are changing seasonality…. The north is becoming like the south, losing its sharp contrasts between the four seasons,” said Myneni. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

One clear sign is the greening of Arctic. The types of plants that could go no further north than 57 degrees north 30 years ago are now found at 64 degrees. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT BOSTON AND THE LOWER 48 MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

This change is “easily visible on the ground as an increasing abundance of tall shrubs and tree incursions in several locations all over the circumpolar Arctic,” said co-author Terry Callaghan of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the University of Sheffield, UK. AND YOU CAN IMAGINE, TERRY,  WHAT BOSTON AND SHEFFIELD AND THE LOWER 48 OF THE USA MIGHT LOOK LIKE BY THEN! THEREFORE: POLAR CITIES: get ready for them, get ready to move there is 30 generations or so, OR SOONER.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A new look at 'polar cities' for survivors of climate change on the Arctic

From March 1, 2007, to that same date the following year, nations from around the world and particularly the North came together for what was the third International Polar Year (IPY). As with the case in the two previous IPYs (the first in the 1870s and the second during the 1930s), it was a gathering of scientists and researchers who teamed up to learn more about the planet’s northern and southern extremes.

This time, however, there was an added sense of urgency. Climate change, a global phenomenon, has hit the poles hard, with average temperatures rising much faster than elsewhere and noticeable stresses and shifts occurring in the flora and fauna of both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

“The State of the Poles: Climate Lessons from the International Polar Year” presents many of the findings that resulted from that year in an understandable fashion for those with limited scientific backgrounds. With clear language, plenty of illustrations, and easy-to-comprehend graphs, the book introduces readers to what is known, what is in dispute, and what remains beyond scientific grasp.

Science journalist Christian Bjørnæs, and biologist and climate researcher Pål Prestrud, both of Norway, have assembled a book that includes brief but informative chapters on topics ranging from sea and glacial ice to ocean acidification, and permafrost to air quality, as well as living conditions for both animals and humans. And while the title implies that the book covers both poles, the majority of the information here concerns the Arctic, where the climatic changes have been the most pronounced.

The opening chapter examines the dramatic reduction in sea ice over the Arctic Ocean, which hit its lowest level ever (until 2012, that is) during the IPY. The reasons for the rapid decline are still being debated, with some researchers naming atmospheric conditions the primary cause and others believing that unusually warm incoming tides are the culprit. Either way, there is now a feedback loop in effect; as ice melts and becomes water, it warms additional ice, and the process speeds itself along. Seasonal ice growth has remained fairly strong, but that ice routinely melts during summer. The larger concern is multi-year ice, which is quickly vanishing.

The shifts in ocean conditions are impacting the food web. Algae and phytoplankton that have evolved to bloom at certain times are now blooming sooner, impacting the fish that feed on them and have co-evolved to time their arrival and reproduce in rhythm to these brief blooming seasons. With bottom feeders and fish stocks stressed by these changes, larger sea mammals like seals, walruses, and whales that feed on them are also feeling the pressure. And, as has been widely reported, the polar bears that sit atop the food web are getting clobbered. The ice that they hunt on is melting under their feet while the seals they favor are thinning out. Increased nutritional stress is the name of the game in the emerging arctic.

Oceans absorb tremendous amounts of the CO2 that humans are emitting, helping to keep runaway global warming in check, but this doesn’t come without cost. The authors explain how increasing amounts of the gas in sea water reduces its natural pH balance, leading to a growing problem of acidification. This is taking a toll on shellfish in particular, placing further stress on the food web.

Another problem is rising seal levels owing to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Neither ice sheet behavior nor glacial calving are fully understood, and therefore predicting how these storehouses of frozen freshwater will behave as greenhouse gasses increase is problematic. Without knowing for sure how much will melt, predicting how high the oceans will rise in coming decades is a bit of a crap shot.

It is also not always easy to tease out just what roles climate change and natural cycles play in such major events as the 2010 collapse of the ice sheet extending from the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. Odds are the two factors conspired to bring it about, but to what extent each drove it is heavily debated.

Further inland, the permafrost that underlies much of the North is melting. In addition to the nightmares this is causing for construction and industry, the thawing of permafrost threatens to release huge amounts of the key greenhouse gasses CO2 and methane that it harbors. In worst case scenarios it could become a much greater gas source than humans, sending global warming into overdrive. Most researchers, however, feel it won’t be quite that severe.

Lots of new plants are now colonizing the Arctic, and the increased biomass does help absorb CO2. But it also leads to the loss of native species and animals. It also means increasing wildfires, creating soot that sometimes cools and sometimes warms the atmosphere. Precipitation, wind, snowfall, ground cover and more can similarly confuse the issue. As the authors explain, “We don’t know exactly how all this will add up, and at present a coupled climate model that takes into account these different driving forces does not exist.”

Those looking for quick fodder to feed the political dispute that has — quite needlessly — sprung up around what is happening to our world won’t find what they’re looking for here; this book is neither apocalyptic in tone, nor does it deny the role humans are playing in the planetary changes. Those seeking a sober-minded, well balanced assessment of what is transpiring, however, will gain a solid picture of what has already happened as well as some ideas of what might lie ahead. But like all good science writing, the book ultimately raises more questions than it answers. Polar cities, here we come! Sigh.

“The State of the Poles: Climate Lessons from the International Polar Year”

Christian Bjørnæs & Pål Prestrud

Unipub/Akademika Publishing

140 pages