The imagined futures of the Great Barrier Reef: what’s the role of thought communities?

During my scanning of the news over recent weeks I noticed the diverse range of articles on recent coral bleaching events, related scientific research, and the future of the Great Barrier Reef, e.g.: ‘Great Barrier Reef could be dead within 20 years, Australia scientists have warned’ (link) ‘Great Barrier Reef and Other Corals May Survive …

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Review of Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming (Penguin Books, 2014)

It has been argued that two of the major virtues of capitalism are that it is highly adaptive and, secondly, that entrepreneurs and other actors in capitalist economies even finds ways of adapting to ruinous conditions and turning them to their advantage (i.e. they are often adept at finding and seizing new opportunities in a …

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Nicholas Stern on ‘why are we waiting?’ and the barriers to greater climate change action

The question of ‘why are we waiting?’ is one which Nicholas Stern addresses in his recent book Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change. It is a ridiculously big question for which there can be no single definitive answer, but the question is still worth asking and exploring. The …

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Is scenario planning a good fit to the climate change adaptation problem?

Some researchers from the University of Melbourne have recently published an interesting paper entitled “The problem of fit: scenario planning and climate change adaptation in the public sector” in Environment and Planning C. The paper reports some of the findings of the ‘Scenarios for Climate Adaptation’ project which explored the use of scenario planning to …

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Emerging technologies that may “change the game” on climate change

In a brief talk entitled “Futures of Climate Change“, Brad Allenby – Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University (ASU) – outlines three areas of emerging technologies and argues that we are unhelpfully trapped in outdated mental models on climate change and related sustainability problems. The three emerging technologies are: Technologies for capturing carbon dioxide from …

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On the need for a genuinely sociological view of low-carbon transitions (and further moves in this direction by transition theorists)

Many sustainability activists frequently quote R. Buckminster Fuller, especially his well-known assertion that: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Frank Geels’ latest paper on low carbon transitions argues that Fuller is wrong and suggests an important change in direction …

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Review of ‘Power Failure: The Inside Story of Climate Politics Under Rudd and Gillard’

Philip Chubb – Head of Journalism in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University – recently published a new book on climate policy and politics in Australia entitled Power Failure: The Inside Story of Climate Politics Under Rudd and Gillard. In Power Failure he seeks to understand “what really happened inside the …

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