Are you an ECO POET? Climate science needs YOU

Creative writing and global warming formally allied


The dividing line between creative writing and climate science - sometimes thin - has been triumphantly dissolved. A new postgraduate course at the University of East Anglia hopes to bring together "researchers in the environmental sciences, philosophy, history and literature to develop new ways of thinking about environmental change and social transitions".

And put that thermometer down. If you have experience writing "eco-poetry", then the UEA wants to hear from you.

It's the brainchild of Mike Hulme, senior scientist at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, founder of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and IPCC lead reviewer, features in the Climategate emails.

The one-year MA/MSc in Environmental Sciences and Humanities also "aims to initiate and foster fundamental academic inquiry as well as encouraging practical and effective action."

All stirring stuff.

UEA, the heart of the Climategate emails, already runs a project in "eco poetry" aimed at primary school children, intended to "stimulate and strengthen children's environmental awareness". You can see a leaf haiku here.

It isn't cheap, though. The course costs £5,000 for UK students and £11,900 for overseas students.

Hulme's motivation is that climate is too scientific. "The new climate reductionism is driven by the hegemony exercised by the predictive natural sciences over contingent, imaginative and humanistic accounts of social life and visions of the future," he wrote.

"Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence," he wrote in 2009.

And Hulme is nothing if not ambitious:

"The idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs."

He certainly has a way with words.

Heartless cynics at the Bishop Hill blog are describing it as a waste of taxpayer's money.

We just hope it rhymes. ®

Bonus Links

Brochure and Prospectus

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Corporate investments are a massive hidden source of carbon emissions
    Just because companies are publicly decreasing carbon footprints doesn't mean their cash isn't doing the opposite

    Many large corporations are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprints, but a new report claims that for some, the greatest source of emissions is actually from investments being made with their wealth, and this is undermining their own environmental efforts.

    The Carbon Bankroll report highlights the documented carbon dioxide emissions of a number of large corporations and contrasts these with pollutants being generated as a result of the cash and investments held by those companies, comprising cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

    In some instances, this figure is greater than the emissions generated by their own business, demonstrating, in the words of the report, that "climate accomplishments are being undermined by a misaligned financial system that is channeling hundreds of billions of corporate US dollars into the carbon-intensive sectors driving the climate crisis."

    Continue reading
  • Amazon's solution to save the planet: AWS vouchers, training for more eco startups
    Web giant is used to seeing green

    Amazon is giving out funding and support to more startups developing technology that points us in the direct of net-zero emissions, as part of its AWS Clean Energy Accelerator program.

    The accelerator will provide 12 eco-minded companies with guidance on how to get more out of the AWS cloud, by training their employees on machine learning, analytics, and high-performance computing. Each startup will also get up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credits, double what was offered to the program's first cohort of ten startups announced in July 2021.

    Howard Gefen, GM of AWS' energy industry business unit, said in a canned statement that despite climate change being the defining issue of our age, the technology needed to achieve today's grand environmental goals isn't there. The Clean Energy Accelerator program is supposed to help foster the development of this green tech we're lacking.

    Continue reading
  • What will help enterprises meet sustainability goals? Algorithms, says Oracle
    If you want to retain customers, Big Red recommends putting AI in charge

    The pandemic has made people more concerned about sustainability than ever, and businesses are the focuses of their collective ire, with most saying they don't take enterprise sustainability goals (ESGs) seriously. The solution, Oracle says, is to put AIs in charge.

    Oracle's 2022 ESG Global Study surveyed some 11,000 consumers and businesses, and its findings reveal a population overwhelmingly frustrated with a lack of progress toward sustainability initiatives (94 percent). Seventy-eight percent also say that they're frustrated with the lack of progress businesses have made on the ESG front.

    Consumers aren't content to let businesses pat themselves on the back either: nearly half said that they believe businesses have more power than individuals or governments to affect change, and 89 percent said they need to see proof that progress is being made toward ESG goals.

    Continue reading
  • Climate model code is so outdated, MIT starts from scratch
    Julia replaces Fortran as the basis for Earth's new digital twin

    When faced with climate models coded in Fortran in the 1960s and 70s, MIT decided there wasn't any more cobbling together left for the ancient code, so they decided to toss it out and start fresh. 

    It's an ambitious project for MIT professors Raffaele Ferrari and Noelle Eckley Selin, who submitted their Bringing Computation to the Climate Challenge proposal as part of MIT's Climate Grand Challenges (CGC). Out of 100 submissions, MIT picked five projects to fund and support, one of which is Ferrari and Selin's. 

    "The goal of this grand challenge is to provide accurate and actionable scientific information to decision-makers to inform the most effective mitigation and adaptation strategies," the proposal said. 

    Continue reading
  • Swedish firms ink deal to make green hydrogen with wind power
    Last week, colocating datacenters and sewage plants: this week, renewables and H2 producers

    A project to produce green hydrogen using wind power is planned in the mid-east of Sweden, which is expected to have the ability to make up to 240 tons of the stuff on-site every day.

    However, work on the proposed facility is not expected to begin until 2025, and it may not be operational until 2030.

    The project is described as a partnership between wind farm operator WPD Offshore AB and Lhyfe, a green hydrogen producer. The pair said they intend to jointly install a 600MW hydrogen production plant in an industrial area of the municipality of Söderhamm, in the immediate vicinity of the Storgrundet offshore wind farm operated by WPD, to produce green hydrogen that can be used by industry as well as in the transport sector.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft datacenter to heat homes in Finland
    Turns out the internet is a set of tubes after all

    Microsoft and Finland's largest energy company have partnered to build a new datacenter near Helsinki that will heat homes as it cools servers.

    Microsoft and Fortum made the announcement today after several years of development, with the final location chosen specifically for the purpose of moving waste datacenter heat via existing water pipes to homes and businesses in the surrounding cities of Espoo and Kauniainen, as well as the municipality of Kirkkonummi.

    According to Microsoft, the datacenter could create up to 11,000 jobs, with its purpose being to provide cloud services to the Finnish public sector, businesses, and individuals, as well as reduce response times for local cloud customers. The facility will be part of Microsoft's global cloud complex of more than 200 datacenters.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022