Thursday, October 23, 2008

In praise of wind turbines

Browsing the September issue of Monocle, as always a solid “briefing on global affairs, business, culture and design”. This issue reports from inside the absurd personal cults of Turkmenistan and from the night club-escapism of Beirut. There is also an uplifting article on the new Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) being established in Portorož, Slovenia. Drawing on my own experience of teaching international masters students in Lund, I believe that higher education remains one of the most effective ways of building bridges across countries and cultures. While recognizing that this integrative process can be painstakingly difficult at times, it is about planting the seeds of what one day could become a truly cosmopolitan culture.
Given the response I have received on the post “Simulative politics” below, I thought it would be appropriate to clarify my position somewhat. Even as we may not know what a sustainable society would look like, we definitely know what a less ecological destructive one would. While this is unlikely to solve the long-term equation of planetary sustainability, there is every reason to make massive investments in energy technologies such as wind and solar power, to continue building high-speed train networks and to improve overall energy efficiency. With the darkening economic outlook, this should indeed be the time to set up whole new industries of labour intensive green-collar jobs to replace the ones lost in for instance car manufacturing (as hopefully underway right now in West Sweden).
All such measures are crucial, not the least to provide enough time to bring success to bolder projects on nuclear fusion, nano-technology and other converging technologies.



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