Saturday, May 16, 2015


As the snow returns outside my train window, I read in the news that southern Spain is currently suffering from a heat wave with temperatures up to 44 degrees. It reminds me that even if Europe may be our playground, it is definitely a big one.

The other day I had a glass of red wine from the hills of Aragon. Sold as a “premium wine” by SAS, it had an airplane-like ability to blur space and time, something much needed as I try to keep together my current existence of Umeå-Kiruna train commutes, flocks of students all asking for immediate feedback and a house to pack down into boxes. Fortunately, we got a new apartment lined up from 1 August so in the end I am sure all will be good but it has been frustrating to discover that our post-Asia home turned out to be just as transient as everything else.

In little more than a month from now I will be in California for the annual Breakthrough Dialogue at Cavallo Point. The theme this year is “The Good Anthropocene” and, as the ecomodernist movement is both maturing and growing, I think this year’s dialogue will push the envelope of our collective imagination further yet. Dark as the political landscape may seem right now, not the least after the recent Tory victory in the UK, I cannot help being an optimist when it comes to the bigger trends. There may be many speedbumps yet, be it ISIS or another incarnation of Bush, but there are also so many people out there who aspire for the highest and who seek a world of emancipation and inclusive freedom rather than one of borders, limits and prejudices.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Above Iran



As the taxi pulled out from the Oberoi, a flash lit up the sky and the rain started pouring down. It reminded me of so many heat thunderstorms in Beijing, how the heavens just could not hold it any longer. I felt much the same after my three days in India.

In the end I got a little less than three hours of sleep and now I am about to board my flight to Istanbul any minute. When I finally got online last night I learned a lot of good news. My good friend Gabriel has just secured a job abroad and will thus be able to do a grand retour in the fall. I hope to be able to swing by Warsaw to see him. Meanwhile Asian Politics & Policy has published the media review that my former student Hee-Yoon and I have been writing on Korea and climate change discourses. To those with institutional access to the journal it should be available here (otherwise, if you are interested, just drop me an e-mail and I am happy to send it):