It’s interesting to reflect on an article like this one from Ken Wark, in the current scenario of the climate debate that we all are in, three years later. I know that we’re talking about climate here, and years may be a small unit of time… but actually, should it? Are we considering the pace at which we’re moving to study climate, predict changes, solve climate issue or understanding their problems at all? Do we need to consider thought towards climate change in our definitions of first to third world countries, developed to developing countries?
The problem with the traditional humanist disdain for science and technology is that it is now a line of thought pursued most vigorously again by reactionaries and fascists.
The problem with the ‘debate’ today is that it is still lying on the surface as to whether people believe in global warming as one of the major causes of climate disruption or not. However, why is it that this is a debate and if its so obvious why are we still debating on the superficial layer? This is why I find the article most compelling. People on both sides of the debate are failing to address the root cause as to whether (pun intended) they believe in science, scientists, scientific proof and if not why not? Of course – the excuse always is that they are generated concepts, hoax theories manipulated by certain organizations and nations. In this light, I appreciate the author throwing light and questioning both perspectives on why are things so today and the architecture that produces the science.
Ruskin prefigures in some respects what actually happened, the building up, bit by bit, often from existing parts, first of partial systems, then a network, and by the twenty-first century an entire infrastructure for gathering weather data.
It refreshing to further understand how the author dives into the granularities of the “resistance“. Why is this needed? Well, the answer is ‘Why’. In the age of social media, populism and data flooding, no one pauses to question ‘Why’ but the consumption of ‘invisible images’, fake news and ‘truth’ is so fast and goes unquestioned. For one, as designers, we should reflect on why do people have a strong feeling towards or against the concept of climate change and if they have indeed familiarised themselves with proof and corroborations. I think what the author is trying to help us understand, is to not only question the final result but how does it get there! Among the many articles I have read on climate science so far, what I really like here is that he shows even the other possibility of climate change with the fair amount of granularity. This eliminates a one-sided perspective, no matter the obvious argument.
…that small variation can produce significant differences in the prediction of both past and future climate, even in today’s advanced climate modelling computation systems.
…consensus around certain propositions that could at this point be called facts.”.
For the one side who believe in facts and precedents will feel nature is being destroyed, while ‘the others’ will be comfortable in denial. However, changing our anthropocentric perspective, what is nature itself doing? I feel its just responding. It has always been and will continue to do so. Probably the earth doesn’t feel itself being destroyed but just changing, and responding to the way it’s being made use of? Can this perspective be understood by both parties and help those in denial to accept the facts that are established today? And perspectives are important! Why are we talking about it today with such importance? Is it because we are already pretty late to solve the climate problem? or is it really because ‘Climate’ has finally entered our Politics. Is it now disturbing the rich and famous too? Are the corporate sanctions bothering the big powers across the globe?
I would like to conclude with two alarming and recent examples, one from the USA and the other from my homeland’s capital, India. Both have way too much noise and clammer, that is just too thick to actually see the pollution beneath. I would also like to use these examples to show how climate is affecting infrastructure, economy… and most important of all… this is a vice versa! As designers facing climate change, the least we can do is what every citizen can – being aware in this anthropocentric era and relate every bit of technology, habits, and infrastructure towards a better climate. Sustainability should not be a choice or something forced by law, but something that should grow into a fashion.