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Notes From Underground

Author: Dougald Hine

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A journey into the deep context of the new climate movements that have surfaced since the summer of 2018: the school strikes movement that started outside the Swedish parliament, Extinction Rebellion closing down bridges and junctions across London, the conversations started by Jem Bendell's Deep Adaptation paper and David Wallace Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth. This essay series by Dougald Hine (co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project) is not a celebration or a critique of these movements, but an invitation to a quieter reflection on where all this is coming from, what it might tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves.
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Since the last episode of Notes From Underground was published, a lot has happened in the world. As the Coronavirus pandemic reaches into all of our lives, this special episode is a reflection on the encounter to which it is bringing us – a collective encounter with parental mortality on a planetary scale.Notes From Underground began in November 2019 as an essay series and podcast in which Dougald Hine (co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project) explores the deep roots of the new climate movements, the dark knowledge of climate change and the initiatory journey into which people are increasingly drawn by the encounter with this knowledge.The regular series of Notes From Underground is produced in collaboration with Bella Caledonia. This episode is a one-off collaboration with the Dark Mountain Project.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
The climate art of Cape Farewell, Ian McEwan's novel Solar and the oil industry connections of Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand all come under scrutiny in episode 10 of Notes From Underground.This is a series of essays from Dougald Hine (co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project), exploring the deep context of the new climate movements. The first six episodes traced a series of lines from the moment of Extinction Rebellion and the school strikes, back into the longer history of industrial society and its unacknowledged consequences. In the sequence that began with episode seven, the theme is 'knowing what we know': the encounter with the knowledge of climate change, not as a set of facts that can be held at arm's length, but an experience of knowing that leaves us changed.Notes From Underground is produced in collaboration with Bella Caledonia. You can support the making of this series by going to:https://www.patreon.com/dougaldSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
Even when we know the facts of climate change, we don't seem to act as if we know – that's the observation from the sociologist Kari Norgaard which starts this week's essay in the Notes From Underground series. The theatre maker Chris Goode suggests that the difficulty might be that we lack 'a living-space in which to fully know what we know'. And the similarity between these two thoughts sets us on a journey across the threshold from knowledge to knowing.It's a journey that takes in the history of written language, the persistence of indigenous ways of knowing in the face of systematic cultural destruction, and the way that modern science tangles with all of this.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project) invites listeners into the darkness of knowing a thing like climate change and the ways this knowledge changes us. The first six episodes of the series followed different threads into the labyrinth, starting from the new wave of awareness and activism around the climate crisis that emerged over the past eighteen months. Now, in the second part of the series, we're headed deeper into the strangeness of 'knowing what we know'.Notes From Underground is produced in collaboration with Bella Caledonia. You can support the making of this series by going to:https://www.patreon.com/dougaldSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
This week's essay looks at the production of scientific knowledge about climate change and what we do with that knowledge. It's about the history of the relationship between science and the environmental movement, and it's about my own experiences when I was commissioned to collaborate with a climate scientist on writing a play.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project) invites listeners into the darkness of knowing a thing like climate change and the ways this knowledge changes us. The first six episodes of the series followed different threads into the labyrinth, starting from the new wave of awareness and activism around the climate crisis that emerged over the past eighteen months. Now, in the second part of the series, we're headed deeper into the strangeness of 'knowing what we know'.Notes From Underground is produced in collaboration with Bella Caledonia. You can support the making of this series by going to:https://www.patreon.com/dougaldSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
What can we say for sure about the future? The seventh instalment of Notes From Underground is about the predicament of mortality and the difficulty which modern industrial societies have in facing it. This week's essay marks the start of Part II of the series and over the next few weeks, I want to think about the difficulty of knowing a thing like climate change, how this knowledge changes us and what it costs us.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. The first six essays looked at what makes the current wave of climate activism different, how conversations about degrowth are reaching inside political institutions, and where we might look for hope – as well as the implications of 'climate emergency' declarations and the Green New Deal, and the common roots of Extinction Rebellion and the gilets jaunes.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
"I don’t think these are times when you can sell people a vision of ‘how not only can we save the world, but we can make all of our lives better in the process.’ There’s too much loss written into the story, too much hardship around and ahead of us, whichever path we take. I think people can smell that, whether or not they want to face it yet. It doesn’t mean we give up, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing left worth fighting for. But it may not be the kind of fight where memories of last century’s heroic future are much help."In the last episode for 2019, we come to the Green New Deal and ask whether it represents a reckoning with the ongoing collision with ecological realities, or a way of postponing more difficult conversations. This week’s essay touches on the way the political imagination is shaped by the industrial era, the desire to ‘reboot the future’ – taken to its extreme in Aaron Bastani’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism – and the tendency of the left to treat climate change as a vindication of positions it held all along, as exemplified by Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything. In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselvesSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
'What happens next may look like failure. Or it may be a success that asks many of the questions failure would have asked of us.'The fifth episode of Notes From Underground starts in late 2018, as two movements erupt on opposite sides of the Channel: Extinction Rebellion and the gilets jaunes. It's easy enough to treat them as opposites, the one group of protesters pushing for climate action, the other standing in the way of measures to curb the use of fossil fuels. But there is another story to tell, one which reveals a shared lineage, rooting these two movements in a common indignation.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
'When you organise politically to demand a declaration of emergency, you cannot avoid the question of democracy. If such a declaration means anything, then it marks a fork in the road. It says that our existing political systems have failed, that they have been no match for the scale of the crisis, and this seems hard to refute. But having acknowledged their failure, two paths remain: more democracy, or less.'This week's episode of Notes From Underground is a reflection on what it means to call for a declaration of climate emergency, one of the distinctive demands of the new climate movements. Just last week, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary declared 'climate emergency' their word of the year, one marker of the extraordinary momentum which has gathered around this language over the past twelve months. So this is an invitation to think harder and speak more clearly about what it means to organise around such a demand.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. This is a weekly series, running through the winter of 2019/20. You can read the essays at Bella Caledonia, watch them on YouTube, or listen to them as a podcast.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
003 – Is There Hope?

003 – Is There Hope?

2019-11-2814:50

'If there is any hope worth having, in a time when we are rightly haunted by the thought of an "uninhabitable Earth", then I don’t believe it lies in the triumph of reason, nor in the recovery of an imagined past. If I have any clue where it lies, I’d say it’s in the difficult work of learning to feel and think together again...'This week's episode starts in Stockholm in the autumn of 2017, as two prominent Swedish professors meet to debate the question: 'Is there hope?' The rhetoric used that night sets off strange echoes of an old argument about the history of English poetry – and sparks thoughts about what happens when science and reason are elevated into objects of faith, and how this laid the ground in which the poisoned seeds of climate denial could grow.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. This is a weekly series, running through the winter of 2019/20. You can read the essays at Bella Caledonia, watch them on YouTube, or listen to them as a podcast.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
'The need for economic growth is a social construct, not a law of nature, but this construct is the tablecloth on which our current society has been arranged. The question we face, as the 2020s come around, is whether we can pull the tablecloth out fast enough without smashing all the plates and glasses?'In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of the new climate movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. This week's episode asks what happens when the incompatibility of economic growth and ecological viability becomes speakable in the corridors of power.Notes From Underground is a weekly series, running through the winter of 2019/20. You can read the essays at Bella Caledonia, watch them on YouTube, or listen to them as a podcast.To support the making of this work, go to Dougald's Patreon page.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
The last time the climate crisis was getting this much attention, it was Al Gore striding on stage to talk us through the high-end PowerPoint presentation of An Inconvenient Truth. From Greta Thunberg to Gail Bradbrook to Jem Bendell, the strange collection of public figures at the centre of the new climate movements have little in common with Al Gore. They don't have a neat story about how it can all be OK. Their voices are powerful because we can hear their fear.In Notes From Underground, Dougald Hine (co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project) invites us to go deeper into the context of these movements and what they tell us about the moment in which we find ourselves. This first episode traces a route from Stockholm in August 2018, through the advice that Extinction Rebellion didn't take from climate communications experts, to the question of what an Alcoholics Anonymous for a whole culture would look like.Notes From Underground is a weekly series, running through the winter of 2019/20. You can read the essays at Bella Caledonia, watch them on YouTube, or listen to them as a podcast.To support the making of this work, go to Dougald's Patreon page.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/dougald)
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