50: The Sustainability of Civilisation

Posted in Diary posts, Worldview on December 8th, 2012 by Peter Baker

It’s time to add meat to the bone of the worldview sketched-out in The Jolly Pilgrim.

Thanks to all those who commented on that optimistic worldview. Bar these counterarguments, the central critique seems to be that – even though we live during the most enlightened and open-minded, least violent, least diseased, best fed, wealthiest, coolest, most exciting epoch the world has ever seen – it won’t count for much if Earth’s ecosphere goes into meltdown.

That’s a good point. Thanks to those who’ve made it. Read more »

Sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive

Posted in Website content, Worldview on November 24th, 2012 by Peter Baker

The Jolly Pilgrim called for a longer term view of civilisation.
This follow-up article argues that environmentalists should be more imaginative
about the possibilities for economic evolution

PDF version: Sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive_Peter Baker

In the past two centuries, human civilisation has experienced an unprecedented increase in global gross domestic product (GDP) – economic growth associated with a precipitous rise in material prosperity, which has left sixth sevenths of Earth’s population enjoying living standards beyond those of all but a small minority who lived prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Read more »

49: Olympic aftermath, summer rundown

Posted in Diary posts on August 30th, 2012 by Peter Baker

To see a mad visual of this summer: Click here (use your mouse to move it around)


I’ll remember the Olympic Closing Ceremony until I drop dead or go mental. Read more »

World Systems (excerpt)

Posted in Website content on August 22nd, 2012 by Peter Baker

The Jolly Pilgrim, Part 7, musings 32

This excerpt deals with the fact that our historical context, and our brains’ internal hardwiring, leads us to think about the world in a certain way. Climate change is used as an example.

 

Every night on my way up the east coast I was pouring out my heart into the weather-beaten and black gaffer-tape-reinforced notebook I carried. Since visiting India, I’d stopped writing poetry.

By this point I was on a mission. The notion I’d absorbed during my travels was that there’s an approach to thinking about the world – a modern approach – which is ready to be synthesised by someone with the interest, time and head space. So that’s what I’d do.  Read more »

48: Journey to the Olympic closing ceremony

Posted in Diary posts on August 11th, 2012 by Peter Baker

11 August 2012

Since moving to Manor Park, five-minutes by train from the Olympic site, in 2008, I’ve watched the stadium rise from the wasteland north of Stratford during daily commutes to the City.

Beyond that physical manifestation of their approach, for most of the past four years the Olympic Games only impinged upon my consciousness to the extent of the predictable rows over their budget, occasional stories about Team GB and the reshaping of local land prices and transport connections. All that changed at the end of last year when a friend suggested I apply to be a volunteer cast member in the closing ceremony. Read more »