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The Glass Bead Game: University of Sussex Launches Unique Podcast Series Featuring David Attenborough

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Yesterday, The School of Global Studies at the University Of Sussex, is proud to announce the launch of an exciting new audio narrative podcast series, THE GLASS BEAD GAME with the first episode in the series featuring David Attenborough and Naomi Klein.  Oriented towards those that are curious of mind, this twelve part series aims to creatively engage listeners on complex geopolitical issues in a monthly podcast. Unlike many of the static, debate based UK podcasts, this entertaining audio experience is more dynamic in its format, with an approach more similar to those currently being produced in the US.

In the initial two-part episode, THE MEANING OF CLIMATE CHANGE, broadcaster David Attenborough and author and social activist Naomi Klein, along with numerous notable professors, discuss the ethical, cultural and economic impact of climate change and what it means to those most affected. The series is directed and presented by award winning filmmaker Will Hood, a research associate at the University of Sussex, and the series is produced by Rob Alexanderof perfectmotion.

ABOUT: THE GLASS BEAD GAME

The podcast series creates a unique platform by which academic research can engage with an audience through people led narrative. Collecting the academic testimony of different disciplines from the international network of higher education, THE GLASS BEAD GAME aspires to appeal to a wide audience, challenge mainstream narratives and represent previously unheard voices.

The series title the ‘glass bead game’ is a nod to the classic book of the same name (Hesse 1943) in which the ‘game’ itself is played by creating new and subtle inferences between different academic disciplines.  By weaving together multiple conversations from academics and popular authorities the GBG podcast attempts to reconcile the disparate narratives that are inevitably produced by difficult subjects.

‘Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born.’

(Herman Hesse – The Glass Bead Game, 1943)

 

‘The huge difference between humanity and the natural world is that we have a way of externalising knowledge … that simply makes an enormous difference … humanity is able to store knowledge across time and across space and that gives us huge power – we haven’t yet got the wisdom to handle it properly but that’s what makes us different from the rest of the world’

(David Attenborough)

 

EPISODE ONE: THE MEANING OF CLIMATE CHANGE

 

PART ONE: INDIGENOUS OIL (Featuring David Attenborough)

In the first episode of THE GLASS BEAD GAME, presenter Will Hood explores the relationship between energy, ecology and economics, combining academic research with the anecdotal experience of indigenous groups on the front line of Canada’s environmental conflict.

  • Chief Billy Joe Laboucan Massimo – Chief of the Lubicon Cree Band, Little Buffalo, Alberta, Canada
  • David Attenborough – Broadcaster
  • Ernie Gambler – Indigenous Musician from Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada
  • Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez – Indigenous Scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada
  • J.B. Williams, Tsawout First Nation – Flood Story Narration (with music from Elder May Sam)
  • Makere Stewart-Harawira – Indigenous Scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada
  • Peter Newell – Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex

 

PART TWO: DIRECT ACTION (Featuring David Attenborough & Naomi Klein)

With live coverage of the Cop21 climate summit (Paris Dec 2015) this episode explores the ethics of direct action as a way to make sense of climate change. An issue that divides the public and excites the media to what extents can it achieve meaningful political and social change?

  • Rex Weyler – founding member of Greenpeace
  • David Attenborough – Broadcaster
  • Naomi Klein – Author (No logo, This Changes Everything)
  • Peter Newell – Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex
  • Richard Tol – Climate Economist at the University of Sussex
  • Mike Hudema – Climate and energy activist with Green peace Canada
  • Peter Newell – Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex.

 

THE GLASS BEAD GAME’s first two episodes: ‘THE MEANING OF CLIMATE CHANGE’ are available now to stream, download or share attheglassbeadgame.co.uk/archive/

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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