Seen elsewhere
Twitter
Support

 

Buy

Click images for more details

Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Me and Richard B in the Guardian | Main | Who leaked the Hintze correspondence? »
Thursday
Mar292012

Hulme's new climate course

Times Higher Education reports on Mike Hulme's latest idea - a course combining environmental studies and the humanities:

"I have worked in the field for over 30 years," he said. "I started with a very numerical approach but became increasingly frustrated that science alone cannot motivate social change.

As a taxpayer, I must say I struggle with the idea that I should be forced to pay people to work on coming up with new tactics to get me to amend my ways. This seems to me to be political campaigning rather than academic research.

This bit made me laugh:

Professor Hulme - who also teaches an undergraduate class on scientific controversy - acknowledged that UEA had been at the centre of a political row over climate change.

"We have gone through a big controversy here with the 'Climate-gate' scandal, which raised questions about whether some scientists were trying to subvert the peer-review process and who counts as a legitimate expert."

He added that although his own emails were among the batch obtained by campaigners who cited them as evidence that scientists were manipulating climate data, he was "not in the spotlight".

As did this:

Insights from nature writing and eco-poetry will be considered alongside those of philosophy and science.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (128)

"eco-poetry"

Dear God...

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Hulme could get the same effect by giving the students a swine flu jab.
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/swine-flu-jab-linked-to-narcolepsy-7599682.html

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

I think the THE released this story three days too early.

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Academic hustler.

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterSirHumphry

More details in the course leaflet and detailed prospectus; see also the fees information.

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

I agree with the Bishop. Why should we taxpayers fund such an obvous political stunt?

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

'science alone cannot motivate social change.' why should in the first place unless you regard science as merely a plolitical tool to further a 'greater good' so the facts be damed what matters is the results suport 'the cause' , which in this case may well be true .

'which raised questions about whether some scientists were trying to subvert the peer-review process'
No its clear from the e-mails that some scientists WERE trying to subvert the peer-review process, they openly talk about doing that very thing and we one at least one jounral editor who has eft his job thanks to pressure from these 'scientists' .

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

He forgot to mention the modules on tree-hugging and forest drumming.

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Plan B + eco-poetry: what can possibly go wrong?

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

He wandered lonely as a cloud
Gridded out in model forecasts,
When all at once he saw a crowd,
A host, of green-ed activists;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Money for old rope, if you please.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

See, now THIS is why some people deny climate change: they are not reading enough eco-poetry.

How many climate deniers have read even one book about eco-poetry? None, right? And that is proof that failure to read enough eco-poetry is the cause of climate denial.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

Here's an eco-poem by Al Gore:

http://www.ecomall.com/biz/forumalgore.htm

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

I should have acknowledged my debt to William Jobsworth there.

Sara Chan:

How many climate deniers have read even one book about eco-poetry? None, right? And that is proof that failure to read enough eco-poetry is the cause of climate denial.

I see you've taken the advanced UEA course in eco-logic Sara. Keep up the good work.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Really boring comment - I wouldn't mind so much if there was an economics module in there somewhere, so that at least the idea that economic incentives/deterrents play a part in all material human decisions was planted.

At the very least if the graduates try and do something afterwards they might understand how to set about it and earn a living.

Key line in first para of prospectus: 'The course is strongly orientated towards developing the insights of interdisciplinary work for policy-making.' They are missing the dismal discipline methinks.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoddy Campbell

This was the guy who was banging on in his turgid way about "the hegemony exercised by the predictive natural sciences over contingent, imaginative and humanistic accounts of social life and visions of the future" and how this needed to be corrected, and many here found it a "wow" moment.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

I'm a bit of a philistine so I'm not sure about eco-poetry but I think I could change my whole lifestyle if I was exposed to some really world class eco-limericks

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

It's all about pink fluffy bunnies these days.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

UEA already run an eco poetry course... for 5 - 6 year olds. Get 'em young!

http://www.uea.ac.uk/ams/ecopoetry

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

Ignoring his linking of science and social change, he is wrong.

Science has brought social change.

Nuclear weapons brought social change.
Transistors brought social change.

There are many others.

What he means is he doesn't have the equivalent of either to force through HIS idea of utopia.

It is HIS social change that science alone cannot achieve.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I almost smashed my TV when, as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, he said that he was trying to reduce the costs of electricity consumption. I do not recall which documentary that was on.

Who has been schooling him on ethics? Gleick?

At least his current efforts are not in real science classes and if that protects science education then I'm all for eco-poetry, worthless as it is.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergenemachine

[snip - Godwin]

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

There are only 2 options -- either Sara Chan is being heavily satirical or she is under 12 years old.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

A bit of eco-poetry, bard-like

There was a Professor called Hulme,
who claimed the world would end soon
If humanity did not mend his ways,
he argued, the end would be in days;
but he was less prophet, more loon.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I'd like to have my post-modern version of the Modern Major General deconstructed every term by the students on this new course. There's even a mention of the lecturer in one verse:

I am the very model of a modern Climate-ScareYouAll
I’ve information digital, quotable, pictorial
I know the hacks of TV-land, and quote just like an oracle
On ‘News at Ten’ to ‘News at One’, on crises categorical.

I’m sort of well acquainted, too, with matters computational
I’ve heard of those projections, both simple and dramatical
On past and present temperatures I’m teeming with a lot o’news
Tho short of cheerful facts about the Yamal trees we have to use.

I’m very good at scariness and all degrees of fearfulness
I know how children get those nightmares quite horribilis
In short, in matters terrible, fearful and excitable
I am the very model of a modern Climate-ScareYouAll

I know our media’s trickery, in Nature and the NYT
I dish out press releases and they headline anything from me
I quote in elegiacs all the flaws of Homo Sapiens
With polemics I can dazzle almost any leftwing audience.

I can tell Trenberths and Santers from the Manns and even Houghtons
I know the Schmidts and Hansens from the Albert Gores and Joneses
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din anew
And whistle all the airs from that infernal M4GW.

I can write a laundry list in Hulmeian Obtusiform
While forgetting every detail of those emails in ExCRUciform
In short, in matters terrible, fearful and excitable
I am the very model of a modern Climate-ScareYouAll.

In fact, when I know what is meant by "lapse rate" and "stratiform"
When I can tell at sight a timeplot from a tephigram
When such affairs as hunches and guesses I'm more wary at
And when I know precisely what is meant by "wet in an adiabat".

When I have learnt of progress made in methods so statistical
When I know more ANOVA than a novice in a nunnery
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental calculus
You'll say a better Climate-ScareYouAll has never been to see us.

For my scientific knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of last century
But still, in matters terrible, fearful and excitable
I am the very model of a modern Climate-ScareYouAll.

Source: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/do-climate-know-it-alls-make-good.html

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

rick,

I'm pretty certain it's the first of your choices ;)

Richard,

"William Jobsworth" - love it :)

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterLC

"I started with a very numerical approach but became increasingly frustrated that science alone cannot motivate social change." - Hulme

"My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts... to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate..." - Gleick

Link arms, comrades, all together now; "We shall overcome, we shall ...."

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

Re: genemachine

Chris Hulme != Mike Hulme

One allegedly falsified facts when they didn't suit his purpose.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

'I almost smashed my TV when, as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, he said that he was trying to reduce the costs of electricity consumption. I do not recall which documentary that was on. '

Chris Huhne - not Mike Hulme! [Though, given the speed he drives at, I guess he might be capable of being in 2 places at the same time!?]

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

There was a fine chap called Hulme
Who wanted to write a new Poom
But he found it hard
When he tried to be a bard
To get anything to rhyme with eco-nut, alarmist nonsense

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

From the article;

Although it includes "an intensive orientation week on method and data" and "a crash course in statistics and narrative", these will obviously not be enough to "create highly skilled statisticians or literary critics, but they should enable people to talk sensibly to each other about one reality, though from different perspectives".

Do you think Phil Jones will sign up for a crash course in statistics and narrative after this previous effort got him into to all sorts of problems?

I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

From the article;

Although it includes "an intensive orientation week on method and data" and "a crash course in statistics and narrative", these will obviously not be enough to "create highly skilled statisticians or literary critics, but they should enable people to talk sensibly to each other about one reality, though from different perspectives".

Do you think Phil Jones will sign up for a crash course in statistics and narrative after this previous effort got him into to all sorts of problems?

I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

The world has a great need for more "eco-poetry". Almost as much need as we have for two-legged stools and more "climate scientists".

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

Hulme set up CRU on the basis of Marxist post-normal science in order to supplant the scientific ethos of Hubert Lamb.

This new venture appears to me an attempt to continue the Marxist Revolution now that CRU's role has been rumbled by mainstream science and the gravy train has been derailed.

Their role in the biggest scientific fraud in history will not be forgotten.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

There was a Professor called Mike,
who said everyone should get on their bike.
There is a planet to save,
we have to be brave;
but of course he was talking sh*te.

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I think we are getting close to completing our first volume of eco-poetry.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

There once was a group called the Team
Who invented a climate change meme
But the stats didn't work
So they just made them up
A flatlined the whole Holocene

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Should be 'And' in the last line :)

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Sir Humphry - yep. And a dangerous shape shifter IMO.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

This course is very simple to understand when you realise who is setting the agenda.

The Cause > The Science.

Students will leave in the knowledge that 'The ends justify the means' all wrapped up with a useless qualification.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

I thought Environmental Studies already was the science tinged option for well-meaning humanities and journalism students?

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermarchesarosa

'There was a Professor called Mike,
who said everyone should get on their bike.
There is a planet to save,
we have to be brave;
but of course he was talking sh*te.'


What was that someone just said about how much we needed two-legged stools?!

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

If - the short version

IF you can lose your head when all about you
Are keeping theirs and wondering what you're on
You my son, before you even know it
Will find funding as a UEA eco-poet.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Eco-poetry??

Items needed for course.
1, pen or crayon.
2, recycled paper.
3, Eco-friendly vomit bag.

Big trees are great, small trees are too.
Bllllllllaaaagaaaggrrrrggghhhhhffffffffhhhht!

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSparks

Doctor, I think you need to adjust the dosage, I'm starting to hallucinate about beautiful wind turbines springing out of the countryside like daisies as a tribute to the modern middle class socialites as they cycle out to their shopping mall to gather their Fairtrade shopping and deposit their recyclables in the appropriately provided plastic containers that restrict the parking for the Luddites in their 4x4s.

Eco-poetry sits on my shelf next to modern art...... and the rest of the cobwebs that will get cleared out one day.

Where's me shotgun, I fancy some rabbit stew......

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Sparks said:

'Bllllllllaaaagaaaggrrrrggghhhhhffffffffhhhht!'

Doesn't scan, I'm afraid.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I think they are just formally acknowledging the fact that the climate change department has been merged with the creative writing department for about 10 years now.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

@ the snipper

Didn't Godwin's second son become Earl of East Anglia

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

FB

I have to agree. Climate scientists have been turning fact into fiction for years.

Creative writers can learn a thing or two from attending UEA.

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

The Flatulence Tax, by John O'Neill

A flatulence tax on cattle and sheep,
Another rip-off to make us all weep.
Preserving the ozone at any expense,
It's all propaganda that doesn't make sense.

Abandon the flock and abolish the herd,
When it comes to survival, then nothing's absurd.
But what will we eat for daily protein?
The answer is simple, the mighty baked bean.

So plough in the forage and pastures too
Put paid to the curse of the cattle poo.
Then plant all the land with navy beans,
Belching out gasses from smokey machines.

The resulting erosion will wipe any smiles,
Make the Greenies appear they're suffering piles.
With options so few when it comes to a meal,
And the after affects still part of the deal.

With the whole population gobbling baked beans,
The potential was there for some horrid scenes.
The worst of our fears were about to come true,
The Follies were gobbling their baked beans too.

And adding more fuel to their natural reserve,
The electorate was poised to get its deserve.
Their innards vibrated their faces contorted,
The speaker collapsed and debate was aborted.

Then rising as one from babes to old Granny,
With timing so perfect was almost uncanny.
The whole population let off a great fart,
With a bloody big bang blew the ozone apart.


Well somebody had to go there!

Mar 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Who puts hacked emails up onscreen?
Who's FIOs distract the Team?
Who found the decline we made unseen?
The corporate-funded-denialist-machine!

Who tortures data 'til they scream?
Who causes Mann to vent his spleen?
Who calls us red - when we are green?
The corporate-funded-denialist-machine!

etc, etc.
- with apologies to Terry Scott (or maybe John Cooper Clarke)

Mar 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>