Notes From Underground

Notes From Underground

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.... Show More

Episodes

March 19, 2020 11 min

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 Mount...

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February 11, 2020 59 min

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 Rebelli...

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January 23, 2020 36 min

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 ac...

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January 16, 2020 20 min

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 lis...

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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...

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December 20, 2019 23 min

"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. ...

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December 12, 2019 22 min

'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 w...

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December 5, 2019 17 min

'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'...

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November 28, 2019 14 min

'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 Swed...

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November 21, 2019 11 min

'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 contex...

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November 14, 2019 14 min

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 po...

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