Wednesday, March 5, 2008




Green blogger uses images of "climate retreat living pods" as educational tool
to raise public awareness about global warming issues

A lone blogger in Taiwan is using the Internet in a novel
way to help raise awareness about global warming.

Green media activist Danny Bloom doesn't believe humans will have
to live in so-called "climate retreat living pods" anytime soon, but he
is using a series of computer-generated blueprints of the living pods as
an educational tool to help raise help public awareness about the
climate crisis.

Created by Taiwanese artist Cheng-hong Deng, the living pod images
have appeared on hundreds of websites and blogs around the world -- in
English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French and Chinese. They were
formerly called POLAR CITIES, but after two years of using that
somewhat SCI FI term and meeting lots of resistance (and satire and
humor), Bloom felt that the term "climate retreat living pods" fits
what he is doing much better. He credits Alaskan professor Robin
Bronen, who coined the term "climate refugees" a few years ago in an
academic paper, with convincing him to use the term CLIMATE RETREATS
rather than POLAR CITIES.

The 58-year-old climate blogger says he is using the Internet in a
novel way to get his message across.

The message? "If we don't actively tackle the very serious problems
that confront the world now, in terms of global warming, then there is
a possibility that future generations might have to take refuge in
such climate retreats and interior living pods. I never want to see
these living pods become
reality. So the images Deng has created for my project are meant to be
a warning about global warming."

Bloom says he has shown the images to internationally-acclaimed
climate scientist James Lovelock in Britain, who is known for his
pessimism and doomsaying about global warming. Lovelock told Bloom by
email: "It may very well happen and soon."

"I hope climate retreats for climate refugees are never needed for
survivors of global warming
in the far distant future," Bloom says. "These images are meant to be
a wake-up call for those who are still sleepwalking through the
climate crisis."

Bloom emphasizes that he has no agenda, political or scientific, in
terms of solutions to global warming, and says that he just wants to
participate in the global discussion about climate change in his own
personal way. "I am just using Deng's images to sound the alarm, a
visual alarm."

He says that his Internet campaign, which began 2 years ago with a
letter to the editor of several newspapers in North America and
Europe, has had the result he is looking for. But the term POLAR
CITIES was too sci fi and futuristic for most people to accept, he
admits. So he is now calling the places "climate retreats" and he
believes he is the first person to use such a term worldwide.

A young blogger in Tahiti saw the images, blogged about them in
French, and said that while he found the living pod blueprints to be
fascinating, they made him just want to work harder in his daily life
"to help fight the climate crisis so that the worst case scenarios
never happen."