Climate Uncensored is a new blog, YouTube channel, podcast and resource base providing honest, unflinching comment and analysis of the challenges facing us in the climate emergency. It is a collaboration between climate researchers Professor Kevin Anderson and Dr Dan Calverley.
The name, Climate Uncensored, inverts the self-censorship that we see happening within much of the expert community (scientists, policymakers and campaigners). Our next blog will further unpack this concern. For now, this introductory post gives a little background on the genesis of the project, and some pointers about content coming your way in the next few weeks.
Rewind eighteen months to the winter of 2020-21, when the world was fully in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. We (Dan and Kevin) found ourselves in an unlikely ‘support bubble’ under the UK’s lockdown restrictions. Our conversations often touched on the scarcity of quality media coverage and interrogation of the weak climate policies being issued in the UK and other big-emitting countries. ‘Touched on’ is putting it too politely, really. Think more along the lines of Peter Finch in full ‘righteous anger’-mode in the 1976 film ‘Network‘ (pictured), where his news-anchor character urges the public to fight back and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”.
We struck upon the idea of creating a podcast in which we would invite members of the expert climate research and policy communities to speak plainly and be open to incisive questions. Habitually, such conversations in the public domain allow technological solutions to dominate without any account of how they fit into the carbon-budgeted and time-sensitive framing of the climate emergency. The podcast concept quickly snowballed to include visual media on YouTube and a website/blog to link everything together.
The fruits of our labours in the intervening months are now ready to share!
In coming weeks we will be releasing several animated films about some of the thorniest issues in climate mitigation, initially on carbon budgets and the essential role of equity or fairness, and later on ‘net’ zero and negative emissions, amongst others. We have a wonderful, in-depth and candid interview with climate activist, Greta Thunberg. We have forthcoming blogs on the immediacy of mitigation and adaptation challenges. And in autumn 2022 we will begin releasing our podcast series.
The hallmarks of all content on Climate Uncensored are honesty and integrity. We shall not flinch from asking difficult questions or pressing for answers. Our content will be accessible and intelligible for an informed lay audience. It will be (as far as is humanly possible) unbiased, with no favourite or ‘pet’ solutions; pragmatism and engineering reality (bounded by the carbon budgets that accompany our Paris commitments) prevail. It will be entirely open access, with no paywalls. It will be inclusive: while we will inevitably focus more on the UK’s response to climate change, we endeavour to take as global a view as possible.
Finally, a little housekeeping.
For well over a decade now, Kevin has maintained a blog over at www.kevinanderson.info. That site will be kept online for reference, but is now effectively ‘mothballed’. All future content that Kevin would have posted there will appear here. Posts on ClimateUncensored.com will be a mix of individually and jointly written pieces, and occasional guest posts. Authorship will be made clear in the by-line.
Climate Uncensored has benefitted from earlier work funded by Research England and administered through the University of Manchester. We also acknowledge the policy-relevant legacy of our long-term engagement with the vibrant and interdisciplinary Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Kevin’s involvement with the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS) at Uppsala and the Centre for climate and energy transformation (CET) in Bergen. The views contained within ClimateUncensored.com and associated media platforms reflect only those of the authors, not necessarily of any of our associated organisations.
With that, welcome aboard.
You might want to strap in, it could be a bumpy ride!