Category Archives: History of technology

What if we really tried to save our civilization? An introduction to Plan B

Our society and, indeed, our way of life is facing an existential threat. The situation is grim, but not hopeless. These words could have been used to describe the threat faced by the world’s democracies in 1939, and they could … Continue reading

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Technology in a Post-Growth World: Lessons from the 1970s AT Movement

Hello again! This post about lessons we could learn from the 1970s Appropriate/Alternative Technology movement is derived from a presentation I gave at Helsinki Sustainability Science Days 2019, 9.5.2019. The entire presentation can be found here. The above presentation and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy and the Environment, History of technology, My publications, Notes in process, Politics, post-scarcity | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Necessity is the mother of inventors: my PhD lecture

The following is the traditional Lectio praecursoria a doctoral candidate in Finland gives to the audience before his/her PhD defence. This one is mine, delivered on 12th December 2017. Esteemed custos, esteemed opponent, ladies and gentlemen! You all are probably … Continue reading

Posted in History of technology, Innovation, Scarcities and constraints | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Power and the (European) anti-nuclear power movement

This post contains some thoughts about the history of the anti-nuclear movement and in particular the European anti-nuclear movement as a struggle for power and empowerment; it’s posted here for convenience and as a reference, and as a caution against … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Energy, History of technology, Nuclear energy & weapons, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Confidence in 100% RE plans is poorly justified and may be dangerous

The recent publication of an unprecedented critique against the so-called “WWS” 100% renewable energy (RE) scenario has re-ignited the debate about the feasibility of renewable only energy scenarios in the United States and abroad. This is a long-overdue debate the … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Energy, History of technology, Nuclear energy & weapons | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Two fallacies that explain A LOT about energy discussions

I’ve been following the energy discussions actively for a decade now. Despite some incremental improvements, the debate goes round and round much the same way as it did in 2007: everyone agrees in public that we need to quit fossil … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Stall warning for renewable energy?

A model that estimated the plateauing of nuclear and hydropower to within 20 percent of reality suggests that absent a technological breakthrough, the growth of new renewable energy – that is, wind and solar – will saturate and end when these new … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Atomic mail rockets, and how monocausal predictions are particularly dangerous

The new, shining age of information delivery was briefly at hand on June 8th, 1959. A Regulus cruise missile – designed for delivering a nuclear warhead to a Soviet city or port – landed neatly at the naval base at … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, History of technology, Nuclear energy & weapons | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Energy transitions: is everything different this time?

The debate about whether transition to low-carbon energy would be faster or slower than previous energy transitions somewhat misses the point. The real problem is whether this time everything is different and whether the low-carbon energy revolution will be complete … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Songs from the Hungerland: reflections on Ecomodernism, history, and Nature

Songs from the Hungerland in response to 21.10.15 The Guardian opinion piece: The Brave New World of Ecomodernism During spring and summer 2014, I spent many nights under the Finnish sky. Early the next morning where the picture above was taken, I … Continue reading

Posted in Ecomodernism, Economy and the Environment, Energy, History of technology | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments