Government Intervention

Steep Trail

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Roosevelt and Muir

Polarcap, the curatorial project of Liz Adamson and Graeme Todd, has established Basecamp on the legacy of John Muir, one of Scotland’s most important environmentalists.  Polarcap is located in Dunbar, where Muir came from (though he is most frequently associated with the National Parks of North America).

Today and tomorrow a group of scientists and artists will, using Muir’s method, walk and talk in and about the environment.  Muir’s knowledge of the environment was developed through direct experience (including one walk of 1,000 miles from Indiana to Florida), and this was the grounding of his campaigning, agitation and organising.  The most famous example of Muir’s method was when he took Theodore Roosevelt into Yosemite in order to convince him that mismanagement and exploitation were destroying the valley and that government intervention was required.

This is the first event of a series planned by Polarcap, moving up the East Coast of Scotland through Edinburgh (collaborating with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop) to Fife (with Fife Contemporary Arts & Crafts) and planning to end in Aberdeen.

The aim of Steep Trail is to build mutual understanding between artists and scientists through shared experiential activity and reflection.

If you are interested in checking it out, head for West Barnes Studios, School Brae, West Barnes, Dunbar, EH42 1UD this weekend.  ecoartscotland will continue to cover the Steep Trail programme as it evolves.

steep trail basecamp press release

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

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Jarvis Cocker saves the world

Invited to guest edit Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, Jarvis Cocker launched into a passionate plea to government to take a less foot-dragging laissez-faire response to climate change:

A few months ago I went on a trip to the Arctic set up by an organisation called Cape
Farwell to see the effects of climate change at first hand. Whilst on
board we also went to lectures by scientists who told us, among other
things, what it was that individuals could do to try and help with the
biggest problem facing the world at this time, and that part I found
profoundly depressing because it basically came down to things like,
“Go and buy some energy changing light bulbs.”

Although
I believe that the actions of individuals are important, it seemed to
me that the problem was so large and so profound that it would be nice
if we got a bit of help from somewhere else. If the only things that
would have the necessary impact would be to make radical changes to
things like food transportation, deforestation or air travel, it would
be nice to think that the government might help out with some
legislation designed to address those issues. And that’s why I got
depressed. Because non-interventionist laissez-faire free market
policies have been the order of the day for so long, why would they
change now?

Then I came home.


The thing about being on a boat in the middle of the arctic ocean is
there’s no telephone or wi-fi coverage. Whilst we’d been up there
observing one kind of meltdown, it seemed that another kind of meltdown
had been taking place in the world’s financial markets. In fact, we
came through Reykjavik airport on the day that Iceland basically went
bust, though none of us knew it at the time.


Banks were going under and a massive stock market collapse had
occurred. And lo and behold, one of the first things that followed was
a massive government intervention. And I thought, “Hang on, perhaps,
bizarrely, there’s a chink of light here. If the government is wiling
to intervene decisively in such a huge way in this area, maybe it would
intervene in another area – climate change – too.”

Read more here.

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