An interesting burst of cinematic optimism from Disney, in the form of its new Tommorowland movie. It sounds like it’s well made, even according to the uber-cynical The Register

“Bird and Lindelof’s message is made abundantly clear — technological optimism [and] it’s also clearly a dig at the many teen dystopias we’re being peddled these days … It’s been so long since I saw a film so lacking in cynicism, to the point that I’d forgotten what it felt like.”


UK household energy consumption

Back in January I delved into the figures on UK domestic power consumption and came away feeling broadly optimistic. Even our energy-hogging PCs and videogaming consoles are starting to draw less power. Carbon Brief has this week also taken a detailed look at the UK figures. He suggests four key factors that are driving the reductions…

* manufacturers are building more efficient models of fridge, washing machine, vacuums etc.

* home lighting is more efficient.

* better roof and wall insulation, newer water boilers.

* when fuel prices sky-rocket during a recession, consumers naturally economise.

I’d also add that when young kids are scared witless by green doomsday propaganda at school, then as a group they may be more inclined to switch off lights when leaving a room, take devices off standby, and badger their parents into energy saving measures. Which may be just as well, since the neglect of our power stations under Labour has left us looking at potential power-cuts in 2015/16, despite the falling household demand.

Ridley: “There is no bee apocalypse”

Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist) has kindly posted his paywalled Times article “There is no bee apocalypse” on his website…

“A 2013 study found that the species richness of British bumblebees declined from the 1950s to the 1990s, but the decline then reversed. Other studies agree that wild bees are doing better since neo-nics came on the market. Solitary mining bees have been thriving. Conservation and wildlife-friendly farming have brought five rare bumblebees back from the brink of extinction.”

New article series at TIME magazine

TIME magazine has a new series of articles “10 Ideas That Will Change the World”. Some are short, but the opening article is long, thoughtful and researched: “Sweet Bird of Youth! The Case for Optimism” takes an optimistic view of the global “youth bulge” in the population.


Incidentally, the TIME Picture Editor has chosen to illustrate to the road the future with a technology from the past, light bulbs. It gets the message across, but the world really needs to find some new visual metaphor for inspiration.