Extreme Views: Think Tank in Cumbria

Barrow-in-Furness is an English seaport town, once the hub for a large iron works and now a place where nuclear subs are assembled. Recently, the creation of a new nuclear waste dump was blocked by local residents. The marshes, sands, and shores still support abundant sea life. The place is quite wild, windy, beautiful—but economically depressed.

Ecological artist David Haley gently encouraged me to lead groups. I focused on setting climate change as a central focus of the think tank. It seems that mentioning climate chaos (as I think it should be called) can make people panic into inaction. But in no time, our group was mapping water sources, brainstorming ecological interventions, and discussing concrete futures for the area.

The think tank included 50 people from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. The group's leap from discouragement to hope was tangible.

For info about the organization behind Extreme Views, go to art-gene.co.uk.

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Marmot Mcmahon