Arif Cem Gundogan

My blog on Climate Change, Development, Disasters, Environmental Humanities, Political Ecology, Degrowth (English & Turkish)

Dreaming infinite growth on a finite planet…

Relying on material extraction & consumption, I wonder how that economy line goes to infinity without disturbing the planet. Hasn’t the time come yet to consider degrowth?

“I love this,” she said. The straight line was supposed to represent economic growth, past and future, the curved line the rise and fall of greenhouse-gas emissions. – Elizabeth Kolbert’s interview with Christiana Figueres, published at the New Yorker on 24 Aug 2015 issue

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“Can Islamic scholars change thinking on climate change?”

I translated a news piece published at Nature titled “Can Islamic scholars change thinking on climate change?”. I think this is an important call for action regardless of what effect it might achieve. Islam, as being a religion that has 1.6 billion believers worldwide, can be instrumental when it comes communicating messages confirmed not also by faith but also by science. Please continue to read in Turkish.

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The Need for More Inclusive & Democratic Climate Policy Making

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English >> GAIA Dergi kindly published my reflections on Our Common Future Under Climate Change Conference took place in Paris. GAIA is Turkey’s emerging monthly magazine on ecology & sustainable living as well as a civic platform to promote biodiversity & rights for all species. I hope to contribute with monthly articles. Full text is available here (only in Turkish):

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Are we on the same boat? Not really…

So there is this political cartoonist (a.k.a Polyp) I follow & appreciate. Strongly suggest you to visit his website. Well… Anyways. I disagree with one of his cartoons (called “steady as she goes”) and suggest an additional frame to the original one. I hope he won’t sue me (copyright section is not scary as I imagined).

The original cartoon is (briefly) about economic growth addiction & the policy makers’ inability to recognize the fact that we can’t grow infinitely on a  physically finite planet.

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How do you like your Anthropocene?

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 13.14.01Thanks to my friends, colleagues and anonymous supporters, my proposal for the independent publishing platform Contributoria‘s October issue has reached the minimum target to be published just within the first 6 hours.

You can still support it from here.

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“More than machinery we need humanity”

Thanks to a friend, I rediscovered the wisdom in the Great Dictator movie. Although one may argue that the speech is very anthropocentric (..and I would agree with this), still good to recall particularly this section:

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. (A quote from the movie “The Great Dictator”)

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More reflections on #CFCC15

EKO IQ, Turkey’sScreen Shot 2015-08-03 at 18.27.13 first and foremost green business & life magazine generously published my reflections on the International Scientific Conference “Our Common Future under Climate Change” that took place at UNESCO and UPMC (Paris) in July 2015. This was the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21).

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Karl Polanyi – Market & Nature

“ isolate nature and form a market out of it was perhaps the weirdest of all undertakings of our ancestors.” Karl Polanyi

New Climate Regime and Turkey

Our op-ed (drafted with Ethemcan) on Our Common Future Under Climate Change Conference that took place in Paris has been published at Zaman, a major newspaper with +740K daily circulation. Here is the text in Turkish (More insights will follow)

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Yeni İklim Rejimi ve Türkiye


15 Temmuz 2015, Çarşamba, Zaman Gazetesi

Türkiye’nin yeni iklim rejiminde geçmişte yaşanan stratejik sorunların tekrar etmesini istemiyorsak değişimin anahtarı iklim politikası yapıcılarının elinde. OECD ve G-20 üyesi, AB aday ülkesi Türkiye aralık ayında 21. Taraflar Konferansı’nda (COP21) netleşecek yeni iklim rejiminde yer almalı. Bu da enerji, madencilik ve kentleşme gibi son yıllara damga vuran ekolojik ihtilafların sebeplerine dikkatli bir bakış gerektiriyor.

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Revised Guide Book: Climate Change – from A to Z

The climate change guidance book (Climate Change Guide: from A to Z, in Turkish) I edited & revised together with colleagues from the Regional Environmental Centre Turkey has been published. EKO IQ, a prominent sustainability & green business magazine in Turkey, published a piece about it on their 53rd issue.

(Full story published in Turkish here:

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A’dan Z’ye İklim Değişikliği

EKO IQ, Issue 53, July 2015

İklim Değişikliği bulguları, tartışmaları ve mevzuatı, son 10 yılda gerçekten baş döndürücü bir hızla gelişti ve değişti. Bölgesel Çevre Merkezi Türkiye’den bir ekip, aynı kurum tarafından 2008 yılında, yani bundan yedi yıl önce yayınlanmış A’dan Z’ye İklim Değişikliği Başucu Rehberi’ni baştan sona yeniden ele aldı ve kapsamlı bir revizyonla geçtiğimiz ay tekrar yayınladı. Biz de Arif Cem Gündoğan, Dursun Baş ve Rifat Ünal Sayman’dan oluşan ekibe, yenileme çalışmaları, iklim değişikliği bulguları ve tartışmalarındaki değişim konusundaki fikirlerini sorduk; ve gördük ki köprünün altından gerçekten çok sular akmış…

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