I'm Dan Olner, a researcher at Sheffield Methods Institute in the UK. I'm working on a bunch of awesome projects here in Sheffield and with the Urban Big Data Centre in Glasgow. My previous project was called GRIT: 'geospatial restucturing of industrial trade'.
I completed my PhD at Leeds University (here's the PDF). It started with the problem of planning versus spontaneous order, took a detour via Andean potato farming, and ended up examining what I suspect is a blind spot in spatial economics. That's also what GRIT examines: why currently we don't really know what might happen to our spatial economies if/when costs go up, and why there probably aren't any easy slot-in solutions to solve the 'transport & climate change' problem.
Ever since having an argument with a libertarian many years back, I've also become a little obsessed with climate change. I hang around climate blogs writing unreadably long comments. After GRIT, I'm also now officially one of the statist rent-seekers with a vested interest in perpetuating climate alarmism...
Bill McKibben: "scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees." Provable carbon reserves are currently five times that amount. There isn't a single country in the world backing off from the burning the stuff - in fact, quite the reverse.
Physics doesn't care what political compromises we need to make, so we're probably screwed. But that's no excuse for not trying. What we do now may make the difference between a severely degraded climate and a world we won't recognise. It isn't the only challenge we face, but it's the defining one. At the moment, I'd have to agree with Agent Smith: collectively, we seem to be a virus, regardless of what intelligence any individual or organisation may have. I hope we prove to be more than that.