Individual residencies / Andorra


From Friday, 6 December 2019 to Friday, 20 December 2019


Paul Behrens is an Assistant Professor in Energy and Environmental Change at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He explores the ways in which human societies can flourish within environmental constraints, with a focus on energy, food, and water. Paul has recently looked at the environmental and impacts of renewable energy subsidies, the energy system under climate change, and the environmental impacts of diets. He is currently working on evaluating the impact of European Union energy policies, investigating the developments in the Chinese energy system, and exploring the international interactions between energy, food, and water.

Paul is passionate about science outreach and his research has appeared in newspapers such as The New York Times, The Independent, Newsweek, and The LA Times. He has been interviewed for the BBC, Scientific American, and National Public Radio (NPR, United States).


At the Faber Andorra residency I will be working on my book: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. More details are available here: In it I interleave chapters on pessimism and hope for themes ranging from energy, food, climate, and the economy. The book explores the implications of these changes and paints pessimistic and hopeful pictures of how they will alter our philosophies and change the way we live.

Considering the future of the environment and humanity at Faber Andorra. 

During December I had the wonderful opportunity to work at Faber Andorra on my book The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. In the book I talk about the pessimism and hope we can have for changing the way we generate energy, eat food, and engage in the economy to avoid the catastrophic potential of climate change and biodiversity loss. The book explores the implications of these changes and paints pessimistic and hopeful pictures of how they will alter our philosophies and change the way we live. 

Andorra was a wonderful place to put the final touches on the book as I was able to concentrate on the work in a new environment, giving me fresh energy to see the project in a different perspective and from a different country. Arriving by train from the Netherlands through France was an adventure and I started in the second week of December. The apartment was very comfortable, providing everything a researcher or writer needs to be productive.

I did two activities while at Faber Andorra. One was a talk to high-school children about how to build a research question and to think about the environment in the future. The students were brilliantly attentive and were clearly very engaged with the issues. The other was a public talk about my book in Andorra la Vella. At both events there were fantastic questions which highlights the change in society as we consider the predicament humanity is in from a large-scale perspective.

My experience in Andorra was very memorable, from the snow-covered mountains to the friendly people in La Massana. Meri Blanco Lara was a wonderful host who did a fantastic job of organizing events and looking after any of the problems that arised. It has been wonderful experience.

Notícies, articles i activitats

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