Environmental heresies

Environmental heresies

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The New York Times has an article about Stewart Brand (Whole Earth Catalog, WELL) – he uses hackers/hacks in a way I’ve always thought was inspiring-

Stewart Brand has become a heretic to environmentalism, a movement he helped found, but he doesn’t plan to be isolated for long. He expects that environmentalists will soon share his affection for nuclear power. They’ll lose their fear of population growth and start appreciating sprawling megacities. They’ll stop worrying about “frankenfoods” and embrace genetic engineering.

…He predicts that all this will happen in the next decade, which sounds rather improbable — or at least it would if anyone else had made the prediction. But when it comes to anticipating the zeitgeist, never underestimate Stewart Brand…

…He thinks the fears of genetically engineered bugs causing disaster are as overstated as the counterculture’s fears of computers turning into Big Brother. “Starting in the 1960s, hackers turned computers from organizational control machines into individual freedom machines,” he told Conservation magazine last year. “Where are the green biotech hackers?”

…That’s a good strategy, whether you’re trying to build a sustainable career or a sustainable civilization. Ultimately, there’s no safety in clinging to a romanticized past or trying to plan a risk-free future. You have to keep looking for better tools and learning from mistakes. You have to keep on hacking.

Stewart Brand – John Tierney – An Early Environmentalist, Embracing New ‘Heresies’ – New York Times – [via] Link.

4 thoughts on “Environmental heresies

  1. JohnDorsey says:

    World hunger is not a technological problem. It is a political one.
    Comparing concerns about Gen Modified foods to those regarding computer misuse is nonsense. When humans have mismanaged crops and livestock, we’ve ended up with potato famines, dustbowls, and kilometers-long rabbit proof fences.
    Grafting and hybridizing are the same as GMing foods. As he has in the past, John Tierney states positions that are dangerous oversimplifications.

  2. JohnDorsey says:

    I mistyped. Meant to say grafting and hybridizing are NOT the same as GMing foods.

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