Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whole Earth Discipline Previewed

One of the environmental movement's founding fathers, Stewart Brand, has a new book out: Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto. In it he lays out the case why environmentalists should embrace nuclear power, genetically modified organisms, and mega-cities. The book grew out of an earlier article Brand wrote for the MIT Technology Review in 2005.

This is remarkable. Brand founded the Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, and preached the merits of "back-to-the-land" life, seemingly the opposite positions of those presented in his new book. But he has not given up his environmentalism; rather, he has come to the realization that modern civilization requires high technology, and that such a civilization is more likely to be environmentally friendly than is barbarism.

I have heard Brand interviewed on NPR, but have not read the book yet. When I do, I will post a complete review. This is a welcome sign that the stultified dogma of the environmental movement may finally be cracking.

1 comment:

  1. For some lighter reading ......

    Stewart Brand was also kind enough to endorse my book "Rad Decision: A Novel of Nuclear Power."

    One thing most pro-nuke and anti-nuke folks share in common is a lack of understanding of how the technology is used in the real world. It's not The Simpsons and it's not Star Trek. I've worked in US plants over 20 years and have written a novel aimed at the general reader. It covers the people, politics and technology of this energy source, looking at both the good and the bad. "Rad Decision" is free online, and is also in paperback. See the homepage for reader comments - they seem to like it for both its story and information. I think there are many possibilities for our future, both with and without nuclear power, but I also believe we'll make better decisions about our energy future if we first understand our energy present. http://RadDecision.blogspot.com

    "I'd like to see Rad Decision widely read." - Stewart Brand

    It looks like you enjoy an eclectic mix of topics. I hope you'll give RD a try.