Stewart Brand is one of the great visionaries of our time. His latest book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, argues that ‘Being Green’ is no longer enough. Three profound transformations are underway on Earth: climate change, urbanisation and biotechnology. Unless environmentalists keep up with new science, and embrace tools and disciplines that they have traditionally distrusted – such as science and engineering – in order to forestall the cataclysmic deterioration of the earth’s resources, they will become part of the problem.
Brand shatters a number of environmental myths and argues that cities are greener than the countryside, nuclear power is the future of energy, and genetic engineering is the key to crop and land management. Through scientific rigor and blazing advocacy, Brand offers a bold and creative set of policies and solutions for producing a more sustainable society. He is in discussion with Brian Eno, musician and composer, cultural critic and writer who has a long-standing interest and involvement in new thinking about politics and the future.
Suggested hashtag for Twitter users: #foiecopragmatism
“This brilliant, elegant treatise by a veteran defender of the Earth’s health will be a challenge to those parts of the environmental movement that loathe nuclear power, believe that cities are wasteful and dehumanising, distrust GM agriculture and technological ‘fixes’ ingeneral. But anyone with an open mind and a free spirit will be deeply stirred by Brand’s passionate realism and measured optimism. There isn’t much time, climate science keeps telling us. If that is the case, one urgent priority would be to read this deeply engaging book and be prepared to do some serious re-thinking”.
Ian McEwan on Stewart Brand’s new book
To listen to this recording please click on the audio player below.
Stewart Brand is the founder of and original editor of The Whole Earth Catalogue. He is the author of The Clock of the Long Now and How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, and is the Director of the Global Business Network in Emeryville, California. He lives on a tugboat in San Francisco Bay. His latest book is Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.
Brian Eno is an English musician, record producer, music theorist and visual artist, and one of the principal innovators of ambient music. He has worked with Roxy Music, David Bowie, John Cale, Cluster, Robert Fripp, David Byrne and many others. He produced three albums by Talking Heads, seven for U2, including The Joshua Tree (1987), as well as albums by Laurie Anderson, Coldplay, Paul Simon, Jon Hassell and Devo, among others. As an artist, Brian Eno pursues multimedia ventures in parallel to his music career, including art installations, public lectures and ‘Oblique Strategies’ (written with Peter Schmidt), a deck of cards in which each card has a cryptic remark or random insight meant to resolve a dilemma. He is a patron of Client Earth, the environmental NGO, and of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) which campaigns for nuclear disarmament. In 1996, Eno and others started the Long Now Foundation to educate the public about the very long term future of society.
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