July 20, 2010 · 7:00 PM
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Stewart Brand, the author of "Whole Earth Discipline" and founder of the Long Now Foundation, was on Colbert Nation a few weeks ago. Being a lifelong environmentalist and a pragmatist, the title of his book immediately caught my attention. Brand is an environmentalist, but he holds certain positions that contradict some long-held opinions of left leaning environmentalists. He argues that cities and urbanization, biotechnology and nuclear energy are all ideas that humanity will have to embrace if we are to forestall climate change and the "cataclysmic deterioration of the earth's resources."
Could humanity have a million year future to look forward to on this planet? Is technology our salvation? The idea that some environmental organizations, that I hold dear to my heart and support financially, could be hindering progress, and by doing so, accelerating climate change and its threat to civilization is an irksome thought. I have long been a supporter of biotechnology, and more recently of urbanization. I've started coming around to the idea that we need to embrace nuclear as part of our strategy to slow climate change. This book has solidified some of these positions for me.
Where do you stand? Do you believe that nuclear is too dangerous a source of energy to use to offset some fossil fuel use? Does biotech frighten you or are you enthralled by the seemingly limitless possibilities the technology opens to us? Do you romanticize the family farm and think that we should support policies to keep farms as small as possible? Or do you see factory farms as a means of efficiency that frees more land to go back to a natural state?
Come, bring your arguments, sources, statistics and join me for a friendly but heated debate.
The meeting will be in the Hillcrest/Northpark area. I will email the location to those that RSVP.