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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Whole Earth Discipline
An Ecopragmatist Manifesto

Stewart Brand

NOTE SPECIAL DAY/TIME FOR THIS LECTURE: Monday, October 26 at 7:00pm

According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist (and creator of the Whole Earth Catalog) who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization — half the world’s population now lives in cities, and 80% will by midcentury — is altering humanity’s land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world’s dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, Brand suggests that environmentalists are going to have to reverse some long held opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted. Only a radical rethinking of traditional green pieties will allow us to forestall the cataclysmic deterioration of the earth’s resources. Whole Earth Discipline shatters a number of myths and presents counterintuitive observations on why cities are actually greener than countryside, how nuclear power is the future of energy, and why genetic engineering is the key to crop and land management. With a combination of scientific rigor and passionate advocacy, Brand shows us exactly where the sources of our dilemmas lie and offers a bold and inventive set of policies and solutions for creating a more sustainable society.

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