September 24: Is It Time for Ecomodernism? (London)
Event Date: September 24 2015
Traditional green politics today stands exhausted everywhere. In the run-up to UN talks in Paris in December 2015, nations are promising emissions reductions. But hope of a binding treaty vanished long ago. Meanwhile, people from Bangaladesh to Bavaria are retrenching on the ambition that solar panels and wind farms will power the world. And with 400 new plants in construction, our attempts to rein in coal are clearly failing.
Activists, journalists and policy makers are growing increasingly critical of the traditional environmentalists’ focus on pseudoscientific and rhetorical campaigns. And the resulting exclusion of so many bright minds and progressive thinkers from environmental policies. Meanwhile the need for an intelligent, evidence-based response to the demand for energy, food and water grows urgent. So, after a 30-year stranglehold on those policies, can we embrace something more effective and more realistic?
For the last several years a small group of insurgent pro-nuclear and pro-technology greens have answered that question with a resounding yes. Last Earth Day, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas, and 16 other coauthors published An Ecomodernist Manifesto to acclaim and controversy.
On Thursday, September 24, Sense about Science, Energy For Humanity, and Breakthrough Institute will cosponsor an evening event at the Free Word Centre in London. Tracey Brown of Sense about Science will make opening remarks. American ecomodernist and president of Breakthrough Institute, Michael Shellenberger will kick off the program by arguing that ecomodernism — and only ecomodernism — can make the planet habitable for future generations. A discussion will follow, and wide audience participation will be welcome. He will be joined for a discussion by University College London professor of biodiversity and ecosystems Georgina Mace and Shadow Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change Baroness Byrony Worthington. Our goal is to fill the room with leading thinkers and doers and have a conversation that will help launch the ecomodernist movement.