A new type of environmentalist: the “ecomodernist”
Science blogger Adam Hanbury-Brown reviews the manifesto at EcoScienceWire:
The Breakthrough Institute recently released The Ecomodernist Manifesto which gives us a window into the mind of a new type of environmentalist: the “ecomodernist. The Ecomodernist Manifesto does not call for a tree-hugging back-to-nature movement, nor does it seek the execution of capitalism as does Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. The manifesto outlines a roadmap for creating a future in which economic growth is “decoupled” from environmental impact– in other words where prosperity is no longer dependent on the destruction of natural places. According to the manifesto, their vision requires a deliberate and sustained effort to foster technology that will allow humanity to thrive while curating wild space and biodiversity.
The assertion that economic growth and sustainability can be accomplished together is often met with a retort that capitalism is fundamentally at odds with our world of finite resources. Yet, when you look at the authors of the manifesto it is clear that they form a smart, pragmatic group of people. It’s also clear that they are genuine environmentalists. Authors include Martin Lewis, senior lecturer at Stanford University; Stewart Brand, biologist/ex-military/founder of Revive and Restore; the co-founders of the Breakthrough Institute, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger; and many other thought leaders in the environmental arena. So, how do they believe we can pull this off?