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Ecomodernism
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A manifesto to use humanity’s extraordinary powers in service of creating a good Anthropocene.
A manifesto to use humanity’s extraordinary powers in service of creating a good Anthropocene.

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Great +NYTimes documentary on the unrealized horrors of population explosion, featuring Manifesto coauthor +Stewart Brand: “How many years do you have to not have the world end” to reach a conclusion that “maybe it didn’t end because that reason was wrong?”
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Franklin D. Roosevelt, #ecomodernist :

"FDR was right then, and the ecomodernists are right now. The technological intensification of food production, including perhaps even what Franklin Roosevelt in 1926 called 'a synthetic diet,' can feed a world of billions of city-dwellers — while allowing many former farms and pastures around the world to revert to the wild. That is a vision of a good Anthropocene worth fighting for."
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Atomkraft? Ja bitte! Major article on nuclear energy, development, and ‪#‎ecomodernism‬ in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
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Recently, climate scientist David W. Lea and +California Academy of Sciences Director Jon Foley had an impromptu exchange about ecomodernism. Make sure to read this thoughful conversation here: https://storify.com/theBTI/two-views-on-nature
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The last two weeks have seen an outpouring of commentary and debate over An Ecomodernist Manifesto. One of the main criticisms of the manifesto is that there is no evidence that humans are in fact "decoupling" economic growth from environmental destruction.

Such a claim would surprise environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel, who recently wrote an essay on all the ways Americans have begun to consume less and tread more lightly on the planet. See the evidence in this magisterial piece, "The Return of Nature."
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Matthew Nisbet of Northeastern University writes of the rhetorical heat sparked by AN ECOMODERNIST MANIFESTO:

"Most academics and journalists avoid challenging the powerful forms of groupthink that have derailed our efforts to combat climate change. In this regard, attacks on those who question cherished assumptions have had a powerful chilling effect. We therefore depend on risk-taking intellectuals like the ecomodernists to lead the way, identifying the flaws in conventional wisdom, and offering alternative ways of thinking and talking about our environmental future."
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Charles Kenny of the Center for Global Development chronicles the long history of attempts to dam the Congo River. Today, the Grand Inga Dam project could potentially power half of the continent.

But as Kenny writes, "In one of the world’s most corrupt and politically volatile countries, can today’s planners succeed where so many others have failed?"

Grand Inga presents an important case study for ‪#‎ecomodernism‬: how poor countries move up the energy ladder.
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"On this 45th anniversary of ‪#‎EarthDay‬, let us resolve to leave nostalgic dreams of recoupling with nature behind and embrace instead an ecologically vibrant future in which all of humanity thrives by increasingly leaving nature alone."
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Manifesto coauthor Stewart Brand argues that we are not headed for a Sixth Extinction.
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