When I read An Ecomodernist Manifesto, authored by some of the the world’s leading environmentalists, scientists, and scholars, it was the first time that I felt any sense of hope that we, as humans, might either overcome or adapt to the seemingly insurmountable problems we’re facing with climate-change. The message is exciting to me because it’s a rational, pragmatic approach that might actually work.
With a warming planet and an extra 2 billion people to feed in the coming decades, my efforts to recycle, turn off lights, or even sponsor one hungry child have seemed futile. Most of us are either in denial or feel so impotent that we’ve resigned ourselves to whatever is coming. The current environmentalist movement seems to be full of ineffective screamers who are demanding we go back to the Dark Ages.
The most affluent people in this world are trying to tell the less well-off and the downright starving that they are not entitled to the same food choices and energy privilege they themselves have enjoyed. The lectures about carbon footprints from celebrities with private jets, the self-righteousness of East Coast elites who have never seen a working farm, and the runaway adoption of pseudoscience from upper middle class mothers in the West has created an atmosphere of boiling resentment and opened the door to acceptance of conspiracy theories and the rejection of sound science.
An Ecomodernist approach acknowledges the situation with a rational eye and looks toward science and technology for solutions such as genetic engineering and nuclear energy. The possibility that we may be able to feed 9 billion and bring energy to 9 billion while still protecting and healing our planet, isn’t necessarily a fantastic notion.
I’m not sure there is much I can do about celebrities or obnoxious Manhattan philosophers but I do hope to break through the cesspool of misinformation targeted at loving mothers wanting to do the best for their families. Mothers are a driving force behind medical, nutrition, and health trends. The current atmosphere of dangerous pseudoscience and magical thinking is directly impacting the implementation of humanitarian solutions in the developing world.
If mothers in the West can turn back toward sound science and away from Internet charlatans with their snake oil and fear-mongering, we can be part of a paradigm shift toward realistic action for our planet and our children.
“We see a world where climate change, biodiversity loss and other ecological threats are mitigated, managed and reversed pragmatically, using the best social, political and technological tools available.” -Mark Lynas , A Good Anthropocene? speech to Breakthrough Dialogue 2015