Wednesday, June 22, 2016

California on a roll

A year ago, the release of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto” catapulted eco-political debates into the Anthropocene. By breaking with the palliative “fudge” of sustainable development, ecomodernism highlighted the stark macro-political choices confronting humanity in a world of uncontrolled climate change, rapid biodiversity loss and, still, highly uneven processes of globalization. Motivated by a sense of wonder of nature but also the political and moral impossibility of sustained global poverty, ecomodernists controversially argue that rather than fearfully backing into a warming world or fighting an impossible political battle to impose ecological austerity, both human and natural flourishing depend on consciously accelerating the transition to a high-energy planet of equalized life opportunities. As such, the ecomodernist worldview is propelled by a proactionary imperative which seeks to overcome both environmental and geographical determinism. Unlike traditional environmental thinking which is concerned with the just distribution of ecological space in the present, ecomodernism aims to find a long-term global trajectory towards universal prosperity on an ecologically vibrant planet.

After spending four days around Sacramento and bike-friendly Davis working on my new co-authored book, I am about to drive down to Sausalito where I will attend this year’s edition of the Breakthrough Dialogue. It took a few long brunches of revisions for me and my co-author Jon to find the right tone in our writing (the text above is one of many that we deleted) but now it feels like we are finally on track. As for the Dialogue, I am very excited about this year’s theme (“Great Transformations”) and my own panel on Ecomodernism and the Left. More to follow.


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