Sunday, August 21, 2016

Space exploration

As Eddie and I continue our very own space exploration programme, I felt that yesterday's blog post came across as perhaps a bit too harsh. In part, I think my strong emotional reaction has to with a basic commitment to equality of opportunity. It is simply unjust that I should be able to live like this while others are left to suffer from chronic fungal infections and condemned to toil away in the unbearable heat of rice paddies. Beyond that however, I think my reaction has to with how we see the future more generally. I imagine a future in which humanity has achieved technological maturity, one in which an abundance of clean energy makes possible absolute decoupling from nature and global scale rewilding.

It is important to remember that this is not about pragmatism or merely choosing the “lesser evil” in a time of ecological trauma. It is about making good on our highest aspirations as a species, to once again become “wanderers” as Erik Wernquist puts it in his wonderful short movie. It is about making peace with nature through advanced bioremediation technologies and de-extinction.

None of this of course means rejecting the beauty of hikes or small-scale farming. It is rather to make the future aesthetic appreciation of nature possible that we need to effectively disentangle economy from ecology.

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