Friday, January 19, 2018

Left Field

My mentor at Rutgers, Stephen Eric Bronner once wrote that the Enlightenment idea of progress “militated against closure and perfection”. Unlike contemporary Green or nationalist thinkers who desperately seek stability and homogeneity, the Enlightenment was about remaining curious in an open-ended world.

Reading Geoff Mann’s and Joel Wainwright’s new book “Climate Leviathan”, it would be an understatement to say that much seems to be at stake in the decades ahead. Rather than expending my energy on refuting yet another Malthusian tome, I guess I should wrap up the proofreading of my own forthcoming article “The High-Energy Planet”. In the article, I make the case that ecomodernism is essentially a form of social democracy for the Anthropocene, offering a vision of the future that has room for the unexpected and a radical plurality of lifeworlds.

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Though originally from Galicia, the albariño grapes have certainly found a hospitable home along the rivers of Gisborne, N.Z. With a Tortilla Española and some kale salad, I am again half-way between worlds. Next week, I will be back again with Aristotle, Hobbes and Kant.

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