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The Conversation #46 — Mark Mykleby

Today, in America right now, we only can think of growth in quan­ti­ta­tive terms. And in a resource-constrained envi­ron­ment, how frickin’ stu­pid is that? You’re actu­al­ly impos­ing your own death sen­tence by not being able to get over the grip of this quan­ti­ta­tive dynamic.

The Conversation #44 — John Seager

In 1962, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth con­trol pill. I would sub­mit that that’s one of the four or five most trans­for­ma­tive tech­no­log­i­cal changes of the last mil­len­ni­um. Not just the last cen­tu­ry. Because for the first time in the his­to­ry of the world, half the peo­ple on Earth no longer have to depend on the oth­er half for the arc of their lives.

Forbidden Research: Messing with Nature Part I: Genetics

When it comes to a field as fast-moving and as high of stakes as genet­ic engi­neer­ing, how do we pro­ceed wise­ly? How do we bal­ance our own wild­ness and civil­i­ty as we devel­op increas­ing­ly pow­er­ful ways to inter­act with the liv­ing world?

Forbidden Research: Messing with Nature Part II: Climate

Solar geo­engi­neer­ing rests on a sim­ple idea that it is tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble to make the Earth a lit­tle more reflec­tive so that it absorbs a lit­tle less sun­light, which would part­ly coun­ter­act some of the risks that come from accu­mu­lat­ing car­bon diox­ide in the atmos­phere. When I say tech­ni­cal­ly pos­si­ble, it appears that at least doing this in a crude way is actu­al­ly easy, in the sense that it could be done with com­mer­cial off-the-shelf tech­nolo­gies now, and it could be done at a cost that is real­ly triv­ial, sort of a part in a thou­sand or a part in ten thou­sand of glob­al GDP.

Planetary Initiation

I think that Western mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion end­ed up kind of caught in a trap locked in its egoic struc­ture, and based our whole trip on kind of hyper­indi­vid­u­al­ism, accu­mu­la­tion of resources, and so on. And we’ve now reached a point where we can’t go fur­ther than that.

The Conversation #37 — David Keith

There are biol­o­gists who’ve spent their careers work­ing on some species of bee­tle in the trop­i­cal rain­for­est, and they just love the rain­for­est in their bones And they feel that when they go tes­ti­fy in Congress to some com­mit­tee, that they can’t just say, I love it in my bones and you guys will love it too, if you share it with me.” They have to say, Oh, we’ve done all this math and com­put­ed that there’s an ecosys­tem ser­vice here.” And I think that that has real­ly impov­er­ished our debate about envi­ron­men­tal issues.

Making Conservation Proactive

We’re liv­ing in this amaz­ing time. The speed of inno­va­tion has cre­at­ed tech­nolo­gies that have lit­er­al­ly reimag­ined indus­try after indus­try. Technology has improved almost every tool that we use on a dai­ly basis, and it’s time to start bring­ing this tech­nol­o­gy to use for good.

The Conversation #33 — Priscilla Grim

I was at a par­ty one time where I was talk­ing to some guy who had been pro­filed by Adbusters because he was a big cli­mate change guy. And he basi­cal­ly told me…that I need­ed to be mak­ing my own food, I need­ed to be mak­ing my own clothes. So you’re telling me that as a work­ing moth­er going to school full-time, along with those respon­si­bil­i­ties in which I am at home study­ing most the time, I should be mak­ing my daughter’s clothes. I should be whip­ping up meals from scratch. Um…no.

The Conversation #30 — Henry Louis Taylor Jr.

We don’t have a con­cept of bal­ance. Not only do we not have a con­cept of bal­ance, but we have a very dis­tort­ed sense of social jus­tice that has been reframed to jus­ti­fy a soci­ety that is fun­da­men­tal­ly anchored around the con­cept of imbal­ance. The resources of the world clus­ter toward a hand­ful of very very pow­er­ful coun­tries, one coun­try hav­ing an even greater share. In order to jus­ti­fy this greater share, it’s made them believe that this high­er con­cen­tra­tion of pow­er is nor­mal, and that any­body in all coun­tries can have it, and that all coun­tries should aspire for it.

The Conversation #25 — Frances Whitehead

Some of my artist friends think what I’m doing isn’t art, and I’ve giv­en up on art. It’ll take care of itself. You know. I mean it’s always been there, it will always be there, and we always know that new art nev­er looks like art at first, ever. So why should this be any dif­fer­ent? We just have to trust the process. And I would say that must be true for every oth­er discipline.

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