Required reading for holier-than-thou environmentalists

In his excellent book, Whole Earth Discipine: An Eco-Pragmatist Manifesto, Stewart Brand puts into words what I've been thinking (less articulately) for a long time:
The long-evolved Green agenda is suddenly outdated -- too negative, too tradition-bound, too specialized, too politically one-sided for the scale of the climate problem.
He follows with a trenchant observation that had not occurred to me:
Far from taking a new dominant role, environmentalists risk being marginalized more than ever, with many of their deep goals and well-honed strategies irrelevant to the new tasks. Accustomed to saving natural systems from civilization, Greens now have the unfamiliar task of saving civilization from a natural system -- climate dynamics.
He also talks about
a plethora of environmental newsletters that purport to be scientific but actually [have] more in common with hardball politics
Yes. And more:
The real story of Prince William Sound is how resilient many natural systems are and how rapidly they bounce back when human pressure backs off even a little.
This part really resonated with me:
Scientists freely criticize each other ... but they are weirdly polite with environmentalists. It smells of condescension.
One last bit:
When environmentalists are wrong, it is frequently technology that they are wrong about, and they wind up supporting parochial Green goals at the cost of comprehensive ones.
Okay, this is really the last one:
The charismatic expert who exudes confidence and has a great story to tell is probably wrong about what is going to happen. The boring expert who afflicts you with a cloud of howevers is probably right.
These quotes all come from Chapter 7 titled "Romantics, Scientists, Engineers." Read the whole chapter. Better yet, the whole book.

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