Stewart Brand - “Whole Earth Discipline”


SB has been a leading environmentalist for over 40 years. He initiated the “Whole Earth Catalogue” in 1968 – and it was published regularly for 16 years, giving valuable practical advice for those who wanted to live a more self-sufficient life. He has been involved with business and government ever since in his mission: “We are as Gods and we HAVE to get good at it”.


SB's core belief is that big science, big corporations and big government can solve our problems and allow humanity to continue along a path of sustainable development.


SB starting point is that it is only by co-ordinated government action and international co-operation that the menace of climate change can be avoided. He believes that technical and engineering fixes can be directed by government to achieve a continued sustainable development of human activity on Earth. These include nuclear fission for energy, biotechnology and genetic engineering for agriculture and carbon capture for global warming.


In this high tech scenario SB believes that as population continues to move into larger and larger cities this will make the task of preserving the Earth life systems easier.


In effect SB's views represent an extreme case of the emerging new “green” agenda which borders on eco-fascism. Against this we have a counter viewpoint of the “purist” green who believe our only answer is a return to nature and healthy wildness. Neither extreme seems to take account of the other option which is to inspire a cultural change which makes technical fixes unnecessary.