Today marks the online release of Wired's Green issue. We're delighted to the see the words of our own Alex Steffen introduce the conversation, which also includes Al Gore, and a select group of "neo-greens," who've helped push sustainability into mainstream culture and consciousness.
This "Next Green Revolution" - as Alex said on Earth Day - really does need to be regarded and enacted not as a facelifted reiteration of a decades-old movement, but as a series of present-day solutions to present-day problems. That perspective comes through loud and clear in Wired. As we create a more sustainable civilization, we need people to actually understand the systems which make that civilization possible -- techies, engineers, architects, designers, investors and entrepreneurs -- as well as green-minded citizens and consumers. Technology and business aren't the only tools we have to change unsustainable systems, but they are key mechanisms of the movement towards a greener future. It's great to see a 21st Century environmental perspective on the pages of a publication that so heavily influences these fields.
Flinty Catherine Mulholland, author of the biography of William Mulholland - the water "czar" who brought water to Southern California in the early 20th century - was asked to comment on her famous grandfather's many critics. Her response:
"They take baths don't they?"
Thanks for writing such a great article. There are many great solutions out there that are succumbing to the whiplash of Luddites who "know not what they do." Maybe your article will help them change.
The Luddites opposed only technology that 'offends the commonality' - i.e. bad technology. I'm sure they would be in favour of technological solutions, as long as the social and ecological impacts were positive.
That said, I think it is important to keep in mind that technofixes are not always the best solution, even if they are a solution. For example, is a car powered by hydrogen from a processing plant of genetically-engineered algae really better than no car at all? Even these greenest of green technologies do have negative social and ecological impacts. These factors always need to be considered before backing a technology.
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