The ABC recently ran a story called 7 ways environmentalists have had it wrong (which you can read here http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2015/05/18/4220842.htm). ‘Ecomodernists’ who are mentioned in the article as being some of the most noted environmental thinkers of today have put together “An Ecomodernist Manifesto” which purports to explain to environmentalists 7 things they’ve been doing wrong all this time.
At first hearing of this we were pretty outraged, here we are trying to look after the environment and you have this group come along and start tarring and feathering environmentalists. However we hadn’t even read the manifesto yet and so we thought we should cool down, have a read and let you know what all the fuss was about, and importantly our opinion at ACM Group on this ecomodernist viewpoint.
1.Human Technology Is Bad
If so, then why have so many of us gotten behind solar power and energy efficient lighting etc. They were big schemes here in Australia, not without fault but people genuinely tried and got behind the idea. I don’t know of any environmentalists who got behind a human technology is bad banner, just that we can always do it better.
2. Humans Need Connection With Nature
They say if humans don’t have a connection with nature they won’t destroy it. If you’re using electricity in Australia and not going outside, guess what? You’re still directly affecting nature via coal mining and pollution. Humans should definitely have a connection to nature, it’s a natural part of us.
3. Humans Are Part Of The Ecosystem
By trying to use land to survive we destroy it apparently, part of the ecosystem or not. Ecomodernists argue that if we make nature worthless we won’t try and use the land, so the last pristine areas on the planet will be areas no one bothers to go to because there’s nothing there we can use. We don’t really want to comment.
4. Unlimited Energy Is A Bad Thing
“Many environmentalists have long argued that we need to reduce our consumption, rather than find new ways to feed it.”
While we agree reduced consumption is a good idea, there are a slew of innovative new energy producing technologies being developed that we really need to develop. Wind, solar and excitingly fusion power are all on the cards as Germany has gone through the first tests of a working fusion power reactor.
5. Nuclear Energy Is Bad
This is a rather divisive concept in the environmental field, on the one hand we can create relatively clean power using nuclear technology, on the other hand when accidents happen the ecological effects, let alone the cost of suffering is tremendous. I think in the future environmentalists and ecomodernists alike will be able to get behind fusion power and we can drop the nuclear debate altogether.
6. Genetically Modified Food Is Bad
ACM Group has done a lot of research around the GM food debate and we hold what is probably a bit of a controversial view. Genetically modified food is good! What’s that you said? Hear us out.
If we as a species find a species of grain which can raise food production from the same amount of plants we think it’s a fantastic idea in order to be able to feed the worlds growing population.
What’s not cool is using GM products in an aggressive business sense, creating variations of stock that die within a generation or holding people to stringent business deals in order to be able to obtain seeds.
GM food has the opportunity to create fantastic benefits for the world, the business side of it however is pretty questionable!
7. Thinking Environmentalists Are Peak Everything
It’s been said for years we are going to meet peak oil soon, peak food, peak this, peak that etc.
It is true we haven’t yet reached the limits of what we can do technologically, and we’re going to continue to grow. People are not going to stop taking oil out of the ground, so we need to keep pushing technology to reduce the footprint when we do do these things.
At the end of the day, labels cause division, environmentalists, ecomodernists, it doesn’t matter we’re thinking along the same lines and maybe we need to talk and consider the different options. We should put together some of the best ideas from both camps, the connection with nature and the technological race to save the planet working hand in hand.
Read the Manifesto here – http://www.ecomodernism.org/