Stewart Brand’s latest book, “Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto,” contains a dagger in its subtitle. To write a manifesto on behalf of “ecopragmatism” is to imply that the current environmental movement has become dangerously impractical. In his Big Think interview today, Brand—one of the intellectual godfathers of the modern green movement—confirmed that the thrust was intentional, citing nuclear power and biotechnology as two developments that activists have undermined their cause by rejecting.
Brand has had one of the most unusual careers of all our experts, having been not only a prominent environmentalist and author but also a military man and a Merry Prankster with Ken Kesey. (We asked which of those last two experiences was more formative.) He also coined the famous paradox “Information wants to be free, yet information also wants to be expensive,” and in the age of media websites struggling to monetize content, we asked whether he was willing to offer any updates to his dictum 25 years later.
Brand’s interview will be posted in early December.