Originally published at Futures Exchange. There are few things more satisfying than watching new technology and creative people conquer entrenched industries. Whether it’s Etsy, Zipcar, Airbnb, Napster, you name it. There is something deeply appealing about seeing an underdog make a clever website and knock down a power structure. It can be such a beautiful thing.
Which is why it gives me, and should give other bleeding hearts like me, great dread to see a suite of such disruptive business models, commonly referred to as the Sharing Economy, leading us toward a cyber-libertarian dystopia. Read More
Originally published on Futures Exchange. | Imaginative minds are exploring some strange and audacious solutions to our worst environmental problems. They are not, however, for the faint of heart, particularly if you have a strong attachment to the human body as it currently exists.
Biologists have already been toying with the idea of engineering endangered species to make them more resilient, or even resurrecting certain extinct species. But there’s a set of artists and scholars taking the concept of green bioengineering much further, imagining new species of synthetic, beneficial creatures and even biologically modified humans that leave a lighter footprint on the planet. Read More
| Essay originally published on Futures Exchange, via Medium, on October 22, 2013.
Bill McKibben was firing up a rally of climate activists in Cambridge, Mass., this past summer in preparation for a protest and mass arrest at one of the state’s coal-fired power plants:
“The message we need to keep sending all the time is, there is nothing radical about what we’re asking,” he said. “All we’re asking for is a world that works the way the one we were born into worked. That’s not radical. That’s actually kind of conservative.”
This is a shrewd point, and just one part of a pretty powerful overall talk, but as an environmentalist, I found the sentiment troubling. If the green movement’s rallying cry is to keep the world the way it was when we were born, isn’t it fairly doomed? Sounds like a stodgy, if not pointless cause. I would argue that, for environmentalism to stay vital in decades to come, it’s going to have to stop being so resistant to change, and dive into a far more imaginative conversation of what our future might hold. Read More