Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins
provides points to a chart by A. Bates, providing two axes to array the writers who interest him most. The axes are transformation vs revolution, and collapse vs ecotopia. I guess in my terms that would be whether the author advocates gradual or abrupt transition of society, and whether the author expects that strategy to be workable.
It’s an interesting model. I have great respect for Hopkins, though I wonder if he’d return it. That is, like Lomborg or Tol, he may consider me off the map entirely, since I pretty much am sympathetic to technofixes delaying the day of reckoning. On the other hand, I think that gives us more time to get to the sort of world Hopkins envisions.
From our point of view, other than McPherson (who gets an implicit dismissal in the diagram and the text) the main people he thinks about are unfamiliar in climatology circles. Hansen is, I think, misconstrued as revolutionary, but I guess there is no Iowa in the British Isles. McKibben is there. Anderson is probably the English Kevin Anderson (not the Austin one).
Other than that, the only people who’ve ever even crossed my awareness are Greer and Orlov, who are articulate pessimists… and (Derrick) Jensen, who is a very angry person. An interesting selection.
What’s more interesting is who is missing. Okay, I understand that this is not an academic list. nor an American one. But if Stewart Brand or Alex Steffen or David Roberts are not on there, am I missing some British equivalents?
I don’t see anyone here I’d really qualify as a whole systems thinker who is grappling with the fact that the planet is now in need of management at the whole system level, like a patient in a sickbed.
Nobody on this map seems to contemplate the huge social hurdles involved before we can get to managing the earth system in any holistic way in the way environmental science is starting to think about it. This is retail environmentalism from corner to corner, and it misses the mark.
We have our work cut out.