The long view

Many people improving the environment think only in terms of the air they breathe in their hometown and the water in the aquifer under their hometown. My guess is very few are thinking centuries ahead or thousand of years ahead, but that’s what we have to do.Pete Seeger (via Adam)

Growth is not the answer

we do not share the view of many of our economics colleagues that growth will solve the economic problem, that narrow self-interest is the only dependable human motive, that technology will always find a substitute for any depleted resource, that the market can efficiently allocate all types of goods, that free markets always lead to an equilibrium balancing supply and demand, or that the laws of thermodynamics are irrelevant to economics. [more]

Hope is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency

Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable. [more]

Grumpy Nostalgists

We are plagued by grumpy nostalgists — mystics on both wings who preach hostility to science and technology, who yearn for the past. Our only route is forward. The answer to the problems generated by science is… more science. Open science, innovative, reciprocally critical, transparent, searching for positive sum games, able to detect potential errors. [more]

The difference between technical and political difficulty

“If you’re talking to someone who isn’t following the climate change discussion very closely, they may not understand the difference between technical and political difficulty. It does them no favors to talk about inevitability and the fall of civilization. They’re either going to think you’re nuts or they’re going to join you in despondency. [more]