From a old article by Walter Truett Anderson originally published in Mother Jones in their September/October 1996 issue. Article titled “There’s no going back to nature” is in my mind a truly remarkable and visionary document reflecting many of my thoughts about what seems a dysfunctional relationship between environmentalism and science, technology and innovation. I found this article through the blog Collide-a-Scape
We are not in — nor about to be in — a world with a small human population living simply and leaving nature alone. The future belongs to proactive environmentalists who use information and technology to make ecosystems
This relationship cannot continue to be “dysfunctional” for our own sake, especially if we want to ensure a future for humanity. This future in my mind implies finding a pragmatical way to ensure environmental protection, use and enhancement…which demands agricultural intensification through increases in productivity through whatever means contribute to that mission. Including the intelligent and innovative use of science, technology and innovation.
The term technological fix deserves some attention here, since it’s one of the staples of ecotopian rhetoric, along with the promiscuous overuse — to the point of meaninglessness — of the word “natural.” The argument against simply fixing up something with a technological repair job may well apply in some specific cases — if, for example, a person is presented with the choice between having a quadruple bypass and adopting a healthy lifestyle — but it really doesn’t have much relevance to most current environmental concerns. The world is not faced with a simple choice of either adopting more environmentally sensitive attitudes or applying new technologies. Rather, we are seeing both a rapid evolution of technology away from heavy industrialism and value shifts about the environment.