Ecopragmatism on NPR



On the drive home, NPR is a staple. Well, to be honest, it’s not the first station I tune in when I get inside the car.

I am a music lover at heart, and a talk radio lover at brain. In other words, first comes music, second comes talk.

In this way, if you think about it, it makes sense that I’m a sucker for NPR.

The station seamlessly mixes lots of good music into their programming, including but not limited to the awesome compositions of Four Tet.

So, I guess you could say that NPR kind of cheats by appealing to my feel-good side as well as my neverending search for truth.

Yes, I still have a healthy appetite for information, especially when it comes to new ways of looking at old problems. Like today,

On Point was talking with Stewart Brand, who wrote a book about ecopragmatism.  The author piqued my interest when he said something along the lines of how it’s not nature we should be worried about, but the end of civilization.

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He mentioned the genocides happening in Darfur as a result of a dearth in resources, not conflicts over religion or ethnicity, but a general lack of what people need to live.

He also noted that already over half the world’s population lives in major cities, which makeup around 3% of the Earth in terms of surface area.

This trend of moving from rural areas to the city, said the author, is the best thing we have done for the environment.

He went on to say that people who live directly off the land – chopping wood, killing animals, fishing lakes – or farther away from cities but not directly off the land, use up more resources than city dwellers,

and it’s in everyone’s best interest to protect our natural resources if we want to keep Darfur from happening on a larger scale. Of course, the Darfur genocides shouldn’t be happening on any scale, but that’s for more than just a post.

Getting back to Brand’s idea of ecopragmatism.

Apparently, cities get more out of resources than those individuals/societies who live closer to the Earth.

And all this time I looked at the city as a cesspool of negative externalities, whereas the Great Outdoors is environmentally friendly and green.

Cities are dens of dirty water, dirty air, noise, crime, car accidents, germs. Dens of wasted food and junk in general. But I guess, according to Stewart Brand, cities are indeed man’s greatest achievement.

What do you think of Brand, if anything at all?

::Check out the source for more authority–> On Point::

October 22, 2009 5:12 pm

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