Blair Conrad's Reviews > Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto

Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, library, john-udell
Read in December, 2009

An interesting look into Brand's thoughts and feelings about our world and its current warming plight. I learned an awful lot about the merits of genetic engineering and about nuclear power (relative other "clean" alternatives). At times I felt like Brand was focusing on the positive aspects of the solutions he prefers, to the exclusion of the downsides, but he's hardly the only one to do that and he, at least, labels his book as a manifesto - we're here to get his opinions.

Some things I enjoyed about the book:
Brand occasionally refers other authors (and researchers), but without fail he treats them politely and fairly, unlike some others that I've read - it was a breath of fresh air. Also, he makes it clear which techniques he'd prefer to pursue to help fight global warming and to be "Green", but pragmatically discusses approaches (specifically planetary engineering) that may be necessary in the short term, in order to buy us the time to let the more desirable ones work. The chapter notes are at, keeping me from having to flip, flip, flip between the middle and end of the book, and allowing Brand to add to and correct them at need. Oh, yeah, the proposed herds of elephants (or mammoths!) roaming across North America would be very cool, whether they have merit or not.

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