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Stewart Brand's "Whole Earth Discipline"

At long last, Viking-Penguin releases tomorrow the much-anticipated Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by the celebrated author, environmentalist, Merry Prankster, finder and founder Stewart Brand.

In his “New Nukes” chapter, he calls out to his old and new friends with clear advice:
To my mind, the Green path forward begins with environmentalists realizing that nuclear power will grow no matter what we do. Our customary opposition would make it grow badly – slowly, expensively, unsystemically, and with dangerously poor overall coordination. But if we encourage it in the right way, nuclear energy growing well would mean that it minimizes humanity’s carbon-loading of the atmosphere; that it collaborates well with other carbon-free or superefficient energy forms; that it helps generate other Green services such as desalination or hydrogen . . . that it helps eliminate nuclear weapons; that it securely energizes cities and thereby helps to reduce world poverty . . .
Among other laudatory reviews, Kirkus declares Whole Earth Discipline to be “breathtaking in scope and implication—a must-read.”

Publisher’s Weekly: “Brand’s fresh perspective, approachable writing style and manifest wisdom ultimately convince the reader that the future is not an abyss to be feared but an opportunity for innovative problem solvers to embrace enthusiastically.”

Richard Rhodes sums the matter: “Brand’s new book is like the man himself: smart, practical, wise and full of goodwill.”


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There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
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Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…