Stewart Brand's 'Ecopragmatism'


In the 1960s, Stewart Brand became one of the country’s first and most famous champions of a new ecological awareness. His Whole Earth Catalog spoke to a generation of hippies and back-to-nature commune dwellers.

Now, at 70, Stewart Brand is calling on environmentalists to reframe their understanding of the problem — and solutions. It’s too late for back-to-nature, he says. Global warming is beyond that.

To survive now, Brand says, we need nuclear power, genetic engineering, giant cities. We must manage nature or lose civilization.

This hour, On Point: In the face of global warming, Stewart Brand redefines green.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Stewart Brand joins us from Denver. Founder and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, founder of The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronric Link), and co-founder of the Global Business Network, he’s president of the Long Now Foundation. His new book is “Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.” 

Joining us from New York is Amory Lovins, co-founder, chairman, and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute. He’s author of “Winning the Oil Endgame.” You can read his critique of Stewart Brand’s book at

Later this hour:

We’re joined from New York by Bill McKibben, longtime environmental journalist and founder of, an advocacy group organizing events across the world on October 24 — “International Day of Climate Action.” He’s coordinating what he says will be about 1,000 events, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the streets of the U.S.

More links:

Here’s Stewart Brand speaking at a TED conference in July on rethinking “green pieties”:

Amory Lovins was on in August talking about energy efficiency and climate change:

And here’s Bill McKibben in Australia this summer talking about the “350” movement:

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