And what’s this ecomodern one mean anyway? The eco suggests ecology, but the idea grows out of a disillusionment with the current environmental movement in that the solutions it’s offering up are simply not viable and their approach is often counter-productive, alienating large sections of the public with their finger-wagging, telling us all how we should be living. There’s also the aversion so many have to technologies that could reduce our impact on the planet, such as nuclear power and genetic engineering.

The ism that underlies ecomodernism is rationalism. It’s about finding rational solutions to the problems we face. Of course, many traditional environmentalists would argue that the solutions they propose are entirely rational, that to go for nuclear power or genetic engineering would be insane.

But if you’re going to say those things are insane, you have to be able to say why. If there are risks, they have to be quantified and balanced against the benefits, as well as against the risks of inaction.

Debates on these issues in environmental groups so often aren’t very rational. People tend to fall back on the “our group has always been anti-nuclear/anti-GM so if you think differently you should go and set up your own group”. And here it is. A group for environmentalists who think differently. There’s only a couple of us here on this site at the moment, but if you think you might be an ecomodernist, please join us.

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