Ecomodernists say yes to nuclear

In case you’re new to ecomodernism, let me quote Matt Ridley, author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. In his discussion of the Ecomodernist manifesto, Matt Ridley gave the following discussion of ecomodernism:

“Until now, green thinking has wanted us to go back to nature: to reject innovations such as genetically modified food, give up commerce and consumption and energy and materials and live simpler lives so that nature is not abused and the climate is not wrecked. The eco-modernists, who include the veteran Californian green pioneer Stewart Brand and the British green campaigner Mark Lynas, say this is a mistake. “Absent a massive human die-off, any large-scale attempt at recoupling human societies to nature using these [ancestral] technologies would result in an unmitigated ecological and human disaster.”

Seven billion hunter-gatherers or subsistence farmers would devastate the planet. Seven billion people living mostly in cities and using plastic, glass, metal and farmed chicken instead of wood, skins, fur and bushmeat, could actually afford to set aside vast nature reserves. The ecomodernists say humanity must embrace technology and growth so as to “shrink its impacts on the environment to make more room for nature”.

Here’s the full article of Matt Ridley

Ecomodernists see a big role for nuclear power, as it is the energy source that has the the smallest footprint of all presently available energy sources. The manifesto does not mention molten salt reactors, but states that ‘A new generation of nuclear
technologies that are safer and cheaper will likely be necessary for nuclear energy to meet its full potential as a critical climate mitigation technology.’

Well, the development of that new generation is already taking place. Molten salt reactors seemlessly fit into the ecomodernist agenda, as is clarified in this TED Talk by Micheal Shellenberger, director of the Breakthrough Institute.