Advice to Young Environmentalists: “Get Out of Dodge”
Stewart Brand is an author, pioneering environmentalist, and former editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, which he published from 1968 through 1998. In the early 1960s he served as an infrantryman in the U.S. Army and was subsequently associated with Ken Kesey's "Merry Pranksters" movement. He is president of The Long Now Foundation and co-founder of the Global Business Network (GBN), a consulting firm that helps businesses, NGOs, and governments plan for multiple possible futures. His most recent book, "The Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto," was published by Viking-Penguin in 2009.
Question: What advice would you give young environmentalists?
Stewart Brand: My strongest feeling is that anybody who wants to be active in the whole environmental realm needs to focus on science; many of them already are. But not just ecology, but microbial ecology, because that's the breakthrough area. We're finally understanding the beginnings of what's going on with microbes and they rule the world, so if we understand how we do that will have some sense on how to join their balancing act. But I want everybody to study journalism so they know how to write to a deadline, to study acting so they know how to perform in front of a camera, to study anthropology so they get out of their own tiny little mindset, and go study a few languages, also to get out of their tiny little minds, to travel like mad and to get out of Dodge.
Recorded on November 17, 2009
Interviewed by Austin Allen
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