Review: Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand

Review of
Whole Earth Discipline An Eco-pragmatist Manifesto  
by Stewart Brand,
the founder and editor of The Whole Earth Catalog,
published by Viking, copyright 2009.

  Whole Earth Discipline advocates the best course for the world to decrease CO2 levels and minimize the human contribution to global warming  is development of cities, nuclear power and genetic engineering.

     Whole Earth Discipline earns it's appositive "Manifesto" because it argues for a dramatic departure from some of the social or cultural norms that have developed over the last 50 years.

     The book is largely a dramatic disagreement with the following statements, that I offer as cultural beliefs: "small farms are best", "big farms raising huge crops with genetically engineered seed with very few workers are bad", "cities are crummy places", "nuclear power is worse than coal power", "genetic engineering makes frankenfood" and "organic food and organic farming are best".

     In relationship with this blog Put Carts on the Public Bus, the book Whole Earth Discipline does not engage with the automobile culture or transportation in cities.

Here is a WikiPedia summary of Whole Earth Discipline

  How does Whole Earth Discipline compare and contrast with the physicist's energy and CO2 analysis Without Hot Air that I reviewed a few months ago?

Link to Without Hot Air, energy and CO2 analysis

  • Whole Earth Discipline (WED) addresses cultural values and argues for changing them.
  •  WED has a lot of dialog and attempts at describing in a gentlemanly way the sometimes dramatic and painful differences in values between Mr. Brand and a number of Environmental and Political groups.
  • WED doesn;t get into the engineering details of nuclear power, cities or  farms.
  • WED does not have the complete book available online. The WikiPedia entry is an overview of the book.
  • Without Hot Air (WHA)addresses energy consumption and proposes reductions.
  • WHA has the book available online. 


No comments: