Technocratic Ecomodernism– Lecture Response

In this lecture, multiple visions of ecological utopias (or dystopias) found in present day discourse were dissected, critiqued, and compared. Technocratic ecomodernism believes that humans should embrace, rather than minimize, their impact on the planet in this current Anthropocene era, by employing technology to disconnect human impact from non-human nature. This paradoxical perspective of increasing human impact to reverse the negative environmental effects of human impact reflects the confusion, complexity, and uncertainty in present public discourse about the environmental debate in relation to modernity. By presenting multiple visions of ecological utopia, this lecture reveals how unearthing a healthy balance between pessimism, pragmatism, and glorification of present technology is a challenging feat. It also begins to unveil the irony of capitalist giants (Gates, Zuckerberg, etc) coming together to pool their privately-earned wealth for clean energy research, with the federal government allotting 14x the amount of funding for defense as it allots for clean energy research. It would be interesting to continue exploring the relationship between private and public responsibilities in these future visions of ecological utopias, inviting designers to view institutional reform as a medium for speculation, as the lecture proposes as a conclusion.

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