Nukes, slums and GE crops: another shade of green?

Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Catalog founder and environmental movement pioneer, makes his case for why nuclear power, urbanization and genetically engineered crops are not only “green,” but a moral imperative, in a TED talk video for US State Department.

His key takeaways:

  • Slums and squatter cities aren’t full of people crushed by poverty, but rather a promising new economic model that’s helping them escape poverty as fast as they can.
  • Nukes are the only realistic near-term solution to urgent environmental threat that coal energy poses.
  • The huge increases in crop yields under adverse growing conditions that GE crops promise are an ecological advance because it feeds more people in the developing world with less land and energy.

Lots of holes can be punched in his arguments. But the presentation succeeds in stirring the pot on what our environmental priorities should be, and that’s a good thing.