(To view the PDF version of the program, click HERE.)
TECHNO-UTOPIANISM & THE FATE OF THE EARTH
October 25-26, Great Hall, Cooper Union, NYC
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 10AM-10PM
I. TECHNOLOGY VS. NATURE
Technological innovation, celebrated throughout history, has had profound effects upon Nature, and human beings– our ways of thought, operating systems, power structures, and how we experience our own existence. This is especially so in the new cyber-tech world. Justifications still range from humanity’s “unquenchable thirst” for knowledge, to the imperatives of economic growth, wealth and power in our economic system, to the acclaimed search to bring comfort and happiness to a global population. So, how have we done? What have been the trade offs? Meanwhile, spectacular, dreadful impacts continue and accelerate. Immediate change is required in our thinking, behavior, values and economies, before Nature and human society are terminated.
10:00AM–11:30AM OPENING PANEL
This panel is introduced by Ralph White of the New York Open Center.
Jerry Mander (IFG): Questions We Should Have Asked About Technology
Richard Heinberg (Post Carbon Institute): The Party’s Over
Anuradha Mittal, India (Oakland Institute): Stealing Nature
Andrew Kimbrell (ICTA): The End of Market Capitalism?
11:30–1:30PM CLASH OF WORLDVIEWS
This panel is introduced by Linda Sheehan of the Earth Law Center.
Eileen Crist (Virginia Tech): Confronting Anthropocentrism
Tom Butler (Foundtn for Deep Ecology): The Language of Dominion
Lisi Krall (State U. of NY): The Economic Evolution Of Dominion
Susan Griffin (“Woman & Nature”): Speed, Consciousness & Quantification
Charlene Spretnak (“The Resurgence of the Real”): Dynamic Interrelatedness
1:45PM–3:15PM NATURE’S PRESENCE & OUR AWARENESS
This panel is introduced by Stephanie Mills, author of Turning Away from Technology.
David Ehrenfeld (Rutgers Univ.): De-extinction and Its Residue Problems
Doug Tompkins (Deep Ecology Found’n): Technology & Nature/Clash of Concepts
Mary Reynolds Thompson (Author): Reclaiming The Wild Soul
Wes Jackson (The Land Institute): Nature Is the Final Measure (1)
II. TECHNO-SOLUTIONISM: BUILDING SUBSTITUTE NATURE
With the planet depleted, overbuilt and poisoned, wild nature and its great gifts are disappearing. The economic challenge for a growth economy is to save itself by building entirely new resource bases to replace the old ones: New genetic foods, new genetic people and beings, new chemical skies to replace old ones (the victims of climate change), new molecular systems, new weaponry on earth and soon, in space, et. al.. For corporations, innovation solves the problem: Ignore the mess, create saleable “green” false solutions, and build and market “substitute nature” for uninterrupted product development and growth.
3:15PM–4:00PM FALSE SOLUTIONS
This panel is introduced by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute.
Michael Huesemann (Author, “Techno-Fix”): Why Technology Can’t Save Us
John M. Greer (Author, “The Wealth of Nature”): False Promises
4:00PM–6:15PM THE QUEST FOR “NEW NATURE”
This panel is introduced by Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.
Clive Hamilton, Australia (“Playing God with Climate”): Geo-Engineering/New Skies
Pat Mooney, Canada (ETC. Group): Nanotechnology/New Earth
Debbie Barker (Center for Food Safety): GMOs/Corporate Techno-Food
Jim Thomas, Canada (ETC. Group): Synthetic Biology/Designing New Life Forms
Film Excerpt (Bregtje van der Haak): “DNA Dreams” (5 min.)
Andrew Kimbrell (ICTA): Genetic Redesign of Human Beings
Katie Singer (“An Electronic Silent Spring”): EMR: Radiation Soup
6:45PM–7:45PM SPECIAL GUESTS’ COMMENTARIES
This panel is introduced by Jerry Mander of the International Forum on Globalization.
Ralph Nader (Center for Responsive Law), Author, Unstoppable
Bill McKibben (350.org), Author, The End of Nature
7:45PM–10:00PM “FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND” (Truman on the A-Bomb); NUKES, DRONES, MILITARY ROBOTS
This panel is introduced by Koohan Paik of the International Forum on Globalization.
Koohan Paik, Guam/Korea/US (IFG): Marketing Nukes, Drones & Robots
Helen Caldicott, Australia (Physicians for Social Responsibility): Hiroshima, Fukushima & Beyond
Film Excerpt: Paradise Lost (15 min.)
Neisen Laukon, Marshall Islands: Present at the Birth
Bruce Gagnon (Global Network vs. Weapons in Space): Space Tech & Corporate Full Spectrum Dominance
Film Excerpt: Robotic Takeover of the Military (5 min.)
Gar Smith (Earth Island Institute): Robots, Nature and the Singularity
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 10AM-7:30PM
III. CYBER ENVELOPMENT & HUMAN AWARENESS
We once lived in contact with wild Nature, and in-close human community; connected, embedded. Handing the future to technology, innovation, industrialization, and expansionist growth, human connection is now largely with machines, manufactured projected imagery, and cyber systems, generated from far-away mega-powers. A new kind of alienation, from Nature and from self, has appeared. We are enveloped by manufactured imagery and tech processes; they immerse society and become part of each of us. Does“Nature” exist anymore? Are we happy now?
10:00AM–12:30PM LIFE INSIDE THE MACHINE
This panel is introduced by Charlene Spretnak, author of The Resurgence of the Real.
Langdon Winner (Rensselaer Polytech Inst.): Power Fantasies at the End of Modernism
Film Excerpt (Bregtje Van der Haak): TechMan (5 min.)
Douglas Rushkoff (CUNY Queens): Present Shock: Everything Is Now
Chet Bowers: Techno-Language vs. Nature
Stephanie Mills: Everyday Life in the Modern World
Aiden Enns, Canada: (Geez Magazine): Life Offline
Craig Holdrege (Nature Inst.): Hyper-Real & Real/Humans in Cyber World Discussion
IV. WHICH WAY OUT? INGREDIENTS OF CHANGE
We start with the Primacy of Scale. Not large scale, small scale. Not global, local. Not faster, slower. Not more, less. Not top-down, bottom-up. Not private, shared. Not investor-owned, community owned. Not more tech, less tech. Not meta-economics, micro economics. Not competitive, collaborative. Not more trade, less trade. Not more energy, less energy. Not big business, small business. Where do we go from here?
12:30PM–2:30PM NOT GLOBALIZATION, LOCALIZATION
This panel is introduced by Debbie Barker of the Center for Food Safety.
Vandana Shiva, India (Navdanya): Introduction & Overview
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Sweden (Local Futures): Economics of Happiness
Severine von Tscharner-Fleming (Greenhorns): Young Farmers’ Movement
Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe): Keystone Pipeline on Native Lands?
Victor Menotti (IFG): Keystone, Globalization, & the Koch Brothers
Mzwanele Mayekiso, South Africa (iKweze Institute): Fighting Fracking & Mining, and Other Extractive Technologies in Africa
David King, UK (Breaking the Frame): What Did the Luddites Say?
2:45PM–4:45PM INDIGENOUS VALUES & THE RIGHTS OF NATURE
This panel is introduced by Claire Greensfelder of INOCHI.
Jeannette Armstrong, Okanagan, Canada: Indigenous Economics
Linda Sheehan (Earth Law C’ter): Codifying Nature’s Rights in Human Law
Atossa Soltani, Iran/U.S. (Amazon Watch): Keep the Oil in the Ground
Patricia Gualinga, Kechwa, Ecuador (Amazon Watch): Keep the Oil in the Ground
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Igorot, Philippines; UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Shannon Biggs (Global Exchange): Campaigning for Rights of Nature
4:45PM–7:00PM HYBRID ECONOMICS
This panel is introduced by Andrew Kimbrell of ICTA.
Bruce Thompson (CIIS): Ecological Economics
Randy Hayes (Foundation Earth): True Cost Accounting
Richard Heinberg (Post Carbon Inst.): Steady-State Economics
Joshua Farley (U.Vermont): Economics & the Anthropocene
Lisi Krall (State U. of NY): Wild Earth Economics
Tom Butler (Deep Ecology): Rewilding
Wes Jackson (Land Institute): Nature Is the Final Measure (2)
7:00-7:30 PM ALL PARTICIPANTS ON STAGE
We are eternally grateful for the generous funding support that made this project possible. Special thanks to Foundation for Deep Ecology (Doug Tompkins), as well as Marian Weber, Peter & Mimi Buckley, CS Fund, Center for Food Safety, Marion Hunt, and Nancy Schaub.