On the Differences Between Ecomodernism and Effective Altruism

Alex Trembath at The Breakthrough Institute:

For years I’ve interacted with people who seem to agree with me on the issues—the government should fund technology policy, nuclear energy is good, not bad, economic growth can drive positive-sum improvements for humans and nature, environmental activists are kind of full of shit—but who, when pressed, stop short of fully endorsing ecomodernism as a philosophy or a project. And while we at the Breakthrough Institute have done our best to set up ecomodernism as a “big tent,” inclusive of all sorts of ideological backgrounds and merely “ecomodern-ish” folks, many of these people have left me puzzled. Even discounting the fact that most people will not take as enthusiastically to ecomodernism as I do, it just seems obvious to me that many more of these people should get on board than have done so to date.

The emergence of effective altruism has given me more sympathy for the skeptics.

I am an ecomodernist, not an effective altruist. And it’s funny because, over the last few years, I have met many self-identified effective altruists, often themselves quite inclined towards ecomodernism, whose views and habits of mind I also really admire.

More here.