This is my first post on the Techonomy blog, so I mainly want to introduce myself. I’m Chris Mooney, a blogger for Discover and author of several books about the relationship between science and politics, and how things sometimes go dramatically splat in this area.
So I may seem, in some ways, an odd duck at Techonomy—except for the following fact.
As someone who’s extensively covered climate change, evolution, and stem cell battles (among others), I’ve learned there’s a fundamental dynamic here. Something in science or in technology comes along and dramatically changes our lives—and then people resist it. They fight back against the future, or change, or just plain reality.
Grasping this dynamic has in turn led me to look for the next set of issues that are bound to create similar tensions. That’s where Techonomy comes in. There’s a session on geoengineering—strategies for remaking the planet artificially so as to thwart climate change. Well, you can expect that idea to cause a lot of conflict if and when we're seriously on the verge of "planet-hacking."
There’s a session called the “Longevity Dividend,” about interventions to achieve an extension of the average human lifespan. Well, you can expect that to cause a lot of tension too, if and when we reach a point where these interventions actually work and become widely available.
Even remaking the energy economy--the topic of a session entitled "Reinventing Fire: How businesses can lead us beyond fossil fuels" featuring Amory Lovins--sparks resistance. People protest wind farms that (they think) mar landscapes. And while they want less carbon intensive fuels, they may also resist attempts to obtain large volumes of natural gas from newly reachable shale resources, especially if it means major extraction endeavors in their backyards.
So I’ll be blogging about these types of topics—and also, I hope, going further afield and learning some new things. It’s great to be here. We’ll talk soon.