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Column Marianne Loof | Eco-Modernism as our salvation

03 September 2015

Cobouw marianne loof 150901 eco modernisme als redding

After a summer filled with financial and humanitarian crises, it was a relief to come across a positive outlook on yet another crisis: the ‘ecological’ one. Hidde Boersma describes in the Volkskrant how urbanization, intensification, and modernisation assimilate population-growth, resolve poverty, and basically save the planet. This idea originates from a compact manifest titled ‘Ecomodernism’. The main thesis of this manifest states that only a strict separation of people and nature will reduce the ecological footprint of humans. We should confine people to urban areas, and let nature run freely around the enclosed cities.

This wisdom is nothing new under the sun, but the manifest provides us with a readable and coherent line of argumentation with the inevitable conclusion: technology, agricultural intensification, and urbanization are essential for a liveable planet without poverty and hunger. Globally, there is a trend of urbanization, but without clear management. This requires an organised government, and decent environmental planning. For a long time, the Netherlands was exemplary in these domains. Unfortunately, we are no longer taking the lead, and the expertise has slowly deteriorated. In Dutch environmental planning 2.0, the government plays a less significant role, and their part is shrinking by day. Yet, for the ecological crisis, we are going down the wrong path. I hope that the insights of the Ecomodernism-manifest will result in an environmental planning 3.0, in which the interests and desires of people as collective are held central. Without the realisation of these collective benefits we will not resolve any crisis; not the financial, not the humanitarian, not the ecological.

September 2015,