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In my one meeting with Brand, sometime in the early 70s, I found him to be a petty bureaucratic-minded authoritarian, uninterested in any ideas not his own and unwilling to look into anything new no matter how important it might be. He seemed totally fixated on his gradiose ideas and showed no trace of curiousity about those of anyone else, including world-class thinkers whose names, though not their concepts, were well-known to him.

Nothing in this laudatory biographical sketch in any way changes the very negative impression I formed from meeting him. As a long-time environmentalkist, I conclude the environmental movement-and the earth- are better off without him.

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I can't' believe you, Michael Shermer, has fallen for this space age snake oil guru's totally anti humanitarian credo. Anyone who urges people to act as "gods" has got to be either a

new Hitler or just off his rocker. Brand is not and never has been someone with a truly ecological conscience or intellect. He is not alone in having a fevered imagination and an ability to inspire others to believe in bullshit. He is fact, for us environmentalists who have been in the movement, hands-on, for decades, a complete fraud and phony. It isn't the first time that someone with his uncanny talent as a New Age magician transfixed the public. People are always looking for new saviors and new adventures and all of these turn out to be fantasies that contradict science as well as human frailties and failures. Brand made his own

Brand out in California, not surprisingly, where anyone with the ability to speak could organize

a new religion and attract new converts. Brand's brand is no different. It is a one=man religion with no relevance to the real world or real people. It is a manifestation of a giant ego, almost a God fixation. This takes advantage of people who are insecure, weak, threatened or marginalized in a society increaisngly susceptible to half-price sales of snake oil (species of snake unknown but it behooves us to take extreme care). Brand is a manipulator of the first rank. That you actually have accepted his teachings despite your personal skepticism and atheism is astounding. You have a lot more to learn. I wish you luck.

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Lorna, can you provide some specific examples of how Stewart Brand harms the environmental movement? Your comment here is just ad hominem. Is it that he supports nuclear power as a necessary ingredient in our sources for energy? Anything else?

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It isn't so much that he harms the movement but that he distorts its objectives and, with regard to nuclear power, has not bothered to do the research, seek out dissent, understand the inherent dangers or comprehend the energy policy field sufficiently to understand why environmentalists oppose it. My comments are not ad hominem but apply to many technophiles like him whose vision is so broad that the important and necessary details and complexities are trivialized or actually ignored. His vision and that of others who prefer to explore imaginary worlds rather than examine the existing one and realistic solutions to its problem is one that is at its core anti ecological. Futurists share these glaring deficiencies because they are almost exclusively focused on their own ideas and concepts, so rather than confront reality with knowledge and an open mind, they simply try to fit everything else into their own private Procrustean bed. As an environmental activist, organizer, lecturer and writer who focused on nuclear power since about 1972 I have encountered many like him and have had to try and get them to open their minds in a slightly different direction. i might add that my words apply to you too; you seem to have accepted without scrutiny his pro nuclear position. This is regrettable, given your proud skepticism and intelligence. If you wish and permit,I can send you some of my writings or you can check my web site: www.lornasalzman.com, where I deal extensively with nuclear power but also indirectly with Brand in my review of the

late unlamented BreakThrough Institute and Michael Shellenberger, who now has is own

blog, gets published mainly in the right wing media and who also relied on Brand for his own quite uninformed bloviating pro nuclear propaganda. Sorry if you dont like ad hominem attacks but sometimes it is necessary. i am happy to discuss this further.

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