My childhood was intertwined with the ecosystems of this valley. Countless adventures and day-long exploration let me experience it all – and it, me. It instilled in me a preconscious environmental awareness, which now as an adult and a father is balanced by an appreciation of the structure and services of the advanced industrial society that enabled my idyllic youth. It’s from this perspective that I embraced Ecomodernism when I found it.
The concern that this new environmentalism will dictate a wholesale movement of people to cities, divorced from nature, borders on disingenuous; there is no prescription in clearly stating the demonstrated ecological benefits of concentrated populations which save nature by default. There is no sharp city-nature delineation, and there will always – increasingly – be secret valleys which remain uneconomical for development yet valuable to conservation efforts.
If, after these years of study and consultation, I felt that any of this could be endangered by the potential expansion of the nuclear energy fuel cycle in South Australia, I wouldn’t be an advocate. The opportunities before us offer an assurance of a broader horizon for my children, while I make every effort now to provide to them as much of the unrestricted nature as I took for granted. And with the uncertainties of climate disruption we will need concentrated, plentiful energy with which to reliably ensure the needs of this state are covered: water, air conditioning, clean transportation, and responsible usage of our natural resources.
I’ll gladly consider alternatives to Ecomodernism, especially ones which republish every criticism. Similarly, I’ll take claims about alternative energy sources seriously, but I’ll demand the same high standard of evidence that modern nuclear energy meets. My childhood was ineffably fortunate, but even in such a location would have instead been hardship without the underpinnings of reliable energy. Is it up to us to improve upon that, or disrupt it? I choose the former and reject the latter.