Design Observer: "Alex Steffen - Worldchanging II"


Alex Steffen - Worldchanging II

"I think one of the difficulties of our present moment is that it’s difficult to pick a singular cause of any problem. Certainly fossil fuels are planetary disasters in the making but if you look at it, fossil fuel use is connected to all sorts of other things. In North America, it’s connected to land use; suburbs use a heck of a lot more energy and are responsible for more emissions than urban areas. And it’s connected to inequality and racism: there’s a bifurcation of issues ranging from energy to social spending to white flight that’s directly related to our history of being a very racist society. That whole tangle of our history is something we have yet to address. On the one hand, it’s great to keep a focus on the big challenges: planetary boundaries in general. On the other, it’s important to recognize that while those problems appear simple at first take, they are deeply nested in systems, and those systems are deeply politicized. Which is part of the reason it takes a 600-page book to really talk well about them."