Re: Coming Ecological Catastrophe

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 3 Feb 1997 11:20:49 +0100 (MET)

In my personal ethical system, I regard complex, diverse systems as a
fundamental good (this is a completely arbitrary basis, but it works quite
well). This of course implies that a biosphere is something *very*
valuable, and that keeping it viable and diverse is an ethical act. It
also implies that ideally, I should not interfere in it to decrease its
(long run) diversity, and that to achieve this I should also try to
convince others about the same thing (see the meme? :-).

Not all extropians or other transhumanists share this ethics (in fact, we
seem to have a free market for ethics :-), but I think most agree more or
less with the basic premise that *extropic* systems are valuable. So in
the long run we are very radical environmentalists, since we want to
extend the biosphere to encompass the entire universe, not just a single

On the other hand, how protection and extension of the biosphere should
be implemented in practice, that is another matter; there are several
approaches ranging from fiat by nanotechnological superiority to free
markets, and the debate between them tends to run hot.

BTW, the widespread belief that we are nearing an ecological catastrophy
might in some sense be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many people seem to
become passivated by this idea, thinking that it is inevitable and hence
not doing anything practical about it. And the people who become activated
by it unfortunately tends to demand harsh solutions with little regard for
other opinions (after all, they are saving the world). Just goes to show
that we need to develop the human mind a bit further...

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y