Sage & Spirit: Talking With John Perry Barlow and Stewart Brand

Where did conservation and America’s conservative movement part ways? Is the flight to the cities in the developing world a positive phenomenon? Has the population bomb been defused? This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss these topics and more with two iconic sages of the green movement – Grateful Dead lyricist and green entrepreneur, John Perry Barlow along with author, ecologist and former Merry Prankster, Stewart Brand.

Perhaps best known as a lyricist for many of the Grateful Dead’s most enduring songs like “Let It Grow,” “Estimated Prophet,” and “Cassidy,” John Perry Barlow is also a co-founder of the digital-rights advocacy organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Barlow is also a prolific writer and environmentalist whose most recent project is an advanced bio-fuel startup known as Algae Systems. Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise sat down recently with him at his home in Mill Valley, CA to reflect on where the planet’s headed (and us along with it) as well as his thoughts on the conservative movement of which he was once a part.

Next, we continue our ongoing conversation with Stewart Brand, an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He founded a number of organizations including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation. He’s the author of several books, most recently Whole Earth Discipline, in which he takes an optimistic view of the future of this whole earth. Earlier this year, Brand sat down with me to share his evolving opinions on nuclear energy (click for archive) and his unorthodox beliefs about genetically modified organisms (click for archive). In this episode, Brand discusses the digital divide, human population trends, and the suggestion that living closer to the earth might actually involve moving to the city. To read more about population issues, Brand suggests The Coming Population Crash by Fred Pearce.