Dr Pangloss and Myself Take Heart


I wholeheartedly agree with William McDonough with his assertion that ecologically informed design methods can solve many, if not all, of our environmental problems. In theory anyhow.

In this article in Nature “Carbon is not the enemy”, he is optimistic. We need optimism like this. Even if it borders on Panglossion absurdity. The alternatives are no less absurd and offer guaranteed misery and destruction. I am with him in his message that we should try to enlist people to have a concrete positive effect rather than to merely “do less bad”. Many of the current carbon reduction initiatives are predicated on ideas that have a quality of – let’s only jump gently off this cliff.

Recent political events have confronted me with the fact that most people in positions of influence over these matters are far from willing, let alone able to understand the complexity of ecological thinking and design. It is important that knowledge like McDonough’s is forcibly projected into their orbits, so there is at least a chance they may come to understand it. They are certainly not going to come and discover these ideas.

I am going to add to Solaesthetic’s inscribed objectives a prosthelatising mission. This idea is unformed as yet, but it is too important not to act.

Politics is not everythinga and change for good does happen, never as fast as human attention craves, but if we hold to our principles with integrity and assert them wisely, then we will make things better.