Colbert Grills Stewart Brand on Nukes, Oil

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photo via comedy central

This week, Stephen Colbert brought on Stewart Brand, who has been an environmental leader almost since the first Earth Day but who has softened some of his positions. Brand created the Whole Earth Catalog, published between 1968 and 1972, which showed its readers how to live a more sustainable lifestyle and championed the Do-It-Yourself mind set. Now Brand has changed some of his more green orthodox positions, such as being against nuclear energy. Colbert pushed him on supporting more offshore oil drilling, making for an uncomfortable dynamic with the environmentalist sticking up for oil.Brand has a new book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, in which he comes out for nuclear energy after crusading against it for decades. Colbert tested him on this. Brand contends that the threat of climate change is so great that we must explore using greater nuclear energy, which has a much smaller carbon footprint but has problems of its own.

"Thirty years ago, the environmental movement sort of decided some things, and it hasn't changed much since, and the world's changed a lot," Brand said. "So I think now that cities are green, nuclear power is green, genetically-engineered crops are green..."

"Wait," Colbert cuts him off. "Nuclear power is green? Why, cause that's the color we'll eventually glow?"

"But, you used to be against nukes," Colbert points out.

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More on Stewart Brand:
Stewart Brand and Nuclear Power
Author of Whole Earth Catalog Favors Nuclear, GMOs, and Geoengineering at Off-Site TED Conference