Alex Steffen

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Alex Steffen in 2008.jpg

Alex Steffen (born 1968) is an American writer, editor, public speaker and futurist most noted for his bright green ideas.


"Kids born today will see us navigate past the first greatest test of humanity, which is: can we actually be smart enough to live on a planet without destroying it?" - Quoted in ABC show Earth 2100[1]

"Any future which is not beautiful is unacceptable.

"No future can be beautiful which involves an economy that violates the rights of future generations, that degrades fundamental planetary systems in any way, or that fails to offer every human being a basic share of safety, dignity and happiness.

"The future starts now."[2]

"Cynicism is often seen as a rebellious attitude in western popular culture, but in reality, our cynicism advances the desires of the powerful: cynicism is obedience."[3]

"We can freely acknowledge the tremendous struggle ahead of us, and yet choose to remain decidedly optimistic, and to work from a fundamental belief in the possibilities of the future. … Every time we explain how a better future might be built, we redraw the boundaries of the possible."[4]

"We have to develop a model of prosperity that 4.5 billion more people can share and we don't know how to do it."[5]

"To be young and aware is to suspect that, in the end, the debate about climate action isn’t about substance, but about rich old men trying to squeeze every last dollar, euro, and yen from their investments in outdated industries. It is to agree with the environmentalist Paul Hawken that we have an economy that steals the future, sells it in the present, and calls it GDP. It is to begin to see your elders as cannibals with golf clubs."[6]

“Our goal should be to cool the planet in ways that reinforce and restore the resilience of its natural systems.”

"My other car is a bright green city." - name of essay

"The answer to the problem of the American car is not under its hood. ...The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car but to eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go."[7]

  3. Go bright green | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books
  4. WorldChanging: The Politics of Optimism

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