Stewart Brand is considered a giant of the American environmental movement. He gained early renown as the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog, the iconic bible of the back-to-the-land movement of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. His influence in multiple arenas of culture, politics, science and technology has been massive, iconoclastic and profoundly original. Brand’s unique road has led him through cultural milestones from Native American issues, Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, organizing historic rock concerts, and his early prediction that when humans finally saw a photograph of the whole Earth from space that it would usher in a new era of environmental awareness. He famously published that iconic image on the cover of the Whole Earth Catalog. Brand has founded many remarkable organizations including The WELL, the oldest online community; The Global Business Network (GBN); and, The Long Now Foundation. Brand also published the CoEvolution Quarterly and the Whole Earth Software Review, which were combined in 1985 to form the Whole Earth Review. He is the author of numerous books, most recently, Whole Earth Discipline: An Eco-pragmatist Manifesto.
It was Brand’s long-time interest in the potential of technology to solve human problems that led to his apostasy on the issue of nuclear power in 2005, when he became one of the first high profile environmentalists to do so. When in 2003 he was commissioned to participate in a study for the Pentagon on the national security implications of abrupt climate change, he looked into the realities of nuclear power as a greenhouse-gas-free source of electricity and discovered he had been misled for decades on the subject by his fellow environmentalists. He has been widely influential among a new generation of environmental leaders who are rethinking traditional approaches to climate change.