Ralph Nader: No Legal or Ethical Framework Regulates Earth-Shaking Technologies

Posted Oct. 29, 2014

MP3 Interview with Ralph Nader, citizen activist and former independent presidential candidate, conducted by Scott Harris


As the “Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth” conference got underway on a sunny October morning in New York City, Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology and president of the Northeast Wilderness Trust noted his skepticism on the unwieldy conference title and proposed a more compact alternative, “The FRED Talks,” an acronym he said stood for "Facing the Reality of Extinction and Doom."

As it turned out, Butler wasn’t far off the mark. An impressive roster of more than 45 environmental researchers, philosophers, writers and activists gathered for the two-day “teach in” at the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in Greenwich Village, where a wide range of technology critiques were presented that undoubtedly left many in the audience with a sense of dread. Among those participating in the conference were Australian anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, Randy Hayes, founder of the Rainforest Action Network, Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute, Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org; environmental activist Vandana Shiva and Ralph Nader, America’s pre-eminent citizen activist.

The conference focus, as described by its primary sponsor, the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization or IFG, was to “examine the profound impacts – environmental, economic and social – of runaway technological expansionism, and cyber immersion, where the tendency is to see technology as the savior for all problems. The IFG concludes that a change of direction is required by returning the fate of nature to the center of economic and social decision-making." Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with four-time independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, a conference participant, who talks about the need to exert more democratic control over corporate technology and its uses.

Ralph Nader's latest book is titled, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” Find more information and hear recorded speeches and interviews from the Techno-Utopianism conference.

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