Johannes Kopton is a systems scientist working on agricultural decision analysis at the University of Bonn. He is co-founder and chairman of the German environmental NGO Eco-Progressive Network (EcoProg). At EcoProg he works on promoting evidence-based approaches to environmental sustainability by combining science communication and agriculture environmentalism. Johannes holds an M.Sc. in Systems Engineering and Engineering Cybernetics and is active at the German Young Greens, where he advanced a pro-science stance on genetic engineering in plant breeding. After some early contacts with Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy, he is interested in the clairvoyant roots of organic agriculture and their influence on modern agricultural environmentalism.
“Natural” or sustainable?
Agriculture Environmentalism at the Crossroads
Agriculture faces a complex challenge: more people need to be supplied with food (along with possibly feed, fuel, fiber, …) than ever before while the environmental footprint urgently needs to be reduced in order to mitigate the climate and biodiversity crises. However, instead of measurable impacts like CO2 emissions or ecosystem toxicity, mainstream environmentalism focuses on intuitive or ideological categories like “natural” or “primal”. The same can be observed on social issues like food sovereignty and gender equality, especially in development cooperation. In his talk, Johannes will explore, how modern agricultural environmentalism can emancipate itself from these ill-fated ghosts of the past.