Richard Powers: “Climate change is a psychological problem”

There is something mystical about Powers – his surname adding to the sense of an other-worldly persona. Yethe is wary of the individualistic notion of “self-reliance”, as emphasised in the American literary tradition of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. “I want transcendentalism without that focus,” he said, warning that, unless we can reconnect with the wider ecosystems we depend on, so much that is meaningful in life risks being lost. “Today’s stage of capitalism is increasingly intoxicated with the idea of increasing our power through technological control of time and space. When I was living in Silicon Valley, I’d go to dinner parties and people would say, ‘Just hold on a little bit longer, because we’re going to cure death.’”