Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to work in climate. I studied environmental science in college and spent my first year out of school working with endowments that were investing in climate opportunities. After moving to San Francisco, though, I stumbled sideways into the tech rabbit hole and never climbed back out.
God, great post!!! There can never be too much rigorously substantiated pushback against reduction; that this scene is as diverse as any other is something which I think would surprise many (both “pro” and “anti” types). Always very fun to read something that puts a variegated context on display in a concise way, and you’re so good at being observational and astute without reactivity. Fuckin sick!!!
Excellent article Nadia, impressive dept of review of the Silicon Valley realm and the popular culture trends (e.g. Al Gore is pop cult) and how these have evolved to the social tribes, at least those prevalent in the US. I've shared it with my colleagues in the Regenerating Toronto (social startup) that I mentioned on The Stoa. I think from an internationalist and a scientists' perspective (I'm a professor, design not environment, but I collaborate with economists and environmental scientists). There is a "scientific solutionist" tribe, which i hate to cal it that, but as a tribe it attracts positive, action-oriented, mostly non-tech oriented activists. This is exemplified by Project Drawdown http://drawdown.org founded by Paul Hawken, who is missing among your notable persons. Paul has also gone on to found Regeneration http://Regeneration.org which is organizing for localized environmental programs. I would say the many ecological economists fall into the Solutionist problem-solving mode, or are de-growthers who you have already touched upon.
The emerging tribe which is also very different from these are the land-restorative Bioregionalists, with leaders such as Joe Brewer @cognitivepolicy and initiatives such as https://landscapes.global The large land-parcel projects are forcing a rethink of environmental finance, even as Big Capital is using conservation as a cudgel to take over traditional pastoral lands for "investment." I'd call them (and I'm in this camp BTW) Eco-Restorationist. In my view, climate impacts are outcomes of environmental system relationships (not a direct impact of carbon per se, which is a reductionist view, but works as a policy cudgel unfortunately.) These may not be in the same Twitter and online circles, and therefore not as visible, but they are evolving, positive and scientifically-driven tribes building communities for real action, not protest.
Would another "tribe" be people and companies who are in climate purely to make profit, and not due to any belief systems - not even sustainability? Perhaps the "capitalism" tribe? :)
(E.g. is Tesla a "climate" company? If so, is it because of a belief system? If it is a "climate" company, has it pursued any climate-related policies or philanthropy outside of seeking climate-related government subsidies or other initiatives that primarily benefit its bottom line?)