How to Be a Good Ancestor

We live in a time of short-term imperatives and long-term consequences for our actions, with just a few years left to avert climate catastrophe but a planet transformed for millennia if we fail.

Philosopher Roman Krznaric’s work reflects on these vast timescales and on our place within them. How can we navigate the tension between the need for immediate action and the long view of all human life? How can we, borrowing a phrase from Horace, ‘seize the day’ – not just as individuals, but collectively? What does it mean to be a good ancestor to all those who come after?

In a conversation spanning the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, the poetry of Cicero and the Japanese ‘Future Design Movement’, Aaron Bastani talks to Roman about the ideas inside his book The Good Ancestor.

For more on how we can orient ourselves towards the future, watch Aaron’s recent conversation with George Monbiot, who explains why animal agriculture is the new crude oil.

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