Tag Archives: North Face

How Technology has Stopped Evolution and is Destroying the World

3 Aug

Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, on battles with Steve Jobs and why we need to dismantle our techno-industrial society

by Jo Confino / The Guardian

Doug Tompkins, founder of North Face and Esprit, has been instrumental in creating two huge nature reserves in Patagonia. Photograph: Aaron Black/Getty Images

Doug Tompkins, founder of North Face and Esprit, has been instrumental in creating two huge nature reserves in Patagonia. Photograph: Aaron Black/Getty Images

It has become something of a mantra within the sustainability movement that innovations in technology can save the world. But rather than liberating us, Doug Tompkins, the cofounder of retail brands The North Face and Esprit, believes technology has enslaved us and is destroying the very health of the planet on which all species depend.

Tompkins, 70 has used his enormous wealth from selling both companies to preserve more land than any other individual in history, spending more than £200m buying over two million acres of wilderness in Argentina and Chile.

He challenges the view that technology is extending democracy, arguing that it is concentrating even more power in the hands of a tiny elite. What troubles him the most is that the very social and environmental movements that should be challenging the destructive nature of mega-technologies, have instead fallen under their spell.

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