Summer 2022 New Humanist cover

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The dark side of progress

Dystopia by degrees

As the climate crisis deepens, so will the battle over how to tackle it. Alice Bell explores some dangerous scenarios, and argues instead for a future that limits suffering and protects the vulnerable.

Could rising climate impacts lead to an increase in eco-fascism? Undoubtedly yes, and we should fight that as we would any other kind of fascism. Could we build a decarbonised world that not only replicates but exacerbates inequalities and human rights abuses endemic in our current fossil fuel economy? Again, it’s all too easy to imagine...

The cashless conspiracy

Everything is going digital, even money. But as Brett Scott argues, we should be a little suspicious of the drive to stop us using “dirty cash”.

And much like the missionaries who express incredulity that you wouldn’t want to go to heaven, these firms think it’s outrageous that you wouldn’t want to ascend to “the cloud” – their world of hyper-connected and hyper-global digital markets that are supposed to free us from “inconvenience” and “friction”...

Cynical saviours

Corporations increasingly claim to back progressive causes. Carl Rhodes explains how capitalism "going woke" is a threat to our democracy.

The implications for the future are considerable, as the democratic tradition that values equality, freedom and debate between participating citizens becomes over-whelmed by a corporate voice drown-ing out others in its soundbite-sized version of self-serving morality.

The fight for genetic justice

The cells of Henrietta Lacks were harvested without her consent and have proved vital to medical research. Semmi W. talks to the Lacks family, who are suing one of the biotech companies making use of the cells.

It was only in 1975 that the family discovered the fate of the cells, which had been harvested from tumours in Henrietta’s womb. Scientists hoping to map Henrietta’s DNA called her husband in order to request permission to collect genetic samples from him and other relatives. Be-fore that phone call, no efforts had been made to seek con-sent or inform the family.


J.P. O'Malley talks to Victoria Amelina, an award-winning novelist from Lviv, Ukraine.

It’s very painful to lose people in war, of course. But losing culture and history is a tragedy too. Russians keep trying to punish us for having this history, and for being Europeans.

The summer 2022 issue of New Humanist is on sale now! Subscribe here for as little as £10 a year.

Dancing with the dead

Also in this issue:

  • Peter Forbes on building a new green economy by harnessing the power of bacteria
  • Amanda Coakley reports on the new European university aiming to produce a godly elite
  • We celebrate monogamy, but is it in fact unethical, asks Brian Earp
  • Ralph Jones on dancing with the dead
  • Nicholas Lezard on Ulysses and a hundred years of heresy
  • To revolutionise our food industry, we need to learn from the past, writes Vron Ware
  • Samira Ahmed on undercover cops and the fight for justice of the women they deceived
  • With Station Eleven, apocalypse TV has finally come of age, writes Caroline Crampton
  • Jonathan Egid asks whether Raymond Tallis, in his new book, has cracked the problem of free will
  • PLUS: Columns from Michael Rosen, Laurie Taylor and Marcus Chown, book reviews, the latest developments in biology, chemistry and physics; cryptic crossword and Chris Maslanka's quiz

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