The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Michael Berry
Activist turned skeptic Paul Kingsnorth no longer believes technology can save humanity from "ecocide."
Through 19 essays in Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist (Graywolf Press, 2017), Kingsnorth argues that it is time to abandon the notion of sustainability, "an entirely human-centered piece of politicking, disguised as concern for 'the planet.'"
Instead, he advocates for "dark ecology," a philosophy that insists on the nonsuperiority of humanity, emphasizes the need to preserve nonhuman life, and urges withdrawal from the political fray. For Kingsnorth, that meant moving his family from England to rural County Galway, Ireland, where he could build compost toilets, learn to cut grass with a scythe, and plant 500 small trees.
Author of the Man Booker long-listed novel The Wake, Kingsnorth believes we need a new kind of storytelling to reconnect humanity with the natural world. Versed in both art and science, he uses an engaging prose style to link disparate topics, from cave paintings to the space race, from the poetry of Charles Bukowski to the Norman Conquest. He's candid about the ironies in using fossil fuel vehicles to plant his low-impact trees. "It turns out that living a simpler life can be quite complicated."
Although he writes about feeling despair, grief and loss in the face of climate change, Kingsnorth says he has not given up hope—only what he perceives as false hope. "Together, we shall find the hope beyond hope, the paths that lead to the unknown world ahead of us."
Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.
Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.
Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.
Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.
East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.