In a recent interview in the NRDC magazine OnEarth noted wit and prolific novelist T.C. Boyle talked about the fundamental problem with environmental writers like Bill McKibben (who wrote the devastatingly convincing The End of Nature).
The End of Nature is the most depressing book in the history of humankind. I can guess what happened. After he wrote it, people said to him, hey, look, Bill. You’re an environmentalist, you’re trying to get people to join your cause. But look, everybody just wants to commit suicide. So lighten up.
Boyle doesn’t claim to have answers, but he does adeptly mock sanctimonious enviromentalists who think that walking with a certain stick and pretending to consult Native American customs and elders makes them somehow "special," like a character in his novel Tortilla Curtain. He finds extremists — such as animal activists, in our time — fascinating but appalling. This comes out especially in his recent novel Drop City, which has perhaps the best hippie villain ever put down on paper. Like Dickens, Boyle writes villainy so well that his often-bumbling good guys — blessed with simple decency and kindness — become larger than life by sheer comparison.