Kingsnorth: Environmental activism doesn’t work

Because the scientific news about climate change continues to cast a gloomy shadow over our future, and perhaps because the press is bored with the usual happy Earth Day talk, two prominent magazines featured this week scathing denunciations of climate activism. 

In Pacific Standard, James McWilliams of Texas State University calls for a Kafka-esque "narrative of complete and utter ruin," as opposed to the false hope offered by the likes of activist Bill McKibben:

…the problem with climate change discourse isn’t the skeptic. It’s the true believer—and the fact that, for him, the slow burn of global warming obviates radical action despite knowing that nothing else will do. This paradox leaves many of us who take climate change seriously more or less speechless—or merely talking about building codes—while the planet cooks due to our hyper-charged consumerism.

Meanwhile The New York Times Magazine features the journey in thought of Paul Kingsnorth, formerly a British environmental activist, now a man who has now simply had it with efforts to slow or halt climate change and environmental degradation. He thinks it's useless. 

“Everything had gotten worse,” Kingsnorth said. “You look at every trend that environmentalists like me have been trying to stop for 50 years, and every single thing had gotten worse. And I thought: I can’t do this anymore. I can’t sit here saying: ‘Yes, comrades, we must act! We only need one more push, and we’ll save the world!’ I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it! So what do I do?”

Could one consultant mislead two SoCal water districts?

At its best, journalism is surely a joint enterprise. It's not a reporter that makes democracy workable, it's the press. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson come to mind. So it's very exciting to yours truly to see another reporter pick up and run with a crucial detail from a long story I wrote a few weeksContinue reading “Could one consultant mislead two SoCal water districts?”