Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist is a thoughtful book by writer Paul Kingsnorth, who has written two excellent books on alternatives to the big bad corporate world: One No, Many Yeses and Real England: The Battle Against the Bland. He writes beautifully yet quite sadly on how he gave up the fight as an environmental activist, due to realising that most people simply don’t care enough to give up consumerism.
Passionate, lyrical, haunting and furious, this book gathers essays to go much deeper than the normal ‘going green books’. This sad lament of a world that has given up – may just make you start to care!
Rather like the ecological writer Satish Kumar, Paul does not believe the answer to saving the planet is going to come from Green New Deals and wind farms – but with a renewed balance and respect for Nature.
Knowing that we are not superior in any way, and to just accept it. It’s a hopeful book ultimately, but asks difficult questions on what we must do, in order to survive (and to help all of Nature around us survive too). Paul has a unique way of writing that cuts to your heart about the present crisis:
I would like to tell you a few things about this virus. Fish have returned to the Venetian canals now that humans have stopped polluting them. The clouds of air pollution over Italy and China have dissipated since people were prevented from causing them with their cars, planes, factories. Up to 80,000 premature deaths which would have been caused this way have probably been prevented in China by the shutdown of the economy. Carbon monoxide levels in the air above New York have collapsed by 50 percent in a single week. I would like to say: lift your gaze, humans. We can learn from this.
About the Author
Paul Kingsnorth is a writer, whose first novel The Wake was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize (his latest book Alexandria completes the trilogy). Co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project (a world network of writers and artists, who use creativity to make a difference), he is founder of The Wyrd Writing School. Paul usually holds ‘wild writing courses’ in Ireland, but due to the pandemic, he launched an online version (lifetime access). Try the first lesson for free.