Former Environmental Activist: There’s No Point to it Anymore, We’re Screwed
Jon Stokes 04.17.14
This NYT piece about environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth is making the rounds, and it’s worth checking out. Basically, it’s about a guy who used to be an activist, but now thinks that we’re pretty much screwed and that many environmental advocacy groups are selling their members a false bill of goods, i.e. they’re claiming that we can head off catastrophe, but we can’t.
Movements like Bill McKibben’s 350.org, for instance, might engage people, Kingsnorth told me, but they have no chance of stopping climate change. “I just wish there was a way to be more honest about that,” he went on, “because actually what McKibben’s doing, and what all these movements are doing, is selling people a false premise. They’re saying, ‘If we take these actions, we will be able to achieve this goal.’ And if you can’t, and you know that, then you’re lying to people. And those people . . . they’re going to feel despair.”
I think a lot of activists probably feel the same way, but keep working at it regardless. Whenever I’m accosted by some sort of “save the environment” group, which used to happen quite often in my old neighborhood back in San Francisco, I’d tell them something along the lines of “stick a fork in it dude, the environment is done. It’s over.” They always just sort of nod and are like, “Yeah, I know.” I never had anyone try to fight me on that.
So anecdotally speaking, I figure this guy may be more mainstream environmentalist than you’d think.