Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist
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 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 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.
To accept that we are not superior as humans. It’s a hopeful book ultimately, but asks difficult questions on what we must do, in order to survive (to help all of Nature around us survive too). Paul has a unique way of writing that cuts to your heart:
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. Lift your gaze, humans. We can learn from this.
A furiously gifted writer. The Washington Post
A writer who belongs in the tradition of Ted Hughes. His sensibility sits comfortably with theirs and his literary achievement could well go on to be their equal. He is that good. Lee Brackstone
About the Author
Paul Kingsnorth is co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project (a world network of writers and artists), he is founder of The Wyrd Writing School. Paul holds ‘wild writing courses’ in Ireland, and also runs online courses. You can subscribe to his series of essays The Abbey of Misrule, where he offers his words on what’s happening in the world, with an increasing notion that the problems with our planet are more spiritual, than economic or political. Read the introductory essay
Also read his unique trilogy of novels: The Wake was crowdfunded at Unbound and became long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Geoff Dyer called the book ‘an astonishing accomplishment’ and Eleanor Catton (who won the Booker Prize) called it ‘a masterpiece. My top book of the year’. Set during the Norman invasion of 1066 (Battle of Hastings from history class), this book is narrated by a man who lives in the Lincolnshire Fens, who watches the world collapse. Beast is the tale of Edward Buckmaster on a west-country moor. And Alexandria (set in a small religious community in The Fens) completes this unique trilogy of books.