Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist
Paul Kingsnorth was once an activist, an ardent environmentalist. He fought against rampant development and the depredations of a corporate world that seemed hell-bent on ignoring a looming climate crisis in its relentless pursuit of profit. But as environmentalists began to focus on 'sustainability' rather than the defence of wild places for their own sake and as global conditions worsened, he grew disenchanted with the movement that he once embraced. He gave up what he saw as the false hope that residents of the First World would ever make the kind of sacrifices that might avert the severe consequences of climate change.
Kingsnorth, novelist, commentator and co-founder of The Dark Mountain project, articulates a new vision that he calls 'dark ecology,' which stands firmly in opposition to the belief that technology can save us, and argues for a renewed balance between the human and nonhuman worlds.
Paul Kingsnorth's debut novel, The Wake, won the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize, was longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. His second, Beast, was described by Jay Griffiths as 'a portrait of the psyche in gaunt, glittering transcendence'. He is also the author of One No, Many Yeses and Real England, and a poetry collection, Kidland. He is the co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project and was formerly the deputy editor of The Ecologist. Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist is his latest book. He has also selected the essays for and introduced The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry.
Image credit: Claire McNamee