• A.Word.A.Day

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article from Orion magazine: “Dark Ecology” by Paul Kingsnorth

This article came to me from coworker Liz (who always recommends good stuff), and simultaneously from Pops, who also thought it was great. That should be testimony enough; but I am unstoppable and will say just a few words myself, too.

Paul Kingsnorth writes about the future of ecology, conservationism, “green” thinking, or whatever you’d like to call it. This is “dark” ecology because the news is not good. I’ll let him give you the real dish because he does it better – as Pops says, “the good news is that Kingsnorth is a writer first, not a social scientist, so it reads pretty well” – but I really appreciated his willingness to look forward to what’s ahead and what we have to do differently than the old guard of environmentalism, which sadly hasn’t worked. And his ideas about what’s ahead and what we might do in anticipation, however dark, resonated with me. Plus, he writes beautiful thinking lines like these:

Our human relationship to the rest of nature is not akin to the analysis of bacteria in a petri dish; it is more like the complex, love-hate relationship we might have with lovers or parents or siblings. It is who we are, unspoken and felt and frustrating and inspiring and vital and impossible to peer-review. You can reach part of it with the analytical mind, but the rest will remain buried in the ancient woodland floor of human evolution and in the depths of our old ape brains, which see in pictures and think in stories. Civilization has always been a project of control, but you can’t win a war against the wild within yourself.

I give you:

3 Responses

  1. well said; I remember that passage in particular

  2. […] reminds us that Kingsnorth was the author of “Dark Ecology” that I discussed back in January. This latest is available […]

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