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Paul Kingsnorth & Friends Discuss “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist”

January 19, 2012

Summary: Has environmentalism lost its way? What does sustainability really have to do with a healthy planet? During Orion's latest live web event, Paul Kingsnorth discussed his essay “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist” in the January/February 2012 issue of the magazine. According to Kingsnorth, environmentalism has effectively died, its original deep connection to nature lost in the language of science and economics. Kingsnorth is joined by authors Lierre Keith and David Abram.

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1 Keith Farnish on Jan 19, 2012

Listened intently to this recording, glad it’s online. Some good things from the guests, especially Paul’s unrehearsed comments which sound as though they are coming from deep within.

Very diplomatic comments about - best summed up as “they do what they do”; except they don’t change anything, which is why, in effect, what do is precisely what Paul’s essay railed against. You only have to read their page called “Businesses for 350” which contains the words “More than ever, businesses are positioned to change the way that clean energy policies are made. They have a profound influence on politics, the economy and consumer choices, and with business owners like you on our side, we will have a stronger collective voice and a better chance of passing effective clean energy legislation worldwide.” If that isn’t mainstream, pro-industry BS then I don’t know what is.

2 Clyde on Jan 20, 2012

War?  17 minutes what a load of bull.  Feminist?  You are woman, develop that maternal instinct honey.  This is not the way forward.

3 Carol on Jan 22, 2012

Clyde, I don’t know what Keith’s gender has to do with anything. Yes, some people react with anger born from hopelessness and extreme frustration. If you prefer Abram’s point of view about metamorphosis, which is what I personally hope for rather than violent overthrow, that’s great. However, hopefully you’re actually doing something, be it radical or not, rather than simply criticizing and using sexist platitudes like “honey”.

4 Clyde on Jan 23, 2012

Carol-Keith’s gender…I was referring to a female who spoke at the beginning of the interview.  She did seem quite radical, so much so that I had to stop listening.  Apologies, I do not recall her name but she does refer to herself as a radical feminist.  This attitude came through in her tone and does not help matters.  Sexist platitudes… she took note. 
In reality, humans and the environment are a long way from any being friends, I do however constantly endeavour to facilitate change.  Respect and compassion for fellow man will lead to great things.

5 Dave Watton on Jan 24, 2012

This is a movingly honest, eloquent and passionate trialogue about the predicament humanity finds ourselves in and ways of dealing with it.

I like David A’s computers as ‘isolating house of mirrors’ metaphor. Also, Lierre’s call for solidarity with other species & cultures and support for a culture of resistance. Also, Paul’s clarification of what the term sustainability really means in practice: i.e. sustaining the Great Machine which is gutting the Earth.

Thanks. Essential listening!

6 Keith Farnish on Jan 24, 2012

It’s ok, I assumed Clyde was referring to Lierre Keith, not me; we share a name and quite a few ideas, but not all views…

7 denizen on Feb 01, 2012

I was disappointed to see Lierre Keith just mouthing the same talking points from Derrick Jensen - does she have any ideas of her own that she might express in her own words?

This whole “Deep Green Resistance” movement is starting to sound rather eerily like a cult, complete with a dogma, which its members seem to memorize and spout at every opportunity.

8 Keith on Feb 02, 2012

Hi Denizen, drop me an email via the link on my name - it’s an interesting observation.


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