Environmentalism’s Constaninian Turn
A Review of
Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays
Paperback: Graywolf Press, 2017
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Reviewed by Ragan Sutterfield
When I first heard of Paul Kingsnorth I was walking through the streets of New York City, megaphones near by, banners broadcasting slogans about mother earth, CO2, and poisoned water. I was walking in the “religious” section of the People’s Climate March, a gathering of over 200,000 environmentalists set on making a clear call that the time to act against the rise of climate change is now. My friend Fred Bahnson was in the crowd and since you can only chant “he, he, ho, ho, climate change has got to go” so long, we talked writing, reading, and climate as we marched.
Fred told me about an English writer, Paul Kingsnorth, who was the leader of a different kind of response to the climate crisis. Kingsnorth, he told me, had begun a project called Dark Mountain which was gathering people to create new stories about the human relationship with the earth. “There’s a great profile of him in the New York Times Magazine,” Fred said. “It’s titled ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It…and He Feels Fine.’”