Apocalyptic fantasies

In: Uncategorized

24 Apr 2008

Why are environmentalists obsessed with the idea of apocalypse? Rebecca Onion, a writer based in Texas, discusses the question in an article in Slate. She points to contemporary authors such as James Howard Kunstler and Alan Weisman as examples of the trend. But the strain of thought emerged in the 1970s with the likes of Edward Abbey and Philip Wylie. As Onion argues:

“While the enviros of the 1970s worried about population, we worry about climate change, but the possibilities for post-crisis humanity remain rosy. Kunstler’s glorious images of ripped-up strip malls and catamounts in empty houses echo Weisman’s regenerating landscapes, and both recall the new eco-orders of Abbey and Wiley. In the perfect green apocalypse, population reduction leaves a world in which everybody wins—birds, bees, and people.”

Thanks to James Heartfield’s Facebook entry for the Slate reference. Meanwhile, I notice George Monbiot has a new book out: Bring on the Apocalypse. I have not seen it yet but it sounds like a collection of Monbiot’s’ misanthropic articles.

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