Paul Kingsnorth is the author of Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist (2017), One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance Movement (2003), and Savage Gods (2019). He is co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project and former deputy-editor of The Ecologist. And he is someone I have admired for years. I have quoted him here and elsewhere many times. I resonate with his critique of Big Green environmentalism, of “sustainability”, of progress and progressivism, of globalism, and more. His own environmentalism and his critique of mainstream environmental activism grew out of a very down-to-earth love of the wild natural world. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that Kingsnorth was my intellectual idol.
But something has happened, and given how much I have promoted his ideas, I can’t in good conscience stay silent. Kingsnorth’s story is a study in how someone squarely on the Left can slip into proto-fascism.
John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.
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2 thoughts on “Jumping the Gap: Green Transphobia & Proto-Fascism”
Simpler fix: Never listen to another word from someone who gets religion later in life.
Dear John, I don’t know the specific case of Paul Kingsnorth, and I wouldn’t say I like to pass judgement on others as it simply seems to invite judgement back, and it becomes personal; however, in a general sense, I would like to say that I agree with what you have written here overall, both from a personal and professional perspective. It raises some important points about people’s ability to remain open or closed. My own experience is that what matters is to find the deepest context of meaning we can for living our lives and one that is as universal as possible. We find unity with all living and non-living things as we overcome the tendency to see them as “other” and instead perceive them as our universal selves. In discovering this, we do not transcend the world and live on a mountaintop but love and respect it as being intimately us. We seek to align our actions accordingly, not out of religious dogma but spontaneously from the heart. Thank you for writing this. It has important lessons for us all.