“The nature of this earth is change.” (Paul Kingsnorth)

This is the first of two excerpts from Paul Kingsnorth’s essay, “The Witness”. In this excerpt, he meditates on the changing nature of nature from an eco-centric (as opposed to an anthropocentric) perspective. If you find something unsatisfactory about this perspective, a feeling that there is something more to be said, stay tuned for the next excerpt.

You can read Kingsnorth’s complete essay here. You can also hear Michael Dowd read the essay here.

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Roy Scranton Defends Pessimism (Last Born in the Wilderness)

What follows is a transcript of part of Roy Scranton’s interview with Patrick Farnsworth on the Last Born in the Wilderness podcast. In this clip, Roy responds to Michael Mann’s criticism of him as “the ultimate doomer”, providing the necessary nuance to understand how pessimism is a necessary predicate to right action. (The transcript has been edited for readability.) Listen to the complete interview here.

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The Problem with Progressive Protests

I’ve organized quite a few protests over the last few years. Around issues of climate change, racial justice, gun control, immigration reform. And I’ve attended and provided support to a lot more. Over time, I noticed a pattern. Regardless of the cause, regardless of which organization is in charge, almost all of them followed this pattern:

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Doom Porn as Spectacle by Vera Bradova

This is an excerpt of a longer essay on the perils of “doomer porn”. In this piece, Vera Bradova (aka Leavergirl) makes the case that doomer porn is another form of spectacle perpetuated by empire to keep us distracted and afraid. She discerns the difference between “awareness and acceptance of the multiple and converging crises we faceand obsessive dwelling on and morbid fascination with the mind-boggling, terrifying and plausible images of coming destruction” which just plays into Business As Usual. You can read the full essay here.

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“The myth of a technological salvation” by Paul Kingsnorth

This is the last of a 6-part series. You can find Michael Dowd’s audio recording of his reading of the entire series here.

“WHAT DO YOU DO after you stop pretending?” This was the question – or one of the questions – with which we launched the Dark Mountain Project in 2009. We were – still are – a network of writers, artists, thinkers and doers who had become disillusioned with our own work to change or ‘save’ the world, and who wanted to question more deeply the stories that underpinned our attempts to do so. Many of us had come through environmental activism, and had become disillusioned, or even despairing, about our ability to make the necessary changes in time.

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“Romance and reason” by Paul Kingsnorth

This is the fifth of a 6-part series. You can find Michael Dowd’s audio recording of his reading of the entire series here.

IN 1798, WILLIAM WORDSWORTH and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads. A bomb thrown into the heart of the literary establishment, Ballads, though slow-selling at first, was to begin a revolution in English poetry.

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“Taking the greens out of the left-wing” by Paul Kingsnorth

This is the fourth of a 6-part series. You can find Michael Dowd’s audio recording of his reading of the entire series here.

MANY YEARS AGO, I taught a class in environmental politics at a London college. I started the class by drawing a circle on the blackboard. This, I told the students, represented industrial society. Within this circle I drew two smaller ones. One of them represented the political left, one the political right.

I then drew another circle, just outside the first one but meeting it at the edges. This, I said, was where green politics was supposed to sit.

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“The meaning of the wild” by Paul Kingsnorth

This is the second of a 6-part series. You can find Michael Dowd’s audio recording of his reading of the entire series here.

WHAT IS ‘WILD’? It seems to be an increasingly common question. A slew of books have been published in the last few years about wild places, wild living, wild food, the end of the wild, redefining the wild, rediscovering the wild … As the industrial economy eats further and further into the world beyond the human bubble, something within us seems to respond; some alarm bell seems to ring. As we lose more and more wilderness, we grow more and more fascinated with what we are losing.

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