The End of Nature

The End of Nature❰Download❯ ➼ The End of Nature Author Bill McKibben – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earthThis impassioned plea for radical and life renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies McKibben s argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way The End Epub / we relate to nature is relevant than ever McKibben writes of our earth s environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the s The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movementMore than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike. I read parts of this book in 1989 when it came out, excerpted in various liberal and environmental magazines and in the NY Times McKibben, one of the leading environmental writers of our time, wrote in The End of Nature a groundbreaking and powerful and angry book which I have now re read in its entirety Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened bec I read parts of this book in 1989 when it came out, excerpted in various liberal and environmental magazines and in the NY Times McKibben, one of the leading environmental writers of our time, wrote in The End of Nature a groundbreaking and powerful and angry book which I have now re read in its entirety Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened because, having been warned of the coming environmental crisis already in the seventies, we have done almost nothing over twenty years to respond to what scientists continue to scream about Who is this we that I McKibben refers to By we he means the West, and primarily the United States, corporations, the oil industry, politicians, who have taken the lead, of all the developed countries, in most resembling an ostrich or is somepredatory and self seeking animal on climate change Things may in the last year seem to be slowly beginning to change, many countries are moving boldly to act, but in 1989 McKibben was already saying it was too late to retain any hope for continuing to embrace an idea resembling what we had thought was nature in, say, the early twentieth century The dead bird on the cover says it all Earth as we know it is dead, or soon will be, McKibben makes clear.This is a newer edition of the book, produced 17 years later in 20o6, with a new preface to say things had ten years ago now only gotten worse, of course I only read it to prepare to read one of hisrecent books, Eaarth, which I have been told includes some hopeful pronouncements about the greater and louder global movement to save the planet, helped a little by the Obama administration We ll see I m not optimistic about seeing a lot of McKibben optimism.We know that the majority of Republicans in this country the US seem to believe as if belief were something like a fact in the face of scientific evidence that climate change is some kind of liberal, anti business hoax Almost no other country in the world has millions of people who seem to think that everything is basically just fine, and science be damned And how does this come about Politicians including most democratic politicians, are bought by the coal industry, and by Big Oil, just as they have been bought by Big Pharm and once were bought by Big Tobacco, and so on I recall one of Reagan s first acts as President was dismantling Carter s solar panels Solar panels, Reagan reasoned, sends a bad message to the Oil Industry, on which we are so suicidally dependent, and still are Mid review rant alert As I drove up to backpack over Labor Day weekend with my family on the south shore of Lake Superior, on the 43 miles of uninhabited Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio pontificate about the Hoax of Climate Change for an hour It s just sunspots, a mild aberration, Rush says Green house gases and the Ozone layer are just bull hockey the libtards have made up Man did and does nothing bad, ever, to the planet, unless of course it s those commies, the Chinese, unless of course we need to borrow money from them then even they are okay the point is that we need to Stay the Rapacious Course and continue to do as we have always done, using the planet s resources with wild abandon and no fear for the future Progress, Bigger is Better, as always Small is Beautiful by E F Schumacher was just a dream some of us had.Because I listened to Rush, I also spent a couple hours doing something I never do, watching some Faux News, or State TV, the US s most watched source of television news which has, bought by Big Oil, that has never acknowledged there is any environmental crisis whatsoever Both Fox News and Rush LOVE to hate Bill McKibben, no surprise They excoriated him for this book and everything he has written since.Trump has said he does not believe in climate change and he now appears the growing favorite to win the presidential election When he wins, he says he will pull back on any of the already tepid commitments Obama made to finally work against climate change, pull out of the tepid Paris accords, and most of Trump s almost unanimous Republican supporters agree with that move, natch Liberals and their anti American, anti progress conspiracies, haha But even if Hillary wins, she is no environmental leader.We are so screwed But I will read oneMcKibben book in search of any hope to report here If I can make a list of ten hopeful things I find there, I promise to share them.McKibben did write this other book in 1995, which I haven t read, in response to the outcry that he hadn t been chipper enough, so if you wanna read only hopeful environmental books, here ya go for me, I choose the narrow path of depressing realism If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Trust the Science The End of Nature by Bill McKibben original review, 2006 Climate is a Chaotic SystemChaotic Systems cannot be predictedClimate, therefore, cannot be predicted.The IPCC has stated this explicitly I ve been hearing this almost since forever But is it right Predicting a Chaotic System is BY DEFINITION impossible Climate is a Chaotic System Ensembles are used to try to mitigate the nature of a Chaotic System by ex If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Trust the Science The End of Nature by Bill McKibben original review, 2006 Climate is a Chaotic SystemChaotic Systems cannot be predictedClimate, therefore, cannot be predicted.The IPCC has stated this explicitly I ve been hearing this almost since forever But is it right Predicting a Chaotic System is BY DEFINITION impossible Climate is a Chaotic System Ensembles are used to try to mitigate the nature of a Chaotic System by extending how far out one might be able to present probabilities for different scenarios This is done with weather forecasts all the time They use ensembles which is why they present the possibility of rain next Thursday as a probability But as you know, these are often wrong So if they are right, there is an element of luck involved as the conditions that will or will not , cause it to rain in five days are changing by the minute The calculation of climate variables that is long term averages is much easier than weather forecasting, since weather is ruled by vagaries of stochastic fluctuations, while climate is not We can demonstrate this sort of climate response clearly in the Lorenz model, or anycomplex climate model Perturbing the initial conditions gives a completely different trajectory weather , but this averages out over time, and the statistics of different long term runs are indistinguishable However a steady perturbation to the system can generate a significant change to the long term statistics This disproves the common but misguided claim that chaotic weather prevents meaningful climate prediction In fact, all climate models do predict that the change in globally averaged steady state temperature, at least, is almost exactly proportional to the change in the net radioactive forcing, indicating a near linear response of the climate, at least on the broadest scales This book presents the sobering idea that there is no longer such as thing as nature, because humans have caused such massive changes by their presence and behaviors that humans have altered everything including all forms of plant and animal life on earth I read the book when it was first published in hardback form, and it made immediate sense to me, unfortunately I ll never be able to look at nature in exactly the same way as I did, although I can still enjoy what there is of it, and fee This book presents the sobering idea that there is no longer such as thing as nature, because humans have caused such massive changes by their presence and behaviors that humans have altered everything including all forms of plant and animal life on earth I read the book when it was first published in hardback form, and it made immediate sense to me, unfortunately I ll never be able to look at nature in exactly the same way as I did, although I can still enjoy what there is of it, and feel evenmotivated to protect what remains The great problem with this book was the way it approaches nature namely that he wants to leave humans out of it He seemsangry that we exist as a part of the world than interested in thinking of productive ways of dealing with the the concerns regarding the environment that we are facing. Dragged myself through this puppy It was a tough go, but I somehow felt it was the environmentally responsible thing to do Basically he makes the point very forcefully that we really have paved paradise Damn I recommend putting away all sharp objects and hiding anything that can be used to hang yourself before reading this book Dead bird on cover says it all. Read this one several years ago, but it s been much on my mind lately so I thought I d put up my review In 1988, a 19 year old me was living quite happily in a cloud of pot smoke in Orono, Maine My roommate, a great guy we called Woody because that s what he was was waving a copy of this book around and explaining to me an idea he d just learned about in one of his tree hugger classes he was a Forestry major called the green house effect Apparently, Woody told me, mankind was releasing Read this one several years ago, but it s been much on my mind lately so I thought I d put up my review In 1988, a 19 year old me was living quite happily in a cloud of pot smoke in Orono, Maine My roommate, a great guy we called Woody because that s what he was was waving a copy of this book around and explaining to me an idea he d just learned about in one of his tree hugger classes he was a Forestry major called the green house effect Apparently, Woody told me, mankind was releasing all of this CO2 into the atmosphere, which served to trap heat and would raise global temperatures enough to cause unpleasantness upon our planet Twenty six years ago, Woody told me I should read this book Woody now lives off the grid in Vermont with his wife and three kids They use solar panels, they homeschool, and they pretty much live the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle that I so admire About three years ago, I went to Vermont for the weekend and brought a copy of this book, which served as both an introduction to the work of Bill McKibben and a hat tip to my woodsy friend from long ago I was reminded of this book, and of McKibben s rumination on the idea of nature vs actual nature as I ve been reading another book by Wendell Berry In any event, all of this was gelling together in my head this morning Maine, greenhouse gases, nature, Woody, Bill McKibben, and Wendell Berry So there you have it It is a great book I wish I had read it when I first saw it I wish I had paidattention to environmentalism when I had the time to get myself arrested at a protest, or live in a burrow with my hippy friends Sadly, I am now firmly ensconced in the machine Ah, youth It truly is wasted on the young Makes a lot of important points, but I could do without the holier than thou attitude and the constant undercurrent of hysteria Oh, and this guy name drops the wild animals he runs into in the woods the way Donald Trump name drops the lingerie models he slept with in the Eighties. Firstly, I have to remark that I am an admirer of McKibben and his environmentalist work, particularly his participation as of late in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline And the End of Nature does have some useful information and thought provoking moments I stand by and relate to McKibben s discussion of the inevitable hypocrisy of any modern day environmentalist, the urgency of global warming, the disturbing possibilities that bio engineering makes possible, the unfortunate dilemma of whether Firstly, I have to remark that I am an admirer of McKibben and his environmentalist work, particularly his participation as of late in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline And the End of Nature does have some useful information and thought provoking moments I stand by and relate to McKibben s discussion of the inevitable hypocrisy of any modern day environmentalist, the urgency of global warming, the disturbing possibilities that bio engineering makes possible, the unfortunate dilemma of whether or not to bring a child into the world we live in, etc However, I find the main premise of this book, the end of nature, to be feeble and often contradicted within the very text of the book, particularly in his discussion of deep ecology McKibbon s declaration of the end of nature relies on three assumptions that I find to be incorrect Firstly, it is based on the assumption that man is separate from nature McKibben suggests that anyone who claims otherwise does not really believe it I wholeheartedly disagree The environmental mess that we find ourselves in today has been caused by this attitude a denial that we are in fact just like any other animal, a part of nature McKibben, in my opinion, places too much power in the hands of humanity Humanity may think it can tame nature, but it can t, no matter how much scientific, techno junk and theory we produce McKibben s insistence on this point seems to stem largely from his Christian background which peppers the text and to which I hold no loyalty.Secondly, a point that it is tied to the first McKibbon is working with a definition of wilderness that equates it to only that which has been untouched by the human hand This definition of wilderness is illusory and not based in reality One must look to nature everywhere, as Cronon discusses in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature McKibben too easily casts aside the importance of the changes that humanity has been bringing upon the earth for thousands of years To him, the only environmental change that has truly mattered is global warming, a change which he directly relates to white, western culture He makes no reference to the changes that Native Americans and other similar populations around the world have been making to the environment for generations such as Native Americans creating the Great Plains through the use of fire However, to admit that these changes are significant would debunk McKibben s argument, because they would demonstrate that separating man from nature is impossible because man is a part of nature Lastly, McKibben seems to be working with a conception of nature as a static entity, something that has remained unchanged for as long as humanity can remember Nature has ended, according to McKibben, because this static nature no longer exists This, I would argue, is failed logic because nature is, has and always will be dynamic McKibbon claims that old nature was utterly dependable and that new nature is unpredictable This claim is ridiculous, nature has always been unpredictable Nature is continuously evolving McKibben s most important piece of evidence for his argument is the unpredictability and violence of weather under the influence of global warming I, personally find this piece of evidence to be the strongest argument against McKibbon s end of nature Surely the violence of today s weather is a sign that nature is alive and reacting against man s actions, not bowing down and succumbing to man s supposed scientific superiority Although the Gaia theory may not be entirely correct, I don t think it should be knocked down so readily Nature will continue on in ways we cannot foresee long after humanity no longer exists This book holds a lot of truth and McKibben s argument is convincing and strong, and thus it may be the most depressing book I ve ever read. This book was a let down I know that Mckiben is an important thinker and leader when it comes to getting folks to acknowledge climate change and in moving folks to attempt to take action to address the causes of climate change I am not sure what I would have thought about it had I read it twenty years ago, but reading it today, while I found the descriptions of the problems of climate change and certainly the idea of an end of nature compelling, I found McKibbin s construction of the ways we This book was a let down I know that Mckiben is an important thinker and leader when it comes to getting folks to acknowledge climate change and in moving folks to attempt to take action to address the causes of climate change I am not sure what I would have thought about it had I read it twenty years ago, but reading it today, while I found the descriptions of the problems of climate change and certainly the idea of an end of nature compelling, I found McKibbin s construction of the ways we might respond to climate change obnoxious and tiresome Actually, I think I do know what I would have thought twenty years ago I would have loved it As a fifteen year old I was completely taken with the mainstream environmental movement I was very susceptible to any well written position about the environment liberal, corporate green washed, or militant, and I would have been excited to read McKibbin s analysis and his explanation of the futurist response to climate change I know I would have been completely taken by his description of deep ecology When I entered college a few years later and met young people involved in EarthFirst , I would have engaged in some kind of hero worship, would have felt like I had finally found my people and probably plunged head first into the kind of vision of environmental activism that they held out Instead having never read McKibbin s flowing endorsement of a deep ecology approach to activism I found them on the one hand dangerously exciting but on the other wondered how they reconciled a position of earth first with issues of social justice I actually found McKibbin s proclamation of the end of nature interesting While his sense of personal loss that nature no longer existed, didn t quite resonate with me, the idea raises all kinds of existential and, I guess, spiritual questions In all honesty, even though McKibbin s thinking has been available to me the past twenty years, the idea that nature as we have traditionally thought about it no longer exists was new to me His argument is a good and shocking one.It was when McKibbon turned to how we might respond to climate change that the book became tiresome to me Admittedly McKibbon gives an interesting treatment to the, bio engineered man over nature, futurist response Twenty years ago the grotesque description of this response that McKibbon lays out would have been really helpful to me, because I at the time I was pretty ready to uncritically accept any number of claims by industry or science that we could invent innovate our way out of ecological crisis Having this Frankenstein version of our future laid before me would have helped me becritical of green washing and technocratic solutions to ecological and environmental justice issues McKibbon s championing of deep ecology was really where I felt let down Yes, he did write about some of the social and economic injustices related to climate change Particularly he did a good job explaining why uneven patterns of development make western capitalist core communities talk about the need to get by with less, have a smaller ecological impact, etc so hypocritical But he ignored the reality that there have been and continue to be voices from those less developed poorerperipheralrecently colonized communities that have something to say about the relationship between people and our environment, about the causes of environmental, about what humane and ecological ways of organizing our societies in response to climate change and the end of nature might look like One might feel it is unfair to fault McKibbon for ignoring these voices in 1989 the environmental justice movement would not even be labeled and given wide recognition until 1991 But the voices of the communities organizing against environmental racism in the US, the voices of communities directly impacted by every step of the C02 cycle, the voices of radical third world ecologists, the voices of indigenous peoples all of the world were out there McKibbon was just another in a long line of folks like Muir, Hoffeman, and Foreman as well as the big mainstream environmental groups and the militants of EarthFirst who didn t take the time to listen to, learn from and then amplify those voices I don t give the big environmental groups a pass on ignoring the environmental justice movement back in the late 80 s and early 90 s, and I just can t give McKibbon a pass either It is ironic because in a way McKibbon is trying to unpack our understanding of nature as this independent force and our assumptions about how humans relate to nature, and it is in part these mainstream understandings and assumptions about nature that minimized or devalued the voices of folks other than western white males in determining how societies might respond to ecological crisis Lookingdeeply at how we ve constructed nature, as McKibbon leads us to do, forces us to think about how our understanding of the environment and our impact on it is as much about social and economic organization as it is anything inherent in humans or our environment.I just wish McKibbon had acknowledged that there is another choice between human s engineering every aspect of the earth so that it meets our needs and wilderness earth and earth uber alis position of deep ecology and that is that while humans are not inherentlyvaluable than other life, we as humans we do have a responsibility to other humans and thus trying to our vision of social and economic relationships between has to be part of our understanding ecology It just does not make sense to organize around an vision for social and economic change that does not prioritize the voices, understandings, and hopes of peoples that have been most directly impacted by environmental destruction, social injustice, economic exploitation, colonization, and domination

The End of Nature PDF/EPUB à The End  Epub /
    EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movementMore than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike. I read parts of this book in 1989 when it came out, excerpted in various liberal and environmental magazines and in the NY Times McKibben, one of the leading environmental writers of our time, wrote in The End of Nature a groundbreaking and powerful and angry book which I have now re read in its entirety Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened bec I read parts of this book in 1989 when it came out, excerpted in various liberal and environmental magazines and in the NY Times McKibben, one of the leading environmental writers of our time, wrote in The End of Nature a groundbreaking and powerful and angry book which I have now re read in its entirety Well, as you can guess from the title, it is not a hopeful little book about what you can do to contribute to saving the planet it is, rather, a story documenting everything that happened because, having been warned of the coming environmental crisis already in the seventies, we have done almost nothing over twenty years to respond to what scientists continue to scream about Who is this we that I McKibben refers to By we he means the West, and primarily the United States, corporations, the oil industry, politicians, who have taken the lead, of all the developed countries, in most resembling an ostrich or is somepredatory and self seeking animal on climate change Things may in the last year seem to be slowly beginning to change, many countries are moving boldly to act, but in 1989 McKibben was already saying it was too late to retain any hope for continuing to embrace an idea resembling what we had thought was nature in, say, the early twentieth century The dead bird on the cover says it all Earth as we know it is dead, or soon will be, McKibben makes clear.This is a newer edition of the book, produced 17 years later in 20o6, with a new preface to say things had ten years ago now only gotten worse, of course I only read it to prepare to read one of hisrecent books, Eaarth, which I have been told includes some hopeful pronouncements about the greater and louder global movement to save the planet, helped a little by the Obama administration We ll see I m not optimistic about seeing a lot of McKibben optimism.We know that the majority of Republicans in this country the US seem to believe as if belief were something like a fact in the face of scientific evidence that climate change is some kind of liberal, anti business hoax Almost no other country in the world has millions of people who seem to think that everything is basically just fine, and science be damned And how does this come about Politicians including most democratic politicians, are bought by the coal industry, and by Big Oil, just as they have been bought by Big Pharm and once were bought by Big Tobacco, and so on I recall one of Reagan s first acts as President was dismantling Carter s solar panels Solar panels, Reagan reasoned, sends a bad message to the Oil Industry, on which we are so suicidally dependent, and still are Mid review rant alert As I drove up to backpack over Labor Day weekend with my family on the south shore of Lake Superior, on the 43 miles of uninhabited Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio pontificate about the Hoax of Climate Change for an hour It s just sunspots, a mild aberration, Rush says Green house gases and the Ozone layer are just bull hockey the libtards have made up Man did and does nothing bad, ever, to the planet, unless of course it s those commies, the Chinese, unless of course we need to borrow money from them then even they are okay the point is that we need to Stay the Rapacious Course and continue to do as we have always done, using the planet s resources with wild abandon and no fear for the future Progress, Bigger is Better, as always Small is Beautiful by E F Schumacher was just a dream some of us had.Because I listened to Rush, I also spent a couple hours doing something I never do, watching some Faux News, or State TV, the US s most watched source of television news which has, bought by Big Oil, that has never acknowledged there is any environmental crisis whatsoever Both Fox News and Rush LOVE to hate Bill McKibben, no surprise They excoriated him for this book and everything he has written since.Trump has said he does not believe in climate change and he now appears the growing favorite to win the presidential election When he wins, he says he will pull back on any of the already tepid commitments Obama made to finally work against climate change, pull out of the tepid Paris accords, and most of Trump s almost unanimous Republican supporters agree with that move, natch Liberals and their anti American, anti progress conspiracies, haha But even if Hillary wins, she is no environmental leader.We are so screwed But I will read oneMcKibben book in search of any hope to report here If I can make a list of ten hopeful things I find there, I promise to share them.McKibben did write this other book in 1995, which I haven t read, in response to the outcry that he hadn t been chipper enough, so if you wanna read only hopeful environmental books, here ya go for me, I choose the narrow path of depressing realism If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Trust the Science The End of Nature by Bill McKibben original review, 2006 Climate is a Chaotic SystemChaotic Systems cannot be predictedClimate, therefore, cannot be predicted.The IPCC has stated this explicitly I ve been hearing this almost since forever But is it right Predicting a Chaotic System is BY DEFINITION impossible Climate is a Chaotic System Ensembles are used to try to mitigate the nature of a Chaotic System by ex If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Trust the Science The End of Nature by Bill McKibben original review, 2006 Climate is a Chaotic SystemChaotic Systems cannot be predictedClimate, therefore, cannot be predicted.The IPCC has stated this explicitly I ve been hearing this almost since forever But is it right Predicting a Chaotic System is BY DEFINITION impossible Climate is a Chaotic System Ensembles are used to try to mitigate the nature of a Chaotic System by extending how far out one might be able to present probabilities for different scenarios This is done with weather forecasts all the time They use ensembles which is why they present the possibility of rain next Thursday as a probability But as you know, these are often wrong So if they are right, there is an element of luck involved as the conditions that will or will not , cause it to rain in five days are changing by the minute The calculation of climate variables that is long term averages is much easier than weather forecasting, since weather is ruled by vagaries of stochastic fluctuations, while climate is not We can demonstrate this sort of climate response clearly in the Lorenz model, or anycomplex climate model Perturbing the initial conditions gives a completely different trajectory weather , but this averages out over time, and the statistics of different long term runs are indistinguishable However a steady perturbation to the system can generate a significant change to the long term statistics This disproves the common but misguided claim that chaotic weather prevents meaningful climate prediction In fact, all climate models do predict that the change in globally averaged steady state temperature, at least, is almost exactly proportional to the change in the net radioactive forcing, indicating a near linear response of the climate, at least on the broadest scales This book presents the sobering idea that there is no longer such as thing as nature, because humans have caused such massive changes by their presence and behaviors that humans have altered everything including all forms of plant and animal life on earth I read the book when it was first published in hardback form, and it made immediate sense to me, unfortunately I ll never be able to look at nature in exactly the same way as I did, although I can still enjoy what there is of it, and fee This book presents the sobering idea that there is no longer such as thing as nature, because humans have caused such massive changes by their presence and behaviors that humans have altered everything including all forms of plant and animal life on earth I read the book when it was first published in hardback form, and it made immediate sense to me, unfortunately I ll never be able to look at nature in exactly the same way as I did, although I can still enjoy what there is of it, and feel evenmotivated to protect what remains The great problem with this book was the way it approaches nature namely that he wants to leave humans out of it He seemsangry that we exist as a part of the world than interested in thinking of productive ways of dealing with the the concerns regarding the environment that we are facing. Dragged myself through this puppy It was a tough go, but I somehow felt it was the environmentally responsible thing to do Basically he makes the point very forcefully that we really have paved paradise Damn I recommend putting away all sharp objects and hiding anything that can be used to hang yourself before reading this book Dead bird on cover says it all. Read this one several years ago, but it s been much on my mind lately so I thought I d put up my review In 1988, a 19 year old me was living quite happily in a cloud of pot smoke in Orono, Maine My roommate, a great guy we called Woody because that s what he was was waving a copy of this book around and explaining to me an idea he d just learned about in one of his tree hugger classes he was a Forestry major called the green house effect Apparently, Woody told me, mankind was releasing Read this one several years ago, but it s been much on my mind lately so I thought I d put up my review In 1988, a 19 year old me was living quite happily in a cloud of pot smoke in Orono, Maine My roommate, a great guy we called Woody because that s what he was was waving a copy of this book around and explaining to me an idea he d just learned about in one of his tree hugger classes he was a Forestry major called the green house effect Apparently, Woody told me, mankind was releasing all of this CO2 into the atmosphere, which served to trap heat and would raise global temperatures enough to cause unpleasantness upon our planet Twenty six years ago, Woody told me I should read this book Woody now lives off the grid in Vermont with his wife and three kids They use solar panels, they homeschool, and they pretty much live the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle that I so admire About three years ago, I went to Vermont for the weekend and brought a copy of this book, which served as both an introduction to the work of Bill McKibben and a hat tip to my woodsy friend from long ago I was reminded of this book, and of McKibben s rumination on the idea of nature vs actual nature as I ve been reading another book by Wendell Berry In any event, all of this was gelling together in my head this morning Maine, greenhouse gases, nature, Woody, Bill McKibben, and Wendell Berry So there you have it It is a great book I wish I had read it when I first saw it I wish I had paidattention to environmentalism when I had the time to get myself arrested at a protest, or live in a burrow with my hippy friends Sadly, I am now firmly ensconced in the machine Ah, youth It truly is wasted on the young Makes a lot of important points, but I could do without the holier than thou attitude and the constant undercurrent of hysteria Oh, and this guy name drops the wild animals he runs into in the woods the way Donald Trump name drops the lingerie models he slept with in the Eighties. Firstly, I have to remark that I am an admirer of McKibben and his environmentalist work, particularly his participation as of late in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline And the End of Nature does have some useful information and thought provoking moments I stand by and relate to McKibben s discussion of the inevitable hypocrisy of any modern day environmentalist, the urgency of global warming, the disturbing possibilities that bio engineering makes possible, the unfortunate dilemma of whether Firstly, I have to remark that I am an admirer of McKibben and his environmentalist work, particularly his participation as of late in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline And the End of Nature does have some useful information and thought provoking moments I stand by and relate to McKibben s discussion of the inevitable hypocrisy of any modern day environmentalist, the urgency of global warming, the disturbing possibilities that bio engineering makes possible, the unfortunate dilemma of whether or not to bring a child into the world we live in, etc However, I find the main premise of this book, the end of nature, to be feeble and often contradicted within the very text of the book, particularly in his discussion of deep ecology McKibbon s declaration of the end of nature relies on three assumptions that I find to be incorrect Firstly, it is based on the assumption that man is separate from nature McKibben suggests that anyone who claims otherwise does not really believe it I wholeheartedly disagree The environmental mess that we find ourselves in today has been caused by this attitude a denial that we are in fact just like any other animal, a part of nature McKibben, in my opinion, places too much power in the hands of humanity Humanity may think it can tame nature, but it can t, no matter how much scientific, techno junk and theory we produce McKibben s insistence on this point seems to stem largely from his Christian background which peppers the text and to which I hold no loyalty.Secondly, a point that it is tied to the first McKibbon is working with a definition of wilderness that equates it to only that which has been untouched by the human hand This definition of wilderness is illusory and not based in reality One must look to nature everywhere, as Cronon discusses in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature McKibben too easily casts aside the importance of the changes that humanity has been bringing upon the earth for thousands of years To him, the only environmental change that has truly mattered is global warming, a change which he directly relates to white, western culture He makes no reference to the changes that Native Americans and other similar populations around the world have been making to the environment for generations such as Native Americans creating the Great Plains through the use of fire However, to admit that these changes are significant would debunk McKibben s argument, because they would demonstrate that separating man from nature is impossible because man is a part of nature Lastly, McKibben seems to be working with a conception of nature as a static entity, something that has remained unchanged for as long as humanity can remember Nature has ended, according to McKibben, because this static nature no longer exists This, I would argue, is failed logic because nature is, has and always will be dynamic McKibbon claims that old nature was utterly dependable and that new nature is unpredictable This claim is ridiculous, nature has always been unpredictable Nature is continuously evolving McKibben s most important piece of evidence for his argument is the unpredictability and violence of weather under the influence of global warming I, personally find this piece of evidence to be the strongest argument against McKibbon s end of nature Surely the violence of today s weather is a sign that nature is alive and reacting against man s actions, not bowing down and succumbing to man s supposed scientific superiority Although the Gaia theory may not be entirely correct, I don t think it should be knocked down so readily Nature will continue on in ways we cannot foresee long after humanity no longer exists This book holds a lot of truth and McKibben s argument is convincing and strong, and thus it may be the most depressing book I ve ever read. This book was a let down I know that Mckiben is an important thinker and leader when it comes to getting folks to acknowledge climate change and in moving folks to attempt to take action to address the causes of climate change I am not sure what I would have thought about it had I read it twenty years ago, but reading it today, while I found the descriptions of the problems of climate change and certainly the idea of an end of nature compelling, I found McKibbin s construction of the ways we This book was a let down I know that Mckiben is an important thinker and leader when it comes to getting folks to acknowledge climate change and in moving folks to attempt to take action to address the causes of climate change I am not sure what I would have thought about it had I read it twenty years ago, but reading it today, while I found the descriptions of the problems of climate change and certainly the idea of an end of nature compelling, I found McKibbin s construction of the ways we might respond to climate change obnoxious and tiresome Actually, I think I do know what I would have thought twenty years ago I would have loved it As a fifteen year old I was completely taken with the mainstream environmental movement I was very susceptible to any well written position about the environment liberal, corporate green washed, or militant, and I would have been excited to read McKibbin s analysis and his explanation of the futurist response to climate change I know I would have been completely taken by his description of deep ecology When I entered college a few years later and met young people involved in EarthFirst , I would have engaged in some kind of hero worship, would have felt like I had finally found my people and probably plunged head first into the kind of vision of environmental activism that they held out Instead having never read McKibbin s flowing endorsement of a deep ecology approach to activism I found them on the one hand dangerously exciting but on the other wondered how they reconciled a position of earth first with issues of social justice I actually found McKibbin s proclamation of the end of nature interesting While his sense of personal loss that nature no longer existed, didn t quite resonate with me, the idea raises all kinds of existential and, I guess, spiritual questions In all honesty, even though McKibbin s thinking has been available to me the past twenty years, the idea that nature as we have traditionally thought about it no longer exists was new to me His argument is a good and shocking one.It was when McKibbon turned to how we might respond to climate change that the book became tiresome to me Admittedly McKibbon gives an interesting treatment to the, bio engineered man over nature, futurist response Twenty years ago the grotesque description of this response that McKibbon lays out would have been really helpful to me, because I at the time I was pretty ready to uncritically accept any number of claims by industry or science that we could invent innovate our way out of ecological crisis Having this Frankenstein version of our future laid before me would have helped me becritical of green washing and technocratic solutions to ecological and environmental justice issues McKibbon s championing of deep ecology was really where I felt let down Yes, he did write about some of the social and economic injustices related to climate change Particularly he did a good job explaining why uneven patterns of development make western capitalist core communities talk about the need to get by with less, have a smaller ecological impact, etc so hypocritical But he ignored the reality that there have been and continue to be voices from those less developed poorerperipheralrecently colonized communities that have something to say about the relationship between people and our environment, about the causes of environmental, about what humane and ecological ways of organizing our societies in response to climate change and the end of nature might look like One might feel it is unfair to fault McKibbon for ignoring these voices in 1989 the environmental justice movement would not even be labeled and given wide recognition until 1991 But the voices of the communities organizing against environmental racism in the US, the voices of communities directly impacted by every step of the C02 cycle, the voices of radical third world ecologists, the voices of indigenous peoples all of the world were out there McKibbon was just another in a long line of folks like Muir, Hoffeman, and Foreman as well as the big mainstream environmental groups and the militants of EarthFirst who didn t take the time to listen to, learn from and then amplify those voices I don t give the big environmental groups a pass on ignoring the environmental justice movement back in the late 80 s and early 90 s, and I just can t give McKibbon a pass either It is ironic because in a way McKibbon is trying to unpack our understanding of nature as this independent force and our assumptions about how humans relate to nature, and it is in part these mainstream understandings and assumptions about nature that minimized or devalued the voices of folks other than western white males in determining how societies might respond to ecological crisis Lookingdeeply at how we ve constructed nature, as McKibbon leads us to do, forces us to think about how our understanding of the environment and our impact on it is as much about social and economic organization as it is anything inherent in humans or our environment.I just wish McKibbon had acknowledged that there is another choice between human s engineering every aspect of the earth so that it meets our needs and wilderness earth and earth uber alis position of deep ecology and that is that while humans are not inherentlyvaluable than other life, we as humans we do have a responsibility to other humans and thus trying to our vision of social and economic relationships between has to be part of our understanding ecology It just does not make sense to organize around an vision for social and economic change that does not prioritize the voices, understandings, and hopes of peoples that have been most directly impacted by environmental destruction, social injustice, economic exploitation, colonization, and domination "/>
  • Paperback
  • 195 pages
  • The End of Nature
  • Bill McKibben
  • English
  • 08 February 2018
  • 0812976088