Friday, September 4, 2009

More on The New Yorker and No Impact Man

The New Yorker article I wrote about is getting quite a bit of attention. Grist, a major online environmental magazine, wrote about it two times (and my blog post was linked in paragraph 4 of the second article!). Crunchy Chicken also weighed in, and I'm sure others around the blogosphere have been discussing it.

The consensus seems to be that the article's author, Elizabeth Kolbert, a leading journalist who writes about climate change and the environment, was rather unfair in her assessment of No Impact Man. And now the man himself, Colin Beavan, has added his own voice to this discussion. He makes a few primary points: that individual and collective action are both necessary--and indeed, the two often feed each other. Individuals who try to live more sustainably in their personal lives often become more aware and motivated to get involved in collective action. And collective action will be ineffective if we as individuals do not go along with the changes that it requires. He also notes that with so many forces aligned against environmentalism and sustainability (such as modern consumerism, climate change skeptics, and enormously profitable non-green industries), we can't afford to have people on the same side in-fighting like this.

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