The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis

Arno Kopecky. ECW, $19.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-77041-609-3
In this sobering essay collection, journalist Kopecky (The Oil Man and the Sea) decries the new normal in which “things have never been so good for humanity, nor so dire for the planet.” As wildfires increasingly ravage the west and species have become extinct en masse, he explores how things came to pass and what activists can do next. In “Mickey Mouse Is All Right,” he describes a visit to Disneyland and explores the amount of carbon emissions that go into such a trip: “Questions like these are not allowed in Disneyland. You leave them at the entrance,” he writes. In “The Velocity of Perception,” he traces the coronavirus’s swift spread across the globe, covering the devastation and economic fallout, as well as “the slow roll of environmental collapse.” Other highlights include “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (an Environmentalist),” which looks at similarities between environmentalists and social justice activists who, he writes, are “in the same fight” to hold the “most privileged members of society” accountable, and “Portents and Prophecies,” which studies literature about climate change. Throughout, Kopecky hangs on to hope. Timely and relevant, this offers plenty to think about. Agent: Stephanie Sinclair, Transatlantic Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/28/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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