After decades of fervent environmental activism, Paul Kingsnorth decided it’s too late — collapse is inevitable. So now what?
As a former activist who paused to embrace Manhattan’s social scene, but has, since 2005 started to turn back towards activism, I find Kingsnorth and the Dark Mountainers provocative and reflective of my own internal conversation about how effective one can be in this world which is rapidly becoming overpopulated, over-developed, and degraded by human activity. I care deeply about the planet, and will be the first to admit I’m a misanthrope who thinks we need to talk about overpopulation, and thinks that given our situation, humans need to check that urge to have children - which is mostly ego-driven, and selfish when viewed within this particular context. I am compelled to action because it’s the right thing to do. Yet sometimes I am horrified and overwhelmed by what I see around me, which leads to questioning whether I can make any difference, which sometimes does lead to despair. These are all thoughts and feelings which have informed my journeys of the last few years - the desire to slow my roll and to live a life closer to the earth, immersed more in as pristine nature/outdoors as I can find - before it’s all gone. Because make no mistake - it is going, and quickly. Between the apathy of most of humankind, and the formidable forces of (mostly, corporate) greed and selfishness, I don’t have a lot of hope that humanity will find its way out of this self-induced quagmire on time. At least not on this planet. I think we older generations are leaving our children an impossible burden, as our technology-laden lives and desire for convenience have only served to remove us farther from from the precepts of indigenous cultures, best conveyed by the Great Law of the Iroquois - “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the SEVENTH GENERATION.”