By David Gessner
In My eco-friendly Manifesto, David Gessner embarks on a rough-and-tumble trip down Boston’s Charles River, looking for the soul of a brand new environmentalism. With a tragically leaky canoe, a damaged mobile phone, a cooler of beer, and the environmental planner Dan Driscoll in tow, Gessner grapples with the stereotype of the environmentalist as an overzealous, puritanical mess. yet as Dan recounts his personal tale of reworking the famously polluted Charles into an city haven for natural world and wild humans, the imaginative and prescient of a brand new kind of eco-champion starts to emerge: somebody who falls in love with a forgotten area, after which fights like hell for it. contemplating every thing from Ed Abbey’s legacy to Jimmy Carter’s sweater, Gessner issues towards a scrappy environmentalism that, regardless of all odds, simply could swap the realm.
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Extra resources for My Green Manifesto: Down the Charles River in Pursuit of a New Environmentalism
Shaggy weeping willows bow to the river. What would a new environmental music sound like? It might, at the risk of coming off like the mystics I just ridiculed, sound a bit like this river. Burbling, lapping, rushing, calm, excited, but above all fluid. And contradictory, too, rushing one way but filled with back eddies and counter-currents. Uncertain and confident all at once. Before I go all Siddhartha on you, however, let me add that it should also be blunt. Wedging downward past nineteenth-century romanticism and tunneling back toward the practical source of “nature language”: daily dialogues with fellow tribesmen, directions to the kill, songs sung by generations upon generations of roaming hunter-gatherers.
Could we at least take a week off from new projections of doom? A month off from talk of the apocalypse? Maybe even a year-long moratorium on books that begin with the words The End of, The Death of, or The Last? I will be accused of wanting to bury my head in the sand. But I don’t want to bury my head; I just want a short fucking break to remember that there are good parts about being alive. I am not Henry David Thoreau, I get that, and I live in a limited, depraved, depressing time; but I am here to say that I can still experience joy and yes, maybe even a little 29 | 30 I.
I settle in my sleeping bag with a book and flashlight. ” That paper, which sparked a lively debate, advocated breaking environmentalism out of its granola ghetto and tackling global warming head-on, which, according to the authors, and contrary to most conservatives, would actually create jobs and help the economy. I thought I’d pick up the book because it seemed to fit my present mood, and I’d heard that Nordhaus and Shellenberger, like me, have grown tired of both musty mysticism and hysterical apocalypse-ism, favoring a more practical, hard-headed brand of environmentalism.