Book Review: The Future of Nature ed. by Barry Lopez

I’ve never read Orion Magazine, but if this selection of essays is representative of their writing I may well get a subscription.

What surprised and pleased me the most about this book what that it didn’t preach to the choir. As many essays were against the green status quo as were for it. I feel that the real thrust of this volume was to show people who already consider themselves environmentalists important and overlooked facets of issues they may have thought they had fully grasped.

Some of the subjects that stuck with me:

  • The connection between environmentalism and human rights. e have a right not to be sickened by pollution. Like most of the topics in this book, it had never occurred to me before, but it made perfect sense.
  • A brief, funny, expletive-laden, yet deep essay called “Beyond Hope” which says that “When you give up on hope, this exploiter/victim relationship is broken. You become like the Jews who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”
  • A man who tries to get labor unions and environmental groups to see eye to eye and realize that they have many common goals and aren’t necessarily each others enemies.
  • The crucial link between native peoples and native ecosystems — and how the latter often suffer when green meanies kick out the former. This one was very enlightening for me and seriously changed my opinion of John Muir.

— Amanda


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