« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

Countering the takers

 

I was moved by Brian Calvert’s eloquence, his personal soul-searching, and his finding solace and hope in the words of Robinson Jeffers. I was less impressed by his conclusions centering on beauty and justice and his referencing Douglas Tompkins’ quote, “If anything can save the world, I’d put my money on beauty.” It seems clear to me that appreciation of beauty has been with us for a long time and has failed to exert a corrective influence on our “takers,” as Calvert calls them, or on their conduct in the political/social/ecological arena. I had hoped as I read the article to find Calvert would offer some more grounded direction to those of us who share his malaise. If Kingsnorth’s self-description as a recovering environmentalist is taken to mean an awakening consciousness that comes to grip with the idea that principles and idealism are not enough, then good for him and those who follow him. But by Calvert’s report, Kingsnorth seems to offer nothing more constructive. We still need a way to be in the world, to live and to act in a manner that counteracts the destructive consequences of the takers. Retreats and quiet reflection aren’t going to do it. 

Avram Chetron
Ashland, Oregon