A long walk into hope

  • Wandering Home

    Bill McKibben
  This is a book by a tall skinny guy with a goofy warm smile who took "a long walk across America’s most hopeful landscape: Vermont’s Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondacks." Along the way, he meets up with old friends, many of whom also seem to be tall skinny guys with goofy warm smiles, who walk a ways with him. Their conversations form the basis of this hopeful book, as relevant to the West as it is to the East, from a guy we generally associate with gloomy predictions.

Bill McKibben is best known for The End of Nature. Published in 1989, that well-reasoned work uses global warming as the ultimate evidence that humans are taking over the operations of nature in a haphazard, unconscious and ultimately destructive way.

Wandering Home is McKibben’s own "hope against hope" answer to the "clanging finality" of his End of Nature argument. He leads us through a post-urban landscape of people making creative efforts to live more intelligently on earth, including the students who started Middlebury College Organic Garden with dreams of feeding the college, and a winemaker grappling with the problems of local organic production when the global agribusinesses have started to exploit "organic."

A key passage is McKibben’s reflection on the slightly unlikely friendship between Wendell Berry and Ed Abbey — the one "nearly solemn in his writing," the other "wildly and rudely funny," but both bound together by "the sense that they each held part of the puzzle: the iconoclastic, individualistic, rebellious defense of the wild as necessary for our sanity; the communalistic, enduring defense of the pastoral as necessary for our culture."

Wandering Home is a good backpack book (hardbound but small) for those trips when you aren’t out to conquer the wilderness, but to seek there the wildness "necessary for our sanity" from which we can look back to think more clearly on what might be "necessary for our culture." We need somebody — maybe everybody — to make this kind of hike here in the Rockies, and in the Sierra, and in the Bitterroots.

High Country News Classifieds
  • OPERATIONS AND FINANCE MANAGER
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a national grassroots organization led by women, seeks a resourceful, self-motivated, team player to serve as Operations and Finance Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) fosters community stewardship, education and awareness of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • WYOMING STATE DIRECTOR
    Save the World ... or at least a piece of it! Join The Nature Conservancy and make a tangible and lasting impact by creating a...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY NON-PROFIT NEAR YOSEMITE
    Demanding, but rewarding, advocacy work on forest, water, wildland, and wildlife issues. Applicants should have experience dealing with land management planning, public speaking, grassroots organizing,...
  • NEW AGRARIAN APPRENTICESHIP
    Quivira Coalition's 2020 New Agrarian Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming -Apprenticeships run 4/20 - 11/20 Applications accepted 10/15/19 - 12/1/19 NAP partners with skilled...
  • PHILANTHROPY DIRECTOR AT WILDERNESS WORKSHOP
    Wilderness Workshop seeks a full time Philanthropy Director to raise funds for our team. Learn more: www.wildernessworkshop.org
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT WITH WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks an enthusiastic and organized problem solver to join our growing team as an Executive Assistant. The Executive Assistant is instrumental...
  • WYOMING OUTDOOR COUNCIL
    Two positions: Development Director OR Development Writer, Communications Director. Full job descriptions at https://wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/careers.
  • CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    Great Land Trust seeks to hire a Conservation Project Manager. Position is full-time, based in Anchorage, Alaska. First review of applications will be on October...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eagle Valley Land Trust Executive Director Position Description Summary of Position: The Executive Director, working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, has overall...
  • FINANCE & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
    The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, founded in 1928 as an independent nonprofit organization, is a biological field station located near Crested Butte, Colorado. Our primary...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    See Full Job Description
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Position: Development Coordinator Responsible to: Executive Director Time Commitment: 15-20 hours per week, or as otherwise agreed upon General Description: The Development Coordinator assists the...
  • EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Friends of Cedar Mesa seeks a full-time Education Manager for the Bears Ears Education Center to provide day to day operational and administrative oversight. See...
  • TROUT UNLIMITED SCP SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    Seeking to hire an experienced advocate/manager to oversee the organization's sportsmen/women-driven advocacy in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Open until filled
  • PROGRAM MANAGER
    for northern AZ collaborative conservation ranchlands group
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Partners are seeking an experienced and energetic Executive Director who is excited about the opportunity to lead our growing organization! A full description of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country News Seeks an Executive Director to advance its mission, grow its audience and influence, and strategically and sustainably guide the organization through a...
  • 2 PROPERTIES ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Organic farm, hot springs, San Francisco River runs through both. [email protected]
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.