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Know the West

Stiles fights corporate environmentalism


For my money, Jim Stiles, along with a small handful of others like Charles Bowden and Doug Peacock, is one of the leading fresh, outside-the-box voices in the American West since Ed Abbey’s death (HCN, 5/29/06: Clinging hopelessly to the past). We need more of them. 

Unfortunately, prophets like Stiles (here meaning not smitten-by-gawd predictors, but those who call society to account) tend to be reviled. In this case, it’s by the forces of group-think, mainstream big-business corpserate environmentalism. 

Richard Ingebretsen terms Stiles a "fundamentalist" when Stiles is the one "a-busy being born, not a-busy dying," as Dylan says, while the death-of-environmentalism knell has been tolling of late. No, mainstream environmentalism is where fundamentalism, or stultified, one-true-holy-and-apostolic creedalism, lives. True, as Ingebretsen also says, "most people do not like to be preached at" — but few, if any, do more preaching than the mainstream enviros. 


David Cremean


Spearfish, South Dakota