All discussion in 160 this week was dedicated to the journal Love Your Monsters, a collection of essays that center around post-environmentalism and the Anthropocene. Already both of these words are alienating to the typical reader, as well as the first year college student. We were asked in class to put our questions about the reading up on the board for discussion, and all I could muster was “What’s going on with all that stuff in there?” which is barely a question at all. I still don’t really know what’s going on, or if I agree with it. Maybe I’m unenlightened, but if that’s what I need to be to get this, let’s just say I won’t be doing any meditating.
There are many things that I do agree with, despite my possibly shallow reading of the text. Yes, humans have always evolved alongside and in conjunction with technology, and we should continue to do so, as is our nature. I also agree that green capitalism is whack, and serves more to reassure the consumer that they can participate in capitalism ethically and sustainably, which is categorically untrue. I also agree that moving forward we must examine the relationship the technological can have with the natural and that those two are not mutually exclusive. Rejecting existing technologies that had unintended consequences on the environment is irresponsible and super uncool. All of this is true.
And yet I have issues with this work. They say we need nuclear energy now, and say that the environmentalist paralysis out of fear of unintended consequence is unacceptable. I do think inaction out of fear will get us nowhere fast, but we know precisely the results of nuclear energy, nuclear waste, which we don’t have any great ideas of how to dispose of. I also feel that there are times where the work gets combative and dismissive of mainstream environmentalists, while also preaching about the innovation of their own ideas. Are they bad ideas? I would say no, if controversial.
Like I mentioned, I am a freshman in college, who took AP Environmental science once. These people have done this with their lives. But it cannot be ignored that if you cannot reach me, someone who is still forming their environmental manifesto in their head and who is ready to listen with an above average scientific literacy in comparison to the layman, I doubt you will reach anyone at all.