Monday, June 13, 2011

Out of the City and Into the Trees Issue #2: The Battle of Dalkeith Country Park

I think the environment is awesome! I think that (sub)urban sprawl is terrible! I think that there are many things our society does that could be done better and without hurting the earth and the people that live there. We could focus less on cars and more on bicycles and alternative forms of transportation, focus on using what we have instead of buying new things, and focus more on people instead of profit.

I think that these things are important and that we have to fight for these things if and when it comes to that. And so I have some amount of respect for people that go and lock themselves into trees and and other places to prevent nature being destroyed.

However I am frequently left very confused by some of the people who are incredibly moved by the beauty and importance of nature, are involved in movements like this, and express dislike of modern society and a desire to go back to something more "primitive".

(Now please note, this isn't all necessarily aimed at this zine and its creators specifically, some of these complaints are more general.)

So how is flying a large group of protesters/activists to Iceland good for the environment? Perhaps if you spent the time, effort, and money trying to educate people wherever you are and creating a community that cares about where they live you will have more effect than going to another country and chanting.

And how can you justify owning cars and iPads and things like that when you express your rejection of modern society and technology? I love society and civilization and technology and would be incredibly sad if I had to live a hunter gatherer/farming existence due to the lack of opportunities to learn and the lack of art to see. And yet I don't have a car, I don't have an iPad, and somehow manage to get by fine on a technology I've found or been given. I guess I choose a "consume less" lifestyle, but find certain eco-primitivists to be pretty hypocritical. (Of course other people probably find me hypocritical too.)

This zine has some interesting stuff, but at the same time I find the writer's viewpoint to be somewhat naive. If you're really into this sort of stuff and are interested in reading more about it, I'll recommend that you check out the highly enjoyable Holidarity, a minicomic about environmental protest camps in the UK.

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