Can Life Prevail?
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Can Life Prevail? A Radical Approach to the Environmental Crisis
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With decreased resistance and doubt comes greater effectiveness, and you may emerge with more triumph than suspected possible. Since I was old enough to walk and perceive, it has been clear to me that something is very wrong with our world. Our adults are not focused on the task of living, but on the task of managing their self-image.
Consequently, they ignore stupidities great and small. In short, our civilization is a ship with no one at the helm.
Unlike most environmentalists, Pentti Linkola does not try to talk to us through the filter of denial and distraction. Instead, he levels with us as a Machiavellian scientist would: each additional person takes up space our nature needs, we have too many people, most are thoughtless oafs who destroy eternally beautiful things for temporary cash, and our modern laziness arises from the ease with which we interact with life through machines.
In this collection of provocative essays, Linkola targets every sacred cow with an even-handed but unequivocal whittling down of our resistance to the obvious: our species is out of control and needs pruning, and the problem is too many individuals of low intelligence and character.
At his best, Linkola is half scientist and half satirist, always nudging us back to a level of reality. Each of these essays picks an intriguing angle to its topic and explains it through a clear example, usually backing up observations with factual data from ornithology or the experience of a fisherman.
He makes the point many times that we only consider human emotions and thoughts, and do not stop to observe our world. But outside the anthrosphere, nothing gains equality to us brave equal humans. He brushes by the question of our reactions to, or judgments of, his ideas.
Like a researcher he gives us the data and recommendations, and leaves it to us to react in private and then realize our reactions have nothing to do with nature; as history shows us, only what is effective matters. All of our fond notions and egalitarian sentiments, politics and politeness, feelings and validations are entirely irrelevant.
Duff Egan Seattle, Washington. Contact Duff Egan.
Pentti Linkola's 'Can Life Prevail?': Book Review
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