Environment writing

In a world that regularly plunges into barbarism,  perched on the ledge of self-destruction,  most people will naturally try to search for humane, civilized, sustainable futures. And yet,  most people have serious limitations on their ability to act.

Writers are among the few professions who can consistently act in an independent way and who are expected to be guided by conscience.   Many would say that writing attracts people who need to act independently, or even that writing itself is an act of conscience.

Without a doubt, conscience is what guides many of the finest writers who have engaged with environment as their principal subject or backdrop for action.  A short list of recent books might include:  Edward Abbey’s  The Monkey Wrench Gang,   John Grisham’s  Pellican Brief, and John Hockenberry’s River out of Eden.    There is an emerging  genre of “climate fiction,” envisioning a world that survives (or does not survive) a catastrophic greenhouse event.  And there is a long history of nature appreciation in childrens books, poetry and expository writing.

Genres of environmental writing range from factual science writing and policy advocacy to fiction writing about environmental topics.  (Examples are not meant to be inclusive.)