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Bram Büscher guest at VPRO Tegenlicht Meet Up on December 19

Published on
November 27, 2018

On December 19, 20.00h, Prof. dr Bram Büscher will participate in a discussion linked to a documentary about thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth.

Location: Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Public participation is welcomed (discussion in Dutch). The documentary will be broadcasted, prior to the discussion, on December 16 at NPO 2, 21.05h (Dutch television. English spoken, Dutch subtitles).

Meet Up discussion

Wind farms, solar farms and electric cars. All attempts to organize our lives more sustainably. But what if you no longer believe that humanity can save the world? What if it is impossible to stop climate change? Former environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth believes we are already in the middle of the climate catastrophe. As long as we continue to regard nature exclusively as an instrument of use for mankind, we are doomed. Building wind farms to preserve our current lifestyle still uses the same mentality that has brought us into these problems in the first place. So we should not ask ourselves what technology we can use on this path, but rather: how do we use a different path?

Participants, among others:

Paul Kingsnorth

The former environmental activist and writer Paul Kingsnorth has retired to Ireland on a rare unspoilt part of the earth. You could say at the end of the world. A portrait of an end-time thinker who nevertheless does not give up hope and continues to believe in the power of nature.
 
Thinker and writer Paul Kingsnorth was early on barricades as a conservationist. Close to home in England as well as on the other side of the world in Papua New Guinea he resisted the insatiable hunger of the globalizing world for more land, raw materials and stuff. Kingsnorth was one of the leaders of the environmental movement and reached a large international audience with his flaming speeches. And then he came to repentance. He fell from his belief that mankind could save the world. In his bundled essays 'Confessions of a recovering environmentalist' (2017), he describes how the calculators of this world turned the green movement from within and exchanged the barricades for tie and conference tables. Reducing CO2 emissions became the new gospel, because it was measurable and calculated. But according to Kingsnorth, that is an illusion. He thinks that the green movement of today will replace the remaining wild nature in a victory rush for a wind farm or solar farm. The battle is lost.

Kingsnorth withdrew with his family back to the Irish countryside to live self-sufficient. He founded the 'Dark Mountain Project' in which writers, poets and artists are looking for a different view of the end of the world, based on the connection between man and nature. He exchanged his clenched fist and protesting voice for an inner, literary search for the question of what makes us human and what our place is on this magical planet.