The Real Chernobyl
- Q. Several times, you express frustration with people who venerate nature. Why?
- A. I love a backcountry hike as much as anybody, but venerating nature often has as much to do with what we think is pretty as with anything else. And a lot of the time it doesn’t leave much room for humans in the picture, which I think is a problem. Humanity’s not going anywhere. So the future of environmentalism lies not in dreams of unspoiled wilderness, but in setting worthwhile goals that take humanity’s impact into account.
- Q. You call it a truism that “a traveler’s writings say more about the traveler than about the place traveled to.” So what does this book say about you, rather than about the places?
- A. Not that my character is particularly noxious, I hope. I think it just shows how attached I am to the idea of the underdog. I hate it when people or things get written off, not least because I don’t want to be written off, myself. I always want to believe that there’s a chance — even a likelihood — that the most un-beautiful, unlikely, unaccomplished person (or place) could make good when we least expect it.
Source: The New York Times