Since nothing can be done to save the planet, he argues, environmental groups like the National Audubon Society should focus on preserving the quality of the little wilderness that's left. As if that's not depressing enough, he supports his argument with baseless claims lifted from the GOP's climate-denier playbook. He has a good reason to hold a grudge. Franzen, a birder, wrote in his essay that Audubon does little more than sell holiday cards and plush-toy cardinals and bluebirds, a far cry from its heyday of activism.
Jonathan Franzen: climate campaigns killing the birds?
Jonathan Franzen: climate campaigns killing the birds? | Karl Mathiesen | The Guardian
He cuts a deal in which a community of families are to be relocated and a mountain denuded in return for the creation of a sanctuary for warblers. A suggestion that has angered and confused bird conservationists across the world. Franzen begins his essay with an expression of deep and admirable love for birds, for which he has been a long-time advocate. His typically brilliant opening double entendre works as an ode to birds, but also reveals an apathy for his fellow humans.
Jonathan Franzen’s Climate Pessimism Is Justified. His Fatalism Is Not.
Jonathan Franzen's novels - "The Corrections," "Freedom," "Purity" - have been widely acclaimed, but in his nonfiction and in interviews he has acquired a reputation for being contrarian and cantankerous. He has had public feuds with everyone from Oprah to the Audubon Society, been called everything from a Luddite to a misogynist to a climate change denier. In Franzen's smart, often witty new essay collection, "The End of the End of the Earth," he doesn't so much embrace his curmudgeon image as unpack it.
The essay describes the experience of being thought of as difficult by his readers and his own experience at reading difficult books. Franzen then provides an extended commentary on most of Gaddis's novels. The essay has attracted strong reactions.