A note from Derrick Jensen on Facebook

A note from Derrick Jensen on Facebook

I am very allergic to the use of the word ‘SHILL’, even for people I often don’t agree with, especially for someone like Derrick Jensen.
i got my first note about bright green lies accusing me of being a shill for the oil industry.
Here is the note (I feel no need to keep her stupidity private: send me a shitty note questioning my integrity, and it’s free game if i want to mock it).
Hi Derrick – I notice that you are one of the people behind Bright Green Lies. There is a huge two-page ad on the first and second page of the Vancouver Sun about it, and I cannot help but wonder what group can afford such publicity. Certainly no environmental organization I’ve ever been part of.
The ad suggests environmental groups say that green technologies will save us. I have been part of the environmental movement for over 50 years, have been a member of more environmental groups than I can count and have sat on the boards of some; not once in all that time have I ever encountered an environmentalist who thinks that technology will save us.
Yes, there are much better things we can do than desecrating the earth to get at fossil fuels that pollute – not only with CO2 but with other noxious carcinogens, but we also promote reducing our enormous footprint, conserving energy, protecting nature, recycling, rewilding, etc. etc. ahead of any technological ‘fix’. We recognize that things like solar panels and wind turbines have an environmental footprint – but so does any alternative/potential solution to what we’re currently doing.
So this all causes me to wonder who is really behind this film? Who is funding you? Without answers to these questions, we will be left to draw our own conclusions.
my response
What an extraordinarily insulting and ignorant note.
you clearly know nothing about my work. People can oppose wind and solar–in fact many grassroots environmentalists do–without being supported by big corporations. if you want to look at ‘environmentalists’ supported by big corporations, look no further than at big greens supporting big wind and solar. In the book we have dozens of quotes by mainstream environmentalists claiming that wind and solar will save ‘civilization.’ And that is the problem: these mainstream environmentalists state again and again that they are more interested in saving civilization than in saving wild place and wild beings. Don’t blame me because you don’t know these quotes. And don’t blame me because I am more interested in saving wild places and wild beings than I am in continuing this destructive way of life.
Perhaps instead of sending me this insulting note you could have done 30 seconds of research and found out that i’m a long-time grassroots environmentalist and have spent decades pushing for environmentalism to return to its biocentric and ecocentric roots. You could have learned I’ve written books like The Myth of Human Supremacy. You could have learned that the book and film are about re-centering environmentalism to be about wild nature.
You could also have learned that I didn’t make the film. Julia Barnes made the film. She is a brilliant young woman who is desperately in love with the planet, and who loves the planet enough that she made the film on her own. No funding. Just love of the planet.
And who funds me? Nobody. You clearly know nothing about writing, which is, as they say, a great way to make a life and a terrible way to make a living. Nobody is funding me.
The most interesting thing about your note essentially accusing me of representing an industry is the part you left off, which is the part about you being on the board of the Sunshine Coast Community Solar Organization, an organization promoting the solar industry. i would say this is the pot calling the kettle black, except i’m not a kettle, so it’s really a person who is associated with a group promoting a sector of the industrial economy falsely accusing others of doing precisely what she is doing.
To be clear, i don’t care that you are on the board of that organization: I’m not the one who was questioning your integrity. You were questioning my integrity and the integrity of my friend the talented Julia Barnes. That’s not okay.
Maybe next time engage with the material itself, which is that this culture is killing the planet; and fueling this destruction through other means wastes time we do not have on solutions that do not help. Desert tortoises don’t want solar, just like salmon don’t want dams, and hoary bats don’t want wind. The only people who want industrial wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and so on, are those who want industrial levels of energy. That will never be sustainable.
The solutions we present in the book, and the solutions Julia presents in the film, are primarily about preserving wild nature.

3 thoughts on “A note from Derrick Jensen on Facebook

  1. Derrick has pointed out that with a degree from the Colorado School of Mines, if he wanted to go for the big oil bucks he certainly could have easily made that his life’s work instead of writing controversial nonfiction for small publishing houses. Far as the ads go, others have wondered where the money came from, but authors and filmmakers are not, I believe, under any more obligation to reveal such information than any other artist. Did people do this to Michael Moore?

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