The New Yorker Gets One Wrong

Franzen graphicWhat can you say about a publication, the venerable “New Yorker,” that has brought us writers the likes of Rachel Carson, Bill McKibben and Betsy Kolbert?  Easy:  They’ve got their environmental worldview very nicely in order.  But nobody’s perfect, so the editors responsible for accepting a recent essay, questionable (to be kind) in its logic and facts, by the novelist Jonathan Franzen, are to be forgiven.

There was, in fact, another reasonably bone-headed essay on the environmental movement from another distinguished writer, Nicholas Lemann, a couple of years ago that elicited responses from some worthy environmental leaders in whose company I found myself when the magazine printed my letter alongside theirs. Continue reading


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In The New Yorker

Eustace TilleyI’ve got a letter this week in the venerable New Yorker.  Nicholas Lemann wrote an article there a few weeks ago about the first Earth Day and the state of the environmental movement today.  It was, in a word, uninformed.  I had a few bones to pick, so I wrote a letter.

I’m delighted, of course, that the good editors at the New Yorker saw fit to print my note.  I am in excellent company, along with Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, and Robert A. Low, a former top NYC environmental official.

They made some salient points as correctives to Lemann’s article as did I.  The edited letter from me points out the really quite vigorous state of environmental activism in the US today, not to mention in the world beyond, and its effectiveness.  Continue reading


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