Robert Jensen is professor emeritus in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of many books, including The Restless and Relentless Mind of Wes Jackson: Searching for Sustainability and Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully. Jackson and Jensen are coauthors of An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity, published by the University of Notre Dame Press in fall 2022. The transcripts of their “Podcast from the Prairie” are available as an open-access online book, From the Ground Up, by New Perennials Publishing.
People often want to ignore the complexity of that process, downplay how often interests conflict, and avoid confrontation. In this essay, I suggest we throw ourselves into the mess and hash it out—respectfully, in public, based on shared intellectual standards.
It’s hard to escape from beauty if you’re ready to observe the biotic activity and geologic history of the world. Beauty is essential, and I’m saying that, even with the desecration of the ecosphere going on right now, it’s still there.