Novelist Jonathan Franzen: Renewables are ‘a threat to wildlife’

The author of Freedom and The Corrections suggested it might be better to protect wildlife areas even if this made the 'human catastrophe' worse

The award-winning novelist Jonathan Franzen has argued that the natural world should be protected from renewable energy schemes because he cares “more about birds in the present than about people in the future”.

The author of Freedom and The Corrections suggested it might be better to protect wildlife areas even if this made the “human catastrophe” worse, and held out hope for a “miracle cure” for climate change.

Writing in The New Yorker, he said he felt “bullied” by global warming’s dominance as the major issue. The keen bird-watcher  stressed that the rises in global temperature and sea level “matter immensely”, but wondered whether everyone who “cares about the environment is obliged to make climate the overriding priority”.

 

“We can dam every river and blight every landscape with biofuel agriculture, solar farms and wind turbines to buy some extra years of moderated warming. Or we can settle for a shorter life of higher quality, protecting the areas where wild animals and plants are hanging on, at the cost of slightly hastening the human catastrophe,” he wrote.

“If a miracle cure like fusion energy should come along, there might still be some intact ecosystems for it to save.”

Mr Franzen claimed that “no landscape on Earth is safe” if the fight against climate change “trumps all other environmental concerns”.

Comments