Earlier this year we introduced you to Colin Beavan (AKA No Impact Man) — the “guilty liberal” who spent a year attempting to live as off-the-grid as possible.
Well, you-know-what hit the fan last week when New Yorker journalist Elizabeth Kolbert publically critiziced the project, accusing Beavan of being a “man whose environmental activism began over lunch with his agent.”
Her main problem with the idea seems to be that striving to live off-the-grid for one year isn’t really as effective as working for long-term, higher impact change on a global or even local level. Kolbert suggests that “the real work of ‘saving the world’ goes way beyond the sorts of action that ‘No Impact Man’ is all about.”
Colin Beaven took to the Huffington Post to defend his project, saying “she wasted four pages in one of the nation’s most highly regarded magazines to attack my and my colleagues works as ‘stunts.’” He sums up the New Yorker’s critique this way:
“Kolbert’s mistaken approach is nonetheless instructive. It reminds us that those who care about these issues shouldn’t attack each other. We should respect each other’s differences while understanding that we all hope to advance the same agenda. That is the only way we can hope for change in the very little time we have to affect it.”