by MPD
Categories: People.


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.”

Wanna hear more? Check out to read Kolbert’s critique and then visit for Beaven’s rebuttal.

It’s on!

  • AJ

    Colin did a great job defending himself and other eco authors out there!

    There are tickets being given away to see Colin in No Impact Man, see for details!

  • Pema

    Who cares… even if it was a “stunt”? He still did something to offset negative environmental impacts! What is that guy who wasted 4 pages of paper doing?

  • Joe

    If we can accomplish the same environmental goals, who cares how it happens? I went to see Jeff Siegel speak at a conference about green investing. Someone accused him of profiting off the movement. Meanwhile, he’s probably helped raise millions of dollars for renewable energy and organic food companies. That’s more effective than attacking a movie.

  • Dan

    The point of the film is to test out what we can afford to sacrifice to be more environmentally conscious without completely altering our lifestyles. In many cases, the lives of the documentary subjects seemed to dramatically improve after adapting a ‘less impact’ way of life. The film is pretty entertaining and definitely worth seeing.

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