Tell Inconvenient Truths, But Tell Them Slant
Those audiences aren’t exactly wrong. Advocates need to simplify, but good ecological thinking, like good literature and good teaching, depends on the opposite. Repeating polemical sound bites may work in advertising, but it produces diminishing returns in other areas, squandering a chance to allow great literature to teach empathy, a love of the intricate, and the possibility of cultural goals before and beyond capitalist consumerism, with its technological fetishes and its implied promise of mastery over nature. At moments I even suspect that, to save the world, educators need to use ecology to teach a tolerance for complexity, rather than using complexity theory to teach about ecological networks.