Human Geography

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Planet Canada

Why Our Expats Are the Key to Our Future--and the World's
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The Call of the American West
also available: eBook
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Most ecological movements look back. Some communities model themselves after an agrarian idyll from a hundred and fifty years ago: the life of the homesteader growing their food, keeping goats, making their own soap and keeping bees. Some communitarians go even further back, to our Palaeolithic ancestors with their migration, foraging, replanting of seeds, and brain-tanning hides as their baseline for the Good Life. What all rewilders, off-gridders, ancestral skills practitioners, and those seeking to live in harmony with the planet seemed to have in common was a nostalgia for a world that once existed but was now lost.

The striking thing about the ecosex movement is its insistence on looking forward. In their eyes, social change is needed to envision a planet fit to be lived on. Their focus on consent is perhaps necessary for the uncharted waters they are diving into. Nostalgia is replaced by excitement over what the world could be. Who cares what it once was. Ecosexuals are not trying to recreate some lost Eden, but are instead imagining a whole new one with a new kind of society better suited for survival. They all drive cars and most of them rely on technology — a Surrender Facebook page exists — but most of them, though not living off-grid, are concerned with environmental issues. It is an approach that stands out from the others. Unlike so many ecologically based movements, this one is not misanthropic — it celebrates humans, rather than wishing them dead for their ecocidal ways.

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