Richard Powers’s 2018 novel, The Overstory, explores the relationship between humans and trees in which the heroes are 300 feet trees. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book follows a group of eco-activists who believe we must save trees, or we’ll suffer nature’s revenge.
“We don’t make reality,” one says in The Overstory. “We just evade it. …By looting natural capital and hiding the costs. But the bill is coming, and we won’t be able to pay.”
Writer Nathanial Rich‘s review of the book in The Atlantic spells out Powers’s commentary on the current challenges of climate change. Here’s more from the article:
“Most Americans do not understand the perils of climate change—or of deforestation, clear-cutting, habitat loss. But those who perpetuate the disinformation campaigns, including the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the House and Senate majority leaders, and the president of the United States, likely do. It is easier, politically, to claim scientific murkiness than to tell the truth: They value their self-interest over the condition of the world their grandchildren will grow up in. Whether this self-interest is venal or foolish is irrelevant. It’s human nature.”
Have you read The Overstory by Richard Powers? What did you think?