At this weekend’s Resurgence Summer Gathering, in various conversations with other ecologicians, I realised that I have long been unconsciously uncomfortable with the label “environmentalist…” and I finally found a way to express it.

Every time I have been introduced as an “environmentalist”, something inside me twinges with embarrassment at being called a “mentalist” and the associations society has with the word “mental”.

It is NOT mental to care for our planet.
It is NOT mental to be heart-broken for the destruction and elimination of species.
It is NOT mental to be freaking out that the Arctic Ice-Cap is collapsing.
It is NOT mental to call for cycling to be our major form of transportation.
It is NOT mental to be freaking out at the global collapse in bee-colonies.

It IS mental to be spending billions on finding more fossil fuels to destroy our eco-systems.
It IS mental to refuse to abandon the consumerist destruction that is trashing our children’s economic futures.
It IS mental to bulldoze the very rain-forests that provide the rains that nourish our planet.
It IS mental to acidify our oceans and poison the vast fragile ecosytems that they support.
It IS mental to spray poisons across the earth to kill billions of insects upon whom nature and our food-supply depends.

NO – we are not “mental” – we are “logical”.
NO – we are not “insane” – we are terribly, rationally, scientifically, emotionally and spiritually sane!!

Yes – we are Logicians and Logicalists – we are not “eco-nutters”.

I/We are ecological
I/We are ecologists
I/We are ecologicians…”


Donnachadh McCarthy

Portrait photo: Robert Taylor 

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