The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture

Mary Pipher, Author
Mary Pipher. Riverhead, $16 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-59448-585-5
Reviewed on: 03/11/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
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Psychologist Pipher (Reviving Ophelia) brings her wisdom about how individuals interact with culture to this compassionate, beautiful, and personal approach to acknowledging the global environmental crisis while maintaining mental balance and hope. As Pipher lucidly explains, the overwhelming amount of information about the desperate state of our planet leads to stress, avoiding discussion, willful ignorance, and outright denial, while the activist’s call of “Wake up!” is an ineffective remedy. Instead, Piper distinguishes between “distractionable intelligence,” which makes us feel helpless, and “actionable intelligence,” which combines information with suggestions for addressing problems, thus creating hope, motivation, and change. She affirms that with guidance and support, we can reach states of acceptance, action, and, eventually, transcendent growth. Using her experience as an organizer against TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline across the Nebraska Sandhills as an example, Pipher shows the power that groups working together have to provide meaning, healing, and replenishing social support, while allowing individuals to feel like they have a role. Serious, yet accessible, realistic without being alarmist, this could be the most effectively inspirational book available about an individual’s relationship to the global environmental crisis. Agent: Susan Lee Cohen, Riverside Literary Agency. (June)
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