Where are you from?
I grew up all over, but after five years writing “Talk of the Town” for The New Yorker, I have lived most of my adult life in the mountains on either side of Lake Champlain, in the Adirondacks and in Vermont.
Which teacher had the biggest impact on your life?
Ray Karras, my debate coach at Lexington High School, in Massachusetts, who taught me how to organize an argument.
Where do you write?
Anywhere. I’ve been writing all my life, and don’t need a special place or time
What inspired you to write your first book?
A feeling of great despair and urgency about understanding the emotional, theological, and philosophical import of global warming, way back in the late 1980s.
What can I do to help solve these problems?
Organize politically. That’s what I do now—for instance, check out www.350.org^http://www.350.org, which we set up to foment a global grassroots campaign for action on climate change
Who are your favorite writers?
Wendell Berry, George Orwell, C.S. Lewis, Ian Frazier, on and on…
One of my favorite quotes, from Ed Abbey:
“One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am—a reluctant enthusiast... a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
Cross country skiing, hiking, being in the woods.