Utne Blogs > Environment

Unlearning and Rewilding: An Interview with Miles Olson

Miles Olson headshot
The author of Unlearn, Rewild talks about engaging with the wild earth and why sustainability is not enough. 

In a world that feels like it’s beginning to crumble around us, it seems like everyone’s peddling a solution. Slap some solar panels on it. Drive an electric car. Join a CSA and ferment everything you see. These acts might seem essential—maybe they are essential—but they don’t touch our collectively unsustainable lifestyle at its core or create what Miles Olson calls “deep change.”

The author of Unlearn, Rewild thinks there’s more to life than green energy, eco-products, and sustainability have to offer. “When we talk about sustainability and going green it’s kind of this mechanistic thing,” he says. “‘Yeah, let’s just switch to this different pattern of consumption and fundamentally we’ll live the same crappy lives. We’ll have the same vacuous relationships with each other.’”

His book serves as both a critique of civilization and a guide to subverting it. Grounded, thoughtful, and inspired, Unlearn, Rewild offers the kind of solutions we’re not hearing enough about. I talked with Olson at the 2013 Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, about sustainability, engaging with the earth, and adapting to an uncertain future.