I want to share a passage from McKibben's book. He's just written about how his environmentalism springs not so much from altruistic motivations but from his desire to save the wild places he loves. He then goes on to say:
For me, then, one of the reasons for wild places is so other people can fall in love with them -- because surely there are others wired like me, for whom this landscape will be enough. Enough to reorient their compass in a new direction, too. Most of the time now we live under a kind of spell, a lulling enchantment sung by the sirens of our consumer society, telling us what will make us happy. That enchantment is a half-truth at best -- you don't need to look very hard at our culture to see that deep happiness is not its hallmark. But breaking that spell requires something striking. For some, it requires seeing how poor people really live, or understanding the depth of our ecological trouble. Or, maybe better, it requires seeing other possibilities, the kind of possibilities I've been describing on this trip. A world where neighbors provide more for each other, growing food and bottling wine and making music, a world where we could take our pleasure more in the woods than in the mall. A world where hyperindividualism begins to fade in the face of wokring human and natural communities.