If you are ever having one of those days when you feel unrealistically happy, when everything seems perfect in your world, when you have a spring in your stride, and feel that tomorrow will be even better than today, may I prescribe one of Monbiot’s columns for you? They are available for free in convenient pre-packaged single dose format at www.monbiot.com .
You will suddenly discover that there is more wrong in the world than you have ever previously imagined. EEC grants which prevent farmers from creating natural habitat on their farms? Check. Government policies which give enormous subsidies to wealthy landowners? Check. Corruption throughout business and in all levels of government? Check. A shortage of essential whale faeces? Check. A critical shortage of dangerous wild animals? Check.
I honestly do not know why Monbiot has not had to sign himself into a mental institution for electro-convulsive therapy to improve his mood and help him forget so much of what is wrong in the world.
So, why do I count this raging pessimist amongst my heroes? Simply because he is so well informed on so many issues related to the environment and to politics. He frequently writes about issues which I had not heard of anywhere else. He writes like a scientist, carefully backing up each statement with links to original sources.
I am not sure that I agree with him on everything. He has a strange obsession with restoring wild mega-fauna to much of the world, and I am not sure his economic arguments are always sound. But any time you need to swallow a bitter dose of reality, his columns are available in the Guardian and on his own web site.
He has also written several books. One of them, called Heat was awarded the Premio Mazotti, an Italian book prize. He refused to fly to Venice to collect the prize money due to his environmental convictions. I just have to admire someone who follows through on his beliefs to that extent.