Five Years Ago, I Wrote a Fictional Disaster That Is Now Playing Out in Real Time

By Richard Powers
New York Times
February 2, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

What could make a person die for trees? About five years ago, I published a novel called “The Overstory,” the tale of several characters who come together to protect an old-growth forest. The book follows characters who put their lives on the line in increasingly aggressive confrontations against powerful interests in the hope of saving trees. In the story, decent and principled people cross over the edge into retaliatory violence while trying to defend the living world. Now a similar story is playing out just a four-hour drive from where I live. Atlanta has been shaken by an apparent shootout that occurred two weeks ago when law enforcement officers tried to clear protesters from South River Forest, a wooded site for a controversial new police and firefighter training center. A Georgia state trooper has been hospitalized. A 26-year-old protester killed by law enforcement in what they are calling an act of self-defense.

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