Play this page as a M3U playlist

American author and environmental activist who lives in Northern California. He has published several books questioning contemporary society and its values, including A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe. He has also taught creative writing at Pelican Bay State Prison and Eastern Washington University.

Jensen argues that industrial culture is hopelessly destructive. He regularly calls upon his audiences on college campuses to help bring an end to industrial civilization and what he sees as the unsustainable promotion of economic growth at the expense of the natural environment and indigenous peoples. He is often labeled an anarcho-primitivist, by which is meant he believes that civilization is inherently unsustainable and based on violence

"I sat at the computer at work, debugging. I was bored. It was afternoon. I was twenty-two. It was June. Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, thunderheads move in almost every afternoon between May and early July. They materialize, darken the day, spit a few drops, open the sky with lightning, then disappear like so many dreams.

Turning away from the computer I saw through my own narrow window (at least it opened) the green, the blue, the flashes. I looked to the clock, the screen, the window. An hour passed, then two. I looked again at the clock and saw it had been only twenty minutes. I willed the second hand, the minute hand, the hour hand to move faster, to deliver me to five o'clock when I would be released as from my prison term. Then suddenly I stopped, struck by the absurdity of wishing away the only thing I've got. Eight hours, eighty years, it was all too similar. Would I wish away the years until the day of my retirement, until my time was once again my own? At work I tried to keep busy to make the hours pass quickly. It was no different when watching television, socializing, moving frenetically - there are so many ways to kill time.

I remember staring at the computer screen - light green letters on dark - then at the clock, and finally at my outstretched fingers held a foot in front of my face. And then it dawned on me: selling the hours of my life was no different from selling my fingers one by one. We've only so many hours, so many fingers; when they're gone, they're gone for good.

I quit work two weeks later - having sold another eighty of my hours - and knew I could never again work a regular job."
A Language Older Than Words p.110-111