Jonathan Franzen, noted author of depressing literary fiction, has taken to the pages of The New Yorker to lament that no one cares about saving birds any more because all anyone cares about is climate change, and anyway, maybe we should just let humanity burn from climate change and save the birds because birds aren’t big jerks like people.

The essay is … not good. Just qua essay, really not good. I can’t imagine The New Yorker publishing it under any other byline. It is odd to read in the pages of that august magazine, for instance, criticism of a peer-reviewed study the author admits he has not seen but has judged “from the Web site’s graphics.”

More to the point, the essay pivots on several misconceptions: that climate mitigation is in fundamental tension with conservation and biodiversity; that aggressive deployment of renewable energy would be “disfiguring” to the earth; that continuation of current energy trends would be palliative and sympathetic to ecosystems. To see the essay beat about the head and shoulders with facts, read Joe Romm, Karl Mathiesen, and Adam Siegel.