Thanks to Lew and JoBeth for telling me about the NY Times piece…
Archive for the ‘conservation’ Category
Paul Scudder is a fine arts, commercial, and portrait photographer, master naturalist, and long-time friend of mine. Here’s his review of Blessed Unrest.
“Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons [and daughters] of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” ~ Chief Seattle, Suquamish Tribe
Author Paul Hawken develops a theory in this inspiring New York Times Bestseller that the world’s citizens are in the throes of a movement. A movement that many of them are unaware exists outside of their own circumstances. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) ranging from one-person internet bloggers to large non-profits throughout the world are busy each day trying to create awareness for a cause they hold dear and trying and change the minds of individuals, governments, and corporations that are working against them. Millions of these NGOs throughout the world are part of a larger “movement” that is working from the ground up to change the planet on which we live.
Hawken draws a correlation between the need for social justice, restoration of the environment, and protection of indigenous cultures. He believes that an individual or NGO must care about all of these issues to be successful in their own cause. You can not have one without the others. All three of these issues are the result of runaway abuses of the “free market” economy that is currently enveloping the globe by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the multi-national corporations that are its members.
Blessed Unrest’s contention is that we must demand that governments and multi-national corporations provide a fair and decent wage to their employees, protect and preserve the indigenous cultures in the areas they are using, and do it all in a way that does not harm the environment. Corporations can no longer be allowed to acquire land, displace peoples, and impoverish local workers all in the name of the “free market” system.
The text of this 325 page book is less than 190 pages. The remaining pages include a 105 page taxonomy of over 1 million types of non-profit groups that exist throughout the globe that are involved in the “movement”. Additionally, Hawken backs the claims he makes in his thesis with 25 pages of footnotes and bibliography.
This book is a must read for anyone who cares about true democracy and freedom, cultural preservation, the environment, or the world that we will leave to our children.
“Blessed Unrest is exciting, compelling and very important. . . It will Inspire and encourage millions more to take action.”
~ Jane Goodall
I have never been so happy to see, feel, and hear rain in all my life. My windows are being pelted with droplets, the leaves on the trees are dancing wildly, and I am smiling from ear to ear. When news programs claim one day that “experts” say the greater Atlanta area has 3 1/2 months’ supply of water and then the next day those same “experts” say we are already down to 81 days’ worth of water, what is one to do but panic?
How does the ol’ saying go? The mother of innovation is necessity (or something like that, no?)
Well, we certainly need water. So where is our innovation now? Or do some people still hold onto the hope that a magical spring will be discovered to replenish our lakes?
It is time to conserve.
It is time to imagine.
It is time to be innovative.
It is time to be critical.
And what a perfect time to engage students of all ages in interesting critical inquiry work around water.
Wouldn’t it be great if students researched a community’s water usage and plotted the usage alongside size of family? Size of home? Size of household income?
Having lived a number of times as a child without running water in the house, I know for a fact that folks struggling to pay the water bill are likely to conserve and reuse water supplies in the home. It has been said before, but I’ll ask it again here, could we learn valuable lessons from people with humble means about stretching resources, conserving resources, and living in ways that are more eco-friendly?
Now there’s a great critical inquiry: What is the carbon footprint of a family with a low income level versus a family with a high income level?
but back to water…
Who is using all our damn water???
Could students learn about and work toward promoting climate-appropriate landscaping versus the kind that needs constant watering?
What about swimming pools, fountains, and other privately-owned luxuries that slurp up water supplies? Now that would be an interesting mathematical investigation: How many gallons of water are used in the greater Atlanta area (or any metro area for that matter) for private swimming pools? If those private pools were not filled in late summer, at what levels would our major lakes be now?
And what a great ethical inquiry too: The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing millions of gallons of water from north Georgia downstream to save the mussels in Florida. When wildlife and humans both need water, and the water supply is greatly diminished, who gets the water?