Summer solstice, June 21st is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer. It is time to get out and enjoy the long, wonderful days. What have you planned for your summer vacation: a camping trip, boating, kayaking, surfing, visits to the beach? Summer is a great time to share outdoor experiences with kids.
Many of our Forces of Nature have said that their love of nature began with childhood experiences. For example, Ane Deister tells a sweet story about fishing with her dad, and Riki Ott shares the unusual way her father introduced her to Rachel Carson’s fight against DDT, a commonly used pesticide in the 1960s and ‘70s. For these women, time with their fathers helped to shape their future into careers in environmental engineering and marine biology, respectively.
Forces of Nature – Latest Interviews
The Resource Renewal Institute (RRI) staff has been busy with interviews this winter and spring. We have uploaded many new videos, and I’m certain that you will find at least one that will inspire you. This year we have interviewed additional land savers: Michael Wright, Bob Kiesling, Amy Meyer, Steve McCormick and Will Rogers; ocean and fish experts: Riki Ott, Edward Ueber and Zeke Grader; deep thinkers like Michael Murphy; educator and health policy expert, Tracey Woodruff; activists like Carol Moss, John Amodio and Michael Herz; a most amazing recycler, Joe Garbarino; a fundraiser, Catherine Fox; a digital archivist in Asia, Alan Potkin; an executive that thinks outside the box, Marty Krasney; and consulting environmental engineer, Ane Deister.
Forces of Nature in the News
Our Forces of Nature are very active and they are frequently being recognized for their contributions. Below, are a few updates. Throughout this blog, you will find clickable links in blue. Clicks on names will take you to the video, clicks on words such as “activists” above will take you to the referenced playlist. Links are provided to articles, books and other relevant references. I hope you will enjoy learning more about our Forces. We welcome comments on this blog, as well as any of the videos, and we challenge you to interact.
Scavenging Toward Zero Waste
Some folks refer to Joe as a trailblazing recycler, but he modestly calls himself a “scavenger.” Joe Garbarino Jr. was recently honored by the Marin County Board of Supervisors for his commitment to recycling more than 75% of the county’s solid waste. Hats off to Joe!
The Art of Reciprocity
From Kennebec Maine to San Francisco, educator Susie O’Keeffe has presented her multi-media performance of the “Art of Reciprocity: Rekindling the Exchange of Wild Affection.” Her presentation contemplates the beauty and awe of Southeast Alaska in poetry, prose, images and music, and is part of Susie’s effort to understand and help end our destructive relationships with the larger life community.
No More Oil Spills
Dr. Riki Ott is a marine biologist who frequently speaks about environmental and policy issues related to the Exxon Valdez oil spill that devastated the ocean waters of Prince William Sound in Alaska where she fished. In the twenty-five years since responding to that environmental disaster, Riki has been sought out as an expert on oil spills and spill disaster response and recovery. She has recently been informing the public about the National Contingency Plan that was adopted in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill. The Plan is currently being updated in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forces of Nature, Yvon Chouinard, founder of the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, is frequently in the news. Chouinard has invented a new and simple fishing rod that illustrates an important concept: you don’t need a fancy fishing pole to catch fish – or to enjoy fishing. As Yvon says, “Simple Fly Fishing [his new book] is a metaphor for society. I want to show a simple life is not an impoverished life.” Here’s a link to another excellent interview with Chouinard. Additionally, Yvon is also the subject of a new documentary, “180 South.” Watch the trailer.
Marin Audubon President, Barbara Salzman has announced that the Marin Audubon Society has signed a contract to purchase a critical 5.2-acre former tidal marsh property along the Corte Madera bay front that it has eyed for 25 years. The group now has eight months to raise the $1.035 million to buy the land. The adjacent marshes support the rare and endangered California clapper rail and the purchase of this property would allow it to be returned to tidal action once again.
Carter Niemeyer was featured in the Spokesman Review [Idaho] in an article titled, “Idaho Department of Fish and Game defends handling, collaring wolf pups.” Carter Niemeyer worked as a government trapper for wolves and wrote the book, Wolfer. In the Review article, Niemeyer questioned the potential for increased mortality to the pups from handling and collaring. He is currently a contractor for the Washington Department of Fish and Game.
Although Joseph Sax passed away recently, his legacy of invoking the public trust doctrine and using it to protect public resources will continue to be newsworthy. The Cap Times [Madison, WI] reports that the public trust doctrine can point the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in a new direction. The Cap Times quotes Sax: “When the state holds a resource that is available for the free use of the general public, a court will look with considerable skepticism upon any governmental conduct which is calculated either to reallocate that resource to more restricted uses or to subject public uses to the self-interest of private parties.”
TreePeople founder, Andy Lipkis, is tirelessly working to make a difference in Los Angeles and his focus always involves trees. Andy has made the critical connection between tree canopy and watershed retention which is reported by Sierra Wave Media. Lipkis has planted thousands of trees in the Los Angeles basin and tells people about the intrinsic value of trees to our environment. If you haven’t seen Andy’s video, won’t you take 12 minutes to watch it?
Seeds and Agriculture
The 1993 book written by Helena Norberg-Hodge with Peter Goering and John Page, From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture is the topic of an in-depth article featured in The Nation. The book is a comprehensive critique of industrial agriculture. In 1986, Helena received the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize.’
Dr. Gray Brechin, historical geographer and director of the Living New Deal Project at UC Berkeley shared his expertise in a California State University Bakersfield History Forum presentation: “The Grapes of Charity: Excavating California’s Debt to Franklyn Roosevelt’s New Deal.” The Living New Deal Project at UC Berkeley is a national team effort to tally, map, and interpret the vast public works legacy of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s initiatives to extricate the United States from the Great Depression. Dr. Brechin explained how this relates to John Steinbeck’s book, The Grapes of Wrath.
Are you inspired by the Forces of Nature? Do any of our interviews inspire you to enjoy the outdoors with a child, a spouse, a friend? Perhaps you are inspired to plant a garden, or to contribute toward something you are passionate about. Now is a great time! Take advantage of these long days: why not go out and get dirty?
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