Crops from U.S. food supply chains will never look nor taste the same Again

Some paradigm shifts happen with the slow accumulation of evidence that challenges business-as-usual, and sets society on another trajectory. Other shifts come in the aftermath of catastrophes that cause severe human suffering, painfully demonstrating how badly our society has ignored or dismissed danger signs that our essential human life support systems have not been functioning well.

I feel deep grief as we recognize how our health care and food supply chains are failing so many of our elderly, infants, minorities and ...

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Migrant Farmworkers, Native Ranchers in Border States Hit Hardest by COVID-19

As COVID-19 raised its ugly head in the rural areas of Southwest borderlands this winter, I recalled the conditions among farmworkers described by Jeff Banister, now director of the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona, after he had spent days out in the heat with migratory farmworkers at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

“By day, field hands toiled in the region’s extreme humidity and heat. At night, they slept under roofs of cardboard. Blankets covered bare ground ...

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Patagonia, an essential pit stop for monarch butterflies

When Gary Nabhan was growing up in the Indiana Dunes, Indiana, he remembered being sleepy in the middle of his class one day. Looking out the window, he studied the leaves of a tree nearby.

Nabhan, who would later find out he is color blind, thought the leaves had odd colors. And as this crossed his mind, the leaves — which turned out to be monarch butterflies — flew away. Nabhan’s lifelong fascination with pollinators had just begun.

Pollinator animal species such ...

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The Long Walk with Giant Boy Away from Drought

As I closed my eyes, I began to see brilliant flashes of that dream again, the one members of my clan carry like shrapnel, cultural shrapnel buried, in our racial memory, each of us with a shattered story that the others have lost and are looking for.

A dream quest for water—or nightmare of drought—binds me to my kin, motivates each and every one of my clan, guiding us out of dry and dangerous zones, moving us towards a momentary sense ...

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Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day On Wednesday’s Access Utah

Every year for Earth Day, we check in with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. This time, Stephen Trimble suggested we also reach out to his friend, ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer, Gary Paul Nabhan.

Gary Nabhan was an intern in Washington, D.C. at the creation of the original earth day in 1970 and he’s been reflecting on Earth ...

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On this Earth Day, let’s think about agriculture

Farmers and ranchers hold the key to carbon storage.

As we celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, the environmental movement finds itself at a critical point in time to reflect upon its record. When have we, as environmentalists, fostered collaboration with the food and farming sectors, and when have we pushed those potential partners away and generated conflict in our rural communities?

When I worked at the headquarters of the very first Earth Day in 1970, it operated as a network of grassroots ...

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The Conservation Couplets: A Manifesto for Moving Forward from Earth Day into a More Just, Regenerative and Restorative Society

We once feared that “The world is doomed and the selfish actions of the earth’s many people are what is dooming it.”

We can see now that “If humans have the capacity to wound the earth, we also have the capacity to heal it. We have the humility to recognize, utilize, and to celebrate our collective healing capacity, and to somehow be healed ourselves by participating in that restoration process.”

We once self-righteously felt “We have to demonstrate the drive to fix ...

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Allow yourself to giggle at the absurdity of this lovely, broken world; by breathing every day.

Quote of the Day: Rumi once wrote, “I have no vocation but this, and no need to touch every rose and thorny point…I would explain, but words will not help, how there is nothing to grieve.”

Commentary: Angst and guilt about how our society has mistreated the earth and its many people will not get us very far. We simply need to take little, modest but ultimately significant actions to care for our “earth household.” Once went I went on a ...

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Earth Day at 50: How an idea changed the world and still inspires now

Coronavirus will overshadow Earth Day’s golden anniversary, but the movement’s successes are worth celebrating, says Gary Paul Nabhan

 

Earth Day, when people around the world come together to support the protection of the environment, is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. The covid-19 pandemic will mean celebrations are muted, but it is worth looking back at its achievements and seeing if it can still make a difference in today’s world.

I was there at the beginning. In 1970, I was ...

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Invest your time, in helping the next two generations fulfill their wild dreams.

Quote of the Day: Our Franciscan teacher Richard Rohr once said to a bunch of us over-earnest, graying wisdom seekers: “If you’re over fifty, and you’re still thinking it’s about ‘you’—your ideas, your dreams—you are missing all the fun. Invest your time in helping the next two generations fulfill their wild dreams.”

Commentary: If you’ve assumed, I’ve been recalling a bit of Earth Day history from fifty years ago for nostalgia’s sake, I’ve failed in my task. As the Native American ...

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Refusing to recognize difference, makes it impossible to see the different problems and pitfalls facing us.

Quote of the Day: Variety—diversity-has been called the spice of life. But Audre Lorde reminds us that “refusing to recognize difference makes it impossible to see the different problems and pitfalls facing us.”

Commentary: By ignoring the value of diversity in our community, we tend to displace or kill it off. Earth Days have taken us a long way toward recognizing and caring for diversity again. As Mary Oliver once wrote, “All my life I have loved more than one thing.” ...

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Notice the wounds in the Habitats you walk through; But don’t stop there: see what cures.

Quote of the Day: When black novelist James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” I don’t think he was talking about the harm that is done to the environment that we live in, or how our health is harmed when we harm the environment.” But it can be applied to that, for Earth Day #1 began the “truth and reconciliation” about the long-term damage done to the ...

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Give to others, you haven’t had time to know; engaging in food banks, daycare’s, and more…

Quote of the Day: Black feminist Anna Julia Cooper proclaims, “We take our stand on the solidarity, the oneness of life, and the unnaturalness and injustice of all special favoritisms, whether of sex, rave, country or condition.”

Commentary: Social distancing is not, or should not be, xenophobia. It can be the respect for other lives. Yet, when any government or class tries to privilege its in-group over others, in supplying them with goods or services and closing off borders, we end ...

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“Four Changes” by Gary Snyder

In July 2016, Jack Loeffler recorded Gary Snyder reading his updated version of ‘Four Changes’ in his home.  This recorded version was prepared for and included in a major exhibition held at the History Museum of New Mexico at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.

The exhibition was entitled ‘Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest’, and Snyder’s rendering of ‘Four Changes’  aptly conveyed how deeply the counterculture movement helped nurture the emerging environmental movement. The impact of this manifesto ...

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We Have Driven into Extinction Hundreds of Thousands of Species, that were here on the First Earth Day.

Quote of the Day: We live in a world much different than the one in which the first Earth Day took place 50 years ago. My friend Kathy Dean Moore reminds us what theologian Thomas Berry said, “My generation has done what no previous generation could do, because they lacked the technological power, and what no future generation will be able to do, because the planet will never again be so beautiful or abundant.” Moore and Berry agree that, “the ...

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Think of ways you can mentor, foster, or fund, a more inclusive leadership, who knows that “the earth matters.”

Quote of the Day: Pete McCloskey, the co-founder of Earth Day, 50 years ago this month, reminds us that youth and so-called “housewives” made a powerful combination in advocating for stronger environmental protection laws that moved us toward real “caring for creation.” Six months after that first Earth Day, two long-serving pork barrel democrats were defeated as activists generated unprecedented voter turnouts. As McCloskey recalls, “Denis Hayes and his bunch of kids had accomplished a modern miracle… five out of ...

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The spirit is hidden in and around you every moment, waiting to emerge and nourish you.

Quote of the day: In the Christian and Muslin traditions of the Middle East and North Africa, there was fear of something powerful that is unseen –like their coded terms for molds, bacteria and viruses— but there was also recognition of the buoyant spirited power of others, live “leaven” or yeast. So in the Good News we hear that the “kin-dom of transcendence is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three small measures of meal, until the ...

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Corona de Cristo in the Era of Corona Virus

forty days of fearing
the worst could be happening
worlds falling apart
hospitals filling their beds
loved ones barely breathing

towns running out of most things
they’re needing to curb the suffering—
you know—hoping, hugging, healing–

I am worrying as I hike alone
up a running rivulet Holy Saturday
grieving that worshiping together
is being altogether abandoned

while trying to climb up out of this muddy stream
I see a glowing on the creek bank above me
a wildflower, one I’m remembering
might ...

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Think of the questions that have propelled you on your personal journey. Live those questions.

Quote of the day: In his new book, Awakening: Musings on Planetary Survival, Earth Day pioneer Sam Love tells us that, “No one is alone, we are all part of life’s web / With each breath, we inhale, remnants of the universe, and exhale nourishment for plants / Who knows what spirits hitchhike in each breath, each morsel of food or each drink of water?” Do these spiritual fragments transform us, in ways too subtle for calculation?

Commentary: One of the ...

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Pay Attention to Everything around you. Seize the Moment.

Quote of the day: My friend at the Duke Divinity School, Norman Wirzba, reminded me of something William Blake wrote, that is exceedingly relevant to what each of you may be facing during this era of social distancing. Poet Blake prophesized that, “If the doors of perception were cleaned, everything would appear to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks in his cavern.”

Commentary: Our moments of solitude can ...

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