The purpose of this "blog" is to make my essays that have been
published online accessible in one place. Current essays are on
top and older pieces farther down, though they are not presented
in strict chronological order. The postings or "blog archive" list
serves as a kind of index. Since most of my essay links were posted
at once in May of 2009, click "2009" under the blog archive column
and a list of essays will appear. Each essay is briefly described and a
link provided.

My formative writing experiences were as a grassroots organizer
and activist in campaigns to make polluters accountable. I wrote
newsletters, pamphlets, press releases, op-ed pieces, and statements
to be read at hearings, debates, and panel discussions. I did hundreds
of interviews for outlets as diverse as NPR, CBS, BBC, and CNN.

During this time I was also a library manager and administrator.
Although one might not suspect so, the role of the librarian and
the role of the activist share much in common. Effective activists
provoke public dialog. Effective librarians invite such dialogue.
Although they employ different methods, the ends are the same.

Eventually, I wrote two books about my political adventures,
Canaries on the Rim: Living Downwind in the West (Verso,
1999) and Hope's Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the
American Land(Island/Shearwater, 2004).

We spent the last two centuries learning how Nature can create wealth.
We will spend the next century learning how Nature creates health.
Ultimately, as we learn to live in reciprocal and sustainable
relationship with the ecosystems that sustain us, we will replace
the cultural language of wealth that both expresses and guides our
behavior today with a new language of health.

I am not talking here about mere words. I mean the way we see the
world, the way we express our values, and the way we make choices
together. The difference between those two ways of seeing and being
in the world are profound.

Wealth says more; health says enough.
Wealth says accumulate;
health says flow. Wealth says compete and win; health says
reciprocate, integrate, reconcile. Wealth says manage and
measure; health says jam and dance. Wealth assigns value; health
assumes it. Wealth adds, subtracts, and divides; health makes whole.

To learn this new language, we begin by listening. When we translate
what we learn into behaviors, we are practicing what I call ecological
citizenship. Ultimately, the health of our natural/physical
environment is directly related to the vitality of our civic
environment. And if you dig deeper, environmental crises are
also about our disconnection from nature and from each other.
And so we confront not only entrenched powers and their
destructive interests, but a culture that enables us, even
encourages us, to think and feel and act as if we live apart from
nature. As I try to explain in the essays that follow, nature is
embedded in us as we are embedded in the ecosystems that sustain us.

Chip Ward

moonbolt3@hotmail.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

After the Green Economy, Green Security: How to Build Resilient Communities in a Chaotic World

After the Green Economy, Green Security: How to Build Resilient Communities in a Chaotic World

A friend who has advocated green jobs and a green economy for several years said he felt a bit disoriented when President Obama endorsed his vision in his own agenda for the nation's future. The greening of the economy was the cutting edge, he said, so where do we go next? This essay is my answer.

As the recent swine flu outbreak hinted, global commerce could be shut down in a global pandemic and, if so, we will quickly learn that our food and energy come from far away. Pandemics are just one possible disruption on a planet troubled by climate chaos and ecological collapse. Security in the face of those inevitable challenges and the chaos that will follow will be redefined as a matter of local resilience. This theme is a continuation of the emphasis on resilience found in an earlier essay, "Diesel-Driven Bee Slums and Impotent Turkeys," found below.

This essay became a chapter in the book How the West Was Warmed: Responding to Climate Change in the Rockies edited by Beth Conover who assisted John Hickenlooper (mayor of Denver, governor of Colorado) on environmental issues. The link is to the piece as it first appeared at tomdispatch.com that also includes my introduction to the essay.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175039/chip_ward_the_department_of_homegrown_security

2 comments:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Susan

    http://3128proxy.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete