In the 1960s and 70s, when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was released, Environmental Stewardship seemed more focused on what we might do to change the destructive habits and processes our societies had been employing for decades, if not for centuries.
That was an important wake-up call to shift our consciousness, behave more with more awareness and responsibility toward our earth home, and change systems and policies that were harmful.
On a personal lifestyle level, many began turning off lights in rooms they weren’t using, eating lower on the food chain, not wasting water, using more recyclable goods, composting, and recycling what could be recycled. On a collective level, one could join groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the World Wildlife Fund, in order to help effect positive systemic change.
Over time, more insightful scientific information surfaced – with some progress made – in a variety of areas related to Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. However, we’ve suddenly reached an era, in which many of those environmental ‘advances’ are being repealed. Indeed, in certain quarters, the factual research necessary to make good decisions is often being discounted as ‘fake’.
If ever we have needed to remember that the Earth is our Planetary Home – that scientific research is vital, and that our lives are interdependent and interrelated with all other life forms, NOW is the time! If ever we needed to understand our co-creative role in caring for our environment, that time is now.
One source of encouragement to me is a recent event held at the University of Edinburgh and focused on the Personal Politics of Climate Change. It’s not the first exploration of this kind sponsored by the What’s A University For? group, but it highlights a passion and vision still alive among those of all ages. That’s particularly important, when the reversal of environmental progress can be demoralizing.
There are many more resources than the ones I’ve listed here, but I hope what I’ve provided can be both an inspiration and a springboard to more study, ideas for action, and/or collaboration with others who feel passionately about our compassionate responsibility as Earth Stewards called to live sustainable lifestyles personally and collectively.
Center for Action and Contemplaton (CAC) with Richard Rohr – See also Rohr’s talk, The Soul, the Natural World, and What Is (2009), as MP3 download http://www.cac.org
Ecovillages – Fellowship for Intentional Community www.ic.org/directory/ecovillages/
Findhorn Foundation Community www.findhorn.org/
GEN – Global Ecovillage Network www.gen.ecovillage.org/
Greene, Brian (host) (2011), The Fabric of the Cosmos DVD Series. USA Public Broadcasting System (PBS): NOVA. www.pbs.com and www.pbs.co.uk
Inclusive Communities (IC) – http://www.inclusive-communities.org/
Natural Resources Defense Council www.nrdc.org/
Permaculture Institute www.permaculture.org/
Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/
BIBLIOGRAPHY (downloadable as pdf):
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY – Selected Bibliography – 4 March 2018