Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Be an EcoDaredevil

This special Earth Day op-ed comes to us courtesy of our own EcoDaredevil herself, Diane Wilson. Nichols gave an incredible presentation at Bioneers last year (the one held in California), and is a self-professed “turtle geek.”
Jump the Chasm: Are you an EcoDaredevil? By Wallace J. Nichols In the 1970’s, I idolized Evel Knievel. He was rock star, sports hero, and folk legend in one. His death-defying jumps inspired me to launch my bicycle over puddles and many a hapless friend. Now, I find new inspiration in my childhood hero. In 1961, before he became “Evel,” Robert Craig Knievel hitchhiked with the rack of a bull elk from Montana to our nation’s capital to protest the culling of elk in Yellowstone. The Kennedy administration responded and countless elk were saved. Today, we face more serious crises—loss of biodiversity, a warming planet, collapsing fisheries, looming food and water shortages, and pollution in every corner of the globe. Scientists forecast a “2050 Scenario” in which Earth is hotter, dirtier, and overcrowded with nine billion people who are left to wage wars for what little remains. Jumping this chasm will be the greatest challenge we have ever faced. It will require revolutionary changes in society and technology. To succeed, we must be brave, creative, and outspoken. We must undertake the audacious, the impossible, and the dangerous. We must risk our financial, social, and physical comfort. In other words, we must become EcoDaredevils. Everywhere I go, I meet EcoDaredevils. They are debating, creating, evolving—yes, sometimes crashing—but always, always coming back for more. Two Texas women cleaning a beach and inspiring Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup that is now half-a-million strong. Sir Richard Branson greening aviation. Feliciano dos Santos campaigning with music for clean water in Africa. Architect Renzo Piano turning a massive roof into a meadow with solar panels. WaterKeeper Julio Solis drag racing in Mexico to raise awareness of our ocean crisis. Changing light bulbs, inflating tires, and toting reusable bags are each important gestures. But it’s going to take action far more thrilling to make it over this canyon. But, we must do something for the planet—something that invites personal risk. They say that Evel Knievel broke every bone in his body at one time or another. But, he kept on jumping. His steely will enthralled me as an eight-year old. It still does today. So, it’s Earth Day 2008. Look deep inside. Grab hold of your inner EcoDaredevil. Strap on a helmet, some red-white-and-blue leathers, and let’s go for a ride. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is a Senior Scientist at Ocean Conservancy and a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences.


5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..

Uncovering the Many Uses for Abundant Kudzu

As Invasive Species Week comes to a close, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds,  share alternative approaches to understanding and managing Kudzu. Take a look through our final profile and check out any you might have missed along the way: Oxeye […] Read More..

Oxeye Daisy: A Plant for the Pollinators

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on Oxeye Daisy and check out tips for working with Garlic […] Read More..

How to Manage Invasive Thistle and Improve Your Soil

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on two variations of Thistle and check out tips for working […] Read More..