Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The Environmental Rabble-Rousing of Diane Wilson

The article  below appeared originally online at  The Rag Blog by Robert S. Becker about Diane Wilson’s newest book Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth.
Environmental activist and author Diane Wilson will be Thorne Dreyer‘s guest on Rag Radio, Friday, June 24, 2011, 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on Austin’s community radio station, KOOP-91.7 FM, and streamed live on the internet. Diane will also speak about her book, Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, at Book People, 603 N. Lamar in Austin, Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. and will appear at the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Shindig & Soiree at Pine Street Station, 1101 E. 5th Street, Austin, from 4-7 p.m., Saturday, June 25.
Legendary Texas journalist Molly Ivins once joked about rebel-rouser-activist Jim Hightower: “If Will Rogers and Mother Jones had a baby, Jim Hightower would be that child — mad as hell, with a sense of humor.” Well, Hightower has a protest soul sister, the inventive, congenial, yet fierce “eco-outlaw” named Diane Wilson. Unlike armchair activists and witty journalists, this champion takes risks, gets bloodied and arrested, and endures jail — then turns her adventures into good-hearted, epic tales reminiscent of Mark Twain. And what progressive battles need, more than ever, are inspiring protest leaders — and crowds in the street. Otherwise, we fail to learn from the insipid, conspiracy-ridden, if effective escapades of the Tea Party. One hard-won lesson I take from this hell-raising muckraker from Seadrift, Texa, is that petitions, donations, columns, and news interviews are nice but don’t save lives, jobs, America, or Mother Earth. Diane was featured in a terrific PBS documentary called Texas Gold, voiced by Peter Coyote, and, with Coyote, produced a hilarious satirical commercial for the film — about bottled Gulf water you get to drink once. Wilso was interviewed on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, and performs daring CodePink disruptions. [Wilson was, in fact, a founding member of CodePink, the theatrical direct-action peace group.] Diane has also penned two inspiring protest memoirs — real-life, laugh-out-loud, unflinching stories reliving what happens when a terrific activist puts her liberty on the line. This woman walks the line, until she gets forcibly removed. Her two full titles alone justify the price of admission: Her tactics are “unreasonable,” of course, only to cancer-inducing, worker-killing resource predators (well-shielded by official protection) whom she ambushes with inventive schemes. Eco-activism here is downright fun, mostly, like anti-war ’60’s agitation (though absent the crowds). She invites all of us to do local agitation. Where she’s best known as Corporate Criminal Enemy No. 1 is Calhoun County, Texas, which — alas, B.D. (Before Diane) — was a remote, Gulf coast pushover ripe for chemical dumpers, and by 1989 had won the EPA’s dubious prize as America’s most polluted place. That shocker woke Diane up, and she’s been confronting polluters (and now related war-mongers) ever since. Teaching by bold example I found out about Diane because my wife is writing a young adult novel and needed to check background about the Gulf, shrimping, and endangered sea turtles. So, who better to learn from than the liveliest, most notorious, ex-professional Gulf shrimper living between Galveston and Corpus Christi? Naturally we jumped in the van and drove eight hours when hearing Diane was to keynote a women’s literary celebration in Santa Barbara. Her simple if hard to execute message: trust your heart, assess the damage, disregard most well-intentioned warnings and, above all, don’t sweat outcomes impossible to know in advance. Progressives are forever talking and talking about direct protests, so time to learn from Diane’s fearless bravery, lit up by over 50 arrests. Would be 100 were she less even-tempered, her outrage tempered by quiet irony and southern courtesy, even to abusers. She never hides, however, the fact that maximizing bad publicity against huge public menaces means getting roughed up, inconvenienced, and punished. The system discourages disruption and, judging by her harsh prison depictions, many here would pipe up, “Is there a Plan B?” Click here to read the entire article>> [Robert S. Becker was educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English). Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, a high-end audio company, from ’80 to ’92. From ’92-02 he did marketing, consulting, and writing; since 2002, he has been scribbling on politics and culture, looking for the wit in the shadows. This article was originally published at — and was distributed by — OpEd News.]

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By