Archive for April, 2011


“Wild Law” Would Codify Nature as Subject, Not Object

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The following is excerpted from Cormac Cullinan’s book, Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, Second Edition. It appeared originally on the web at Truthout.org.

I was probably fortunate to have studied law in apartheid South Africa. It meant that right from the beginning I was very aware that states use law as a method of social control, that laws reflect a particular view of the world held by those with political power, and that there is not necessarily a healthy relationship between law, justice and morality. It also meant that I was never in awe of the “majesty of the law” or believed that having a complex yet rationally consistent set of rules was an end in itself. The fact that I was involved in organizing student marches and other anti-government activities that were illegal at the time, also gave me a healthy disrespect for many of the involved debates that some legal theorists immersed themselves in. Issues such as whether or not there is a moral obligation to obey the law simply because it is the law, or whether or not a morally repugnant law is law, seemed simple in those days. Whatever the niceties of the various academic points of view, when confronted with really repugnant laws that are nevertheless enforced with whips, imprisonment and worse, the doubts evaporate. I, and many others, found that at these times we took guidance from our consciences and hearts and not from logic or theory. Valuable though logic is in discerning truth, sometimes the heart or intuition is a better guide in the turbulence of experience.

The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. In my view, the deteriorating condition of Earth is the proof that the human self-governance pudding has gone bad. Our systems for regulating human behavior are not protecting Earth, our home, from destruction, because that it not their purpose. The problem of inadequate self-regulation cannot be solved at the level of legislative reform. The problem is not simply that our laws need refining to be more effective. The fact is that, by and large, these laws do give accurate expression to the defective worldview that underlies them. Our legal and political establishments perpetuate, protect and legitimize the continued degradation of Earth by design, not by accident.

In this chapter I will discuss some examples that I think illustrate this point, as well as referring briefly to some of the jurisprudence that lies behind the legal systems of the cultures that currently dominate world society.

SYMPTOMS
There are few areas in which the arrogant and obsessively anthropocentric worldview of the dominant societies is more apparent than in the law. The law reserves all the rights and privileges to use and enjoy Earth to humans and their agents (and usually only selected categories of those, at that). It has also reduced other aspects of Earth and the other creatures that live on it to the status of objects for the use of humans. The grandiose constitutions of the mighty nations form the arching vaults of the homosphere, and describe it and its aspirations. The law prescribes how we relate to other humans, to other cohabitants of this planet and to Earth itself. It punishes and takes revenge on those who do not conform. It legitimizes the eternal extermination of species and the most profound disrespect and abuse of the Earth that sustains us.

If all this sounds like hyperbole, consider the following, which is true of the legal systems of almost all the cultures that currently dominate human society.

OTHER ASPECTS OF EARTH ARE DEFINED AS OBJECTS WITHOUT RIGHTS
Animals, plants and almost every other aspect of the planet are, legally speaking, objects that are either the property of a human or artificial “juristic person” such as a company, or could at any moment become owned, for example by being captured or killed. For as long as the law sees living creatures as “things” and not “beings,” it will be blind to the possibility that they might be the subjects (i.e. the holders) of rights. It is simply legally inconceivable for an object to hold rights. In other words, the jurisprudence of most of the world does not recognize, as Thomas Berry expresses it, that “the universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.”

Another consequence of recognizing only humans as beings, is that any sacred or spiritual dimension of any other form of life, or of Earth itself, is denied, and in the eyes of the law, does not exist.

The only rights recognized by law are those that are enforceable in a court of law, and these may only be held by human beings or by “juristic persons” like companies. This means that from the perspective of our legal systems, the billions of other species on the planet are outlaws, and are treated as such. They are not part of the community or society that the legal systems concern themselves with, and have no inherent right to existence or to have a habitat in which to live. This may sound like an exaggeration when most countries have laws that protect designated species and habitats, for example in national parks. However, this type of legislation does not confer rights on non-humans, it merely restricts some aspects of human behavior, usually to ensure that other humans can continue to enjoy wild areas and creatures.

Even if a legal system were to recognize that other species are beings, we must still overcome the difficulties of how any “rights” that they may have will be protected and asserted. This is difficult but essential. A right that cannot be enforced is not a right at all.

Read this article at Truthout.org

Wild Law is available now.

Archeology, Not Agriculture, Teaches Good Farming

Friday, April 29th, 2011

by Gene Logsdon

I’m thinking lately that a farmer can learn more about sustainable farming from history rather than from current science.

Agriculture has been taking giant leaps “forward” and archeology giant leaps “backward,” both with intriguing and absorbing results. Both work under a handicap.

Archeology studies a silent past and has to worry that it’s getting the story right. Agriculture assumes a future that may not turn out to be true either. The two sciences have markedly different philosophies. Agriculture is interested in making farming a money-profitable business. Archeology is interested in finding out why profitable farming invariably leads to wrecked civilizations.

Archeologists are discovering new information all the time, especially in Central America and in North Africa because in both cases the past is not so silent after all. Written records and datable non-written records are coming to light especially for the Mayan empire on this continent and the Carthaginian Empire and its aftermath in North Africa. For example, researchers are reporting new evidence indicating that the Mayan Empire was maybe a thousand years older than it had been thought to be. The Yucatan Peninsula supported a population of millions more people than historians previously had concluded. Supporting those millions was an extremely advanced maize or corn agriculture, the profit-farming of that time. But whenever the Mayans figured out yet more clever ways to increase corn yields, the population increased and that required yet more yield increases. One example: the people literally built upland fields for corn by carrying rich mud up from swamp land that they could not otherwise drain. Sadly, the Mayans used the wealth from their profit-farming to build gigantic pyramids and fortresses that required a certain kind of cement to erect, and the cement required the burning of vast amounts of wood to produce. What with burning wood and clearing the land for more farming, the forests were destroyed, and erosion followed. The wealth also tempted the people to engage in humans’ favorite sport: war. And the people started having diet problems from too much corn. Does any of this sound familiar?

When Rome destroyed Carthage about 100 BC, Scipio curiously saved something surprising: a set of books. What about? Farming. The author, Mago, had written a detailed record of how to farm successfully in areas of limited rainfall. It is just astounding to read how the farmers of North Africa in those days saved winter rains with all sorts of channeling, pooling, terracing, even giant cisterns, to use in summer. The land, which then was a savannah of grass and scattered trees, not desert, produced magnificently. North Africa provided Roman citizens with practically free grain for centuries. Once again the wealth led to nearly constant wars between tribes and states.

Today, in Tunisia, you can see an amphitheater crumbling to ruins in what is now desert. It looks a lot like the Coliseum in Rome. It could hold 60,000 people. It marks the location of an ancient city, Thysdrus, now mostly buried in the sand. All over North Africa lie buried cities, great temples, marble baths once equipped with flush water toilets, huge warehouses for wheat and olive oil. It has been proven that this desert was not caused by weather change. It rains about as much in North Africa today as then. What happened along with the wars and other extravagances of wealth, was that the uplands on the edge of the Sahara Desert were overgrazed and the soil washed away into the farm lands. The nomads followed their soil north and in the clash between farmers and herders, disruption and chaos led to the abandonment of good dryland farming methods.

I look at the pictures of the amphitheater at Thysdrus and I think of the two sports arenas in Kansas City. Will they someday be crumbling into ruins in a desert too?

Oh, come on you stupid writer. No problem here. We’ll just stack a few more genes on that wonder corn of ours and build a bigger tractor.

Read the original post at The Contrary Farmer.

Gene Logsdon is the author of, most recently, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind.

How We Can Change Our Laws to Protect the Rights of Nature

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

On April 20, South African environmental lawyer Cormac Cullinan took part in a dialogue at the United Nations alongside Vandana Shiva, Riane Eisler, Peter Brown, and Bolivian UN Ambassador Pablo Solón as part of the preparatory process for the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Cullinan, who led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth at the request of the Bolivian government last year, is the author of Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, 2nd edition, which calls for an Earth-centric, rather than anthropocentric, approach to jurisprudence. Cullinan recently spoke with Chelsea Green’s Brianne Goodspeed about his work and the recently released second edition of Wild Law.

Brianne Goodspeed: You write that your experience studying law in South Africa during apartheid meant that, right from the start of your legal career, you realized that the relationship between law and justice can be tenuous. How has that influenced your thinking about the relationship between law and the natural world?

Cormac Cullinan: It was clear that laws were one of the main instruments of oppression used by the minority white government, so as a law student in apartheid South Africa, I quickly realized that there’s not necessarily a connection between law and morality or between law and justice. Since I’m a white male, I wasn’t at the receiving end of this legislation until I became in active in anti-apartheid politics as a student and fully understood that so much of what I’d been taught by the society in which I grew up — and the values it espoused — was false and deeply harmful to humanity.

Being born a white South African at that time meant you were born into the class of the oppressors. By doing nothing, you became an accomplice to a crime against humanity. Young white South Africans who became involved in the struggle for democracy had to consciously re-educate ourselves. This left me with the understanding of how important it is to critically evaluate the values of society and how oppressive systems can be established and reinforced by laws which are portrayed as neutral.

That experience made it easier for me to see how law is also used to legitimize and perpetuate the exploitation of nature.

BG: Wild Law is an argument for “Earth Jurisprudence.” What does that mean?

CC: Earth jurisprudence is simply an approach to law and governance that takes the natural order of the cosmos into account and focuses on ensuring the health and integrity of the whole system, rather than being exclusively focused on human interests. It proposes that if we are to govern ourselves in a manner that enables us to participate fully in the Earth community, we need to align our governance systems with natural systems by ensuring, for example, that we keep pollution levels well within the ability of natural systems to absorb and neutralize pollutants. What I refer to as “wild laws” are laws that reflect this approach.

Continue reading this interview at Alternet.org

Wild Law by Cormac Cullinan is available now.

DIY: Make a Self-Watering Planter

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Good news, readers – gardening season has begun! If you’re lacking space or live in an urban environment, here’s an easy way to construct a self-watering container garden for growing your food indoors.

The following is excerpted from Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The Square Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting by R. J. Ruppenthal. It has been adapted for the Web.

Making Your Own Self-Watering Growing Container

If you are on a bootstrap budget, you can make a self-watering growing container yourself. I have made several of my own, using Rubbermaid or Sterilite storage containers, that grew some mighty fine vegetables. If you have a couple of extra 5-gallon plastic buckets, or a metal or plastic washtub, you could modify any of these as well. All you need is the container plus a few materials, which can be purchased for around $10 at your local hardware store or garden center. If you are buying a container, then the darker plastic colors are best because they hold in the heat well (unless too much heat is a problem in your climate, in which case you should go with white). Most hardware stores, drugstores, or home centers stock some of the large, featureless plastic basins or storage containers that work best for this project.

Raw materials for making a self-watering planter box for vegetables: (A) large plastic storage bin (lid not pictured), (B) pond basket, snack tray, or strainer for “soil foot,” (C) plastic watering pipe, (D) wood blocks or other attachable supports, (E) burlap, mesh, or landscape fabric to screen watering pipe. Also needed: staples or screws.

The basic design of self-watering containers is that they have a water reservoir below the growing chamber. These two chambers are separated by a rack of some sort, which holds most of the soil above the water. This separating rack can be made from the top of a Rubbermaid or Sterilite container box that is cut to fit inside, or else you could use two containers, drill holes in the bottom of one, and nest that inside the other. The water reservoir does not need to be as tall as the growing chamber, perhaps one-fourth to one-third as tall. You then need to put a larger hole or two in this rack for one or more “soil feet,” which will sit in the water, holding a small amount of soil that wicks up the moisture into the main soil and toward the plant’s roots. To hold the “soil feet” in the water, a basket of some sort can be inserted there and then packed with soil for each of the soil “feet.” A snack tray or pond basket can do the trick, or you could even use an old coffee can, plastic nursery pot, or 2-liter soda bottle base that is cut to fit and then punctured with holes.

(1) Cut lid to fit inside bottom of container and cut hole in center for pond basket. Also allow space in one corner for watering pipe. (2) Attach wood blocks or other support using screws or staples. (3) Cut plastic pipe to fit height, allowing room for watering once soil is added. A piece of tape will hold it in the corner until soil is added. (4) Here, burlap is used to screen watering pipe from any soil blockage (at bottom) and double wrapped-at top to prevent insects. This “cap” is removed for watering. Landscape fabric or mesh screen also will work.

Just below the rack’s level on the outside of the main container, you should drill or puncture a small drainage hole, which allows any excess water to drain out. The final crucial piece, before the soil goes in, is some sort of watering tube that runs down the inside of one corner. Buy a foot or so of plastic pipe or hose at your local hardware store and fix this to a corner with hot glue, twine, or a pipe fastener; make sure that the bottom of the pipe goes all the way down into the reservoir so it cannot get filled with soil; you also could cover the end with a mesh screen or landscape fabric to keep soil out. PVC has gotten a bad name because it can leach chemicals, so if this is a concern you can look for ABS plastic or consider investing a few more dollars for a pipe made of copper, aluminum, steel, silicon, or even bamboo (and, if this is a concern to you, then you also should start with a non-PVC container for the planter itself). The pipe should be wide enough so that you can water it easily with your watering can.

(5) The cut lid with pond basket is flipped into the bottom of the container, where it rests on supports. The water reservoir will be below while the soil will go on top. The pond basket will hold the “soil foot,” which will sit in the water reservoir and wick up moisture into the rest of the soil. Plant roots will grow downward toward the water. (6) Punch a hole or two in the side of the container just above the water reservoir to allow for drainage in case of overwatering or heavy rains.

When you’re ready to fill the container, first pack the “soil foot” (or feet) with soil, wet this until moist, and then put in the remainder of your soil mix on top of this level so it is held in place by the rack. Water the soil from above until it’s the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. Repeat this for three or four days, and then begin filling it via the water reservoir. The very top of the soil may dry out, but what’s really important is that there is lightly moist soil about 5 or 6 inches down. You can keep adding water right up until it starts spilling out of the drainage hole, meaning that it has reached full capacity at the height of the soil rack.

(7) Fill pond basket with soil, pack it in tightly, and wet it down. (8) Fill remainder of container with good potting soil that is rich in organic matter. (9) Plant veggies and water well from the top. (This container shows onions and an oregano cutting.) (10) After the soil has been wetted down once, you can start watering via the pipe. (11) Add organic fertilizer to the top of the soil, and scratch it into the first few inches with a trowel. Plants will grow side roots to take this nutrition as they need it, while taproots will go down toward the water, making for very strong and happy plants. (12) Cover with mulch as desired to retain moisture and heat. If using plastic mulch, cover with plastic first and cut holes for plants or seeds.

Next, you should decide whether to mulch. Spreading some mulch on top of the soil preserves moisture and keeps the plants a bit warmer. If you decide to use black plastic sheeting as mulch, then first do the fertilizing as described below. Then cover with plastic mulch, which can be duct-taped to the sides or held down with the cutout frame of your container’s top if there is one. Cut an “x” in the black plastic wherever you want to put a plant. Whether or not you have mulched with black plastic, go ahead and plant your veggies next. Give each plant adequate root spacing according to the recommendations for that type of seed or transplant. Once they are planted, if you have not yet fertilized, then side-dress the plants with a line or two of fertilizer along the top of the soil. Try to place this band a few inches from the plant stems, which will encourage better root growth. For most organic fertilizer, 2 to 3 cups per 2 cubic feet of soil is enough. (This is the Earthbox capacity.) Finally, if you have not used black plastic, then you could now add any other kind of mulch: sawdust, grass clippings, leaves, etc. After the growing season, take out the old plants and try to remove the worst of their roots. Then scrape off any remaining fertilizer (or the first two inches of soil), top off with new soil mix, and then add your new plants and a fertilizer band as before. Every day or two, add water into the pipe or tube until the reservoir is topped off. You should be all set!

Vegetables growing on a balcony in self-watering planters.

One caveat with self-watering planters: The size of the “soil foot” that sits in the water determines how wet your soil will be. If the soil foot is relatively wide (covering more than about 20 percent, horizontally, of the bottom area of the container), your soil will be quite moist. If you want to grow root or tuber vegetables in this container, such as carrots or potatoes, wetter soil can mean more disease problems, so you may need to use a narrower item for the soil foot to sit in. Root crops may also taste better if they are forced to grow downward toward the water. Here are three possible solutions to keep your soil a bit drier, any one of which should help:

Greens growing in a self-watering planter. ©iStockphoto.com/CarolinaSmith
  1. When you are making the self-watering box, limit the size of the soil foot, so that it covers no more than about 10 to 15 percent of the base. This will allow less water up into the soil and allow for healthy root crops.
  2. Add a little more sand to your soil, which should limit the wicking action of its organic material.
  3. Allow the water in the reservoir to be completely used up before watering again, and do not give it more than one day’s worth of water at a time. Advocates of a wet-dry growing cycle also can follow this suggestion, though in my experience, a self-watering container will grow healthy vegetables of all kinds without any special care.

Fresh Food From Small Spaces by R.J. Ruppenthal is available now.

How Americans Can Get Up and Stand Up

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The following review of Bruce Levine’s book, Get Up, Stand Up, was written by David Swanson. It appeared originally on his website, davidswanson.org.

In December 2009, psychologist Bruce Levine published an article at Alternet called “Are Americans a Broken People?” His timing couldn’t have been better. Americans of good will and bad analysis were suffering a severe fit of Obamanation withdrawal. The article was reposted everywhere, commented on endlessly, and responded to voluminously. (This was my response.) Levine has now developed his article into an important book called “Get Up, Stand Up.”

Setting aside the particular burst of raging defeatism that has swept through the ranks of borderline Democratic Party loyalists who had placed their hopes in the Savior of 2008, there was always a problem. We had sat on our hands through blatantly stolen elections. We shrank the peace movement as wars grew less popular. We watched the government hand our grandchildren’s unearned pay to Wall Street in the biggest theft ever committed, and while a majority of us “opposed” it, almost nobody did a goddamn thing about it. The labor movement won’t engage in serious production-halting strikes, being too busy rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Wal-Mart shoppers trample people to death for cheap televisions and refuse orders to disperse, but crowds protesting enormous crimes pen themselves in free-speech cages, while airport travelers meekly submit to gropings and pornoscans, and the natural environment is being deliberately and methodically destroyed for all time before our knowing but glassy eyes. There’s a long-standing lack in our society of whatever it is that causes other societies to not put up with this kind of shit.

Let’s set some other things aside for the moment. We need a lot of reforms to the structure of our country. Political bribery should be criminalized, union organizing should be legalized, the media cartel should be broken up, the two political parties should be broken up, etc. We need better leadership in activist campaigns, which should stop bowing down before the Democratic Party, selling out, and opposing aggressive nonviolent disruption of business and murder as usual. I believe those are all hugely important topics. Activist energy is being misdirected and under-utilized all the time. It also exists in far greater measure than the corporate media tells us, adding to the importance of creating a useful communications system. But Levine’s topic, which does not necessarily exclude or dismiss any others, is the state of the individual U.S. activist, or inactivist as the case may be.

Continue reading the full article at David Swanson Blog

Listen: Chasing Chiles authors on Here on Earth

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Gary Paul Nabhan and Kurt Michael Friese, two of the three authors of the new book, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail, were interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Here on Earth program earlier this month.

Listen to the full interview here.

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus). Chiles are delicious, dynamic, and very diverse—they have been rapidly adopted, adapted, and assimilated into numerous world cuisines, and while malleable to a degree, certain heirloom varieties are deeply tied to place and culture—but now accelerating climate change may be scrambling their terroir.

Learn more about Chasing Chiles in our bookstore now.

Taking on the Corporate Polluters, Jail Be Damned

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

The following excerpt from Diane Wilson’s new book, Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth, was published originally on the web at Alternet.org.

I could feel the buzz growing about Hayward. Security was tightened. Bags were being checked. Absolutely no protests or demonstrations were being tolerated. Anything that looked like a protest sign was being confiscated. Everything at the Capitol was leading up to Tony Hayward’s appearance in the energy hearing the following day. The room was gonna be packed.

Medea said, “We gotta get there early. Those chair-sitters, holding seats for those lawyers, will be there at midnight waiting to get in.” So five of us went down to the Capital at ten o’clock that night and we were the first ones there.

There are rules for chair-sitters. No leaning, no sleeping. And it’s best to number yourself so there won’t be any confusion on who’s first in line. I was wearing jeans, T-shirt, and rain boots. I was looking as close to a shrimper as I could. Ann had on her BP worker outfit and Medea was still trying to get in with her bird costume. At seven o’clock the next morning the line of sitters outside was led in through a back door and paraded straight to the Senate energy door. A line grew rapidly behind us. By eight o’clock there were a hundred people standing in line and every one of them kept gawking at the front of the line to see if maybe they misunderstood and they weren’t actually so far back. Then the cops showed up. No, Medea’s costume would not go. Take it off, Medea. This is our hall, the cops said. Our hall. I was okay in what I was wearing because I could be anybody. Ann’s outfit was kinda all right. Maybe maybe, they said.

Medea had a pink bag full of everything in the sun: complete change of clothes, paint, pens, pink construction paper, and tape. Medea slipped me a little tube of black paint and I stuck it in my side pocket. Would they check me again?

Continue reading this excerpt at Alternet.

Diary of an Eco-Outlaw by Diane Wilson is available now.

Organic Agriculture: Deeply Rooted in Science and Ecology

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

by Eliot Coleman

Organic farming is often falsely represented as being unscientific. However, despite the popular assumption that it sprang full born from the delusions of 60s hippies, it has a more extensive, and scientifically respectable, provenance.

If you look back at the first flush of notoriety in the 1940s, the names most often mentioned, Sir Albert Howard and J. I. Rodale, rather than being the initiators, were actually just popularizers of a groundswell of ideas that had begun to develop some 50 years earlier in the 1890s.

A growing coterie of farmers, landlords, scientists, and rural philosophers in both England and Germany had begun questioning the wisdom of the chemically based agriculture that had grown so prominent from its tiny beginning in the 1840s. Advances in biological sciences during the late 19th century, such as those that explained the workings of nitrogen fixation, mycorrhizal association, and soil microbial life supported their case. Those new sciences set the stage for a deeper understanding of natural processes, and offered inspiration as to how a modern biologically based agriculture might be formulated.

These new agriculturists were convinced that the thinking behind industrial agriculture was based upon the mistaken premise that nature is inadequate and needs to be replaced with human systems. They contended that by virtue of that mistake, industrial agriculture has to continually devise new crutches to solve the problems it creates (increasing the quantities of chemicals, stronger pesticides, fungicides, miticides, nematicides, soil sterilization, etc.) It wouldn’t be the first time in the history of science that a theory based on a false premise appeared to be momentarily valid. Temporary functioning is not proof of concept. For example, if we had a book of the long discredited geocentric astronomy of Ptolemy, which was based on the sun revolving around the earth, we could still locate Jupiter in the sky tonight thanks to the many crutches devised by the Ptolemaists to prop up their misconceived system. As organic agriculture has become more prominent, the orthodoxy of chemical agriculture has found itself up against its own Galileo. It will be interesting to see who recants.

Continue reading the full article at Grist.

Eliot Coleman is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest, and The Winter Harvest Handbook, and is featured in the Year-Round Vegetable Production With Eliot Coleman DVD.

Is Earth Day Dead?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Earlier this week we sent an email to our list asking: Is Earth Day dead?  Some of you found it quite provocative – but the question stands.  In some ways, Earth Day is dead: every day is Earth Day.  And yet, as issues around sustainability and organic food have moved more and more into the mainstream, it has gotten harder to bring urgency and focus to saving our Earth.

What do you think?  Is Earth Day dead?  Are there ways we can make it meaningful again, after more than 40 years? We’ll be picking a handful of the best responses and sharing them widely.  You can leave a comment here on our website, or you can use the twitter hashtag #earthdayisdead. But whatever you do, let’s get a real discussion going about our Earth – and how to save it.

Our five favorite responses will get a free book – the recently published Chasing Chiles (you can read about it here, and you might have seen it in the New York Times here).

Support Diane Wilson!

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Please check out our new Facebook page for Diary of an Eco-Outlaw by Diane Wilson. There you’ll find photos, news, stories, and more.

And please send Diane a message of support using our easy online form to let her know what you think of her fearless actions in defense of planet earth! Many of you know that Diane was arrested recently at the Annual General Meeting of BP in London, where she traveled along with fellow Gulf Coast residents to express dismay and outrage at BP’s utter lack of accountability for the devastating oil spill in April of last year.

Send Diane A Message – Let her know that you are behind her!

More about Diane and Diary of an Eco-Outlaw:

Diane Wilson is an activist, shrimper, and all around hell-raiser whose first book, An Unreasonable Woman, told of her battle to save her bay in Seadrift, Texas.  Back then, she was an accidental activist who worked with whistleblowers, organized protests, and eventually sunk her own boat to stop the plastic-manufacturing giant Formosa from releasing dangerous chemicals into water she shrimped in, grew up on, and loved.

But, it turns out, the fight against Formosa was just the beginning. In Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, Diane writes about what happened as she began to fight injustice not just in Seadrift, but around the world—taking on Union Carbide for its failure to compensate those injured in the Bhopal disaster, cofounding the women’s antiwar group Code Pink to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, attempting a citizens arrest of Dick Cheney, famously covering herself with fake oil and demanding the arrest of then BP CEO Tony Hayward as he testified before Congress, and otherwise becoming a world-class activist against corporate injustice, war, and environmental crimes.


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