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Enviro – 11th September 2017

Heroes for Nature

On this edition of Enviro:

We referred to an article “Passion and Persistence in Nature’s Cause” in current issue of “Resurgence and Ecologist” sent to Enviro by Philip Fahy one of our regular listeners resident in London. The heroes referred to in that article are:

  • Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was an author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He wrote a series of essays about his work which was published with the title ‘a Sand County Almanac’ which became the bible for future conservationists.
  • Rachel Carson (1907—64): Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ drew attention to the consequences of the use of pesticides which if not controlled would lead to the end of birdsong. DDT was the’ Roundup’ of that period.
  • Chico Mendes (1944-88) was a rubber tapper in the Brazilian Amazon who organised a union to protect their rights as part of peaceful resistance to the destruction of the rainforest. He was murdered because of this.
  • Wangari Maathai (1940-2011): When she returned to her locality in Kenya after completing time away and her studies, she found serious forest destruction. To counteract this she set out to organise small groups of women to grow and replant native trees resulting in the planting of 50 million trees. The project was extended to include the Sahel (Sub-Saharan Africa) from Senegal to the Sudan as part of the ‘Greenbelt’ initiative right across Africa.
  • Gro Harlem Brundtland (1939- ) was Norway’s environment minister and prime minister and chair of the World Commission on environment and Development. She wrote the ‘Brundtland Report’ and defined sustainability as meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • John Muir (1838-1914): He is regarded by many as the founding father of US conservationism. He virtually singlehandedly secured the conservation of the wonderful Yosemite National Park. He also was known as “John of the Mountains”, was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.

Also we referred to the movement ‘Deep Ecology’. In 1973, Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess introduced the phrase “deep ecology” to environmental literature, and he is the person most associated with the movement. Deep Ecology is an environmental movement and philosophy which regards human life as just one of many equal components of the entire global ecosystem. Deep ecology’s ecological and environmental philosophy is based on promoting the inherent worth of non-human living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, plus a radical restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas. Most inspirational for John is John Denver who put the theories of environmental conservation, ecology, sustainability, human rights and peace promotion to the fore in his songs reaching a mass audience. John recommended to listeners ‘The Best of John Denver Live’ and played some of it. Joe Dunne mentioned Ghandi and Jennifer mentioned Henry David Thoreau and Walden Pond where he went to meditate.

Presenter Producer: John Haughton:

Panelists: Joe Dunne, Jennifer Brady.

Guests students Francesca and Gabriella form Italy.