Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Third Wave

In the face of an infuriating and depressing recent news report from the Associated Press, this morning it was helpful  to read "The Joy of Living Green" by Barry Boyce in the November issue of Shambhala Sun.

I can't link Boyce's article since it's not free on the InterWeb, but you could probably find it by using a search via an academic database.

But to the point, Boyce relates some good news: There's a "third wave" environmentalism often dubbed "transformational ecology" that creates change by altering systems or through new initiatives such as "urban farms, green-collar job programs, edible schoolyards, recycling flashmobs, naked night-time bike rides, cityscapes with natural features and birdsong, and more" (42) instead of scaring and shaming people about environmental issues.

Two decades ago Killingsworth and Palmer predicted the ineffective rhetoric of second wave environmentalists in Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America, so I'm glad there seems to be a loosely organized third wave happening.

Boyce details important cognitive biases, sustainability education, a program called Growing Home in the Chicago area that assists and empowers the homeless while producing quality food, the rise of bicycling and bicycle commuting in Minneapolis, the Happy Planet Index, and the push for creating more livable and sustainable communities in general.

That article staved off the darkness for a while, but then I listened to Life, Death, Love, & Freedom -- a depressing album but one of Mellencamp's best.

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