The Ecozoic Era
by Susan Clark & Edgar Vaid
Editor's and Reader's Highlights from the summer issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine
The July/August issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine celebrates eco-theologian Thomas Berry's idea of the Ecozoic Era - meaning a new phase where humanity not only sets about repairing the damage it has inflicted on the natural world but also enters a new era that is respectful of Nature, self-renewing and ecologically-sustainable.
And that sense of a respect for Nature and a sadness over what has already been lost are just two of the strong sentiments captured in the articles written by the four winners of our 2013 Nature Writing Competition.
In Wild Wales, which took first prize, Julie Bromilow paints a lively picture of contemporary Wales and looks ahead to embrace the environmental challenges that now face us all; whilst I Will Remember, Sarah Walsh's essay which won third prize returns to a time when moorland quarries rang with the sounds of splitting stone and men's lively tales of a time long gone.
All the winning essays are printed in this, our Summer issue which also includes an interview with one of Darwin's 72 great-great-grandchildren and Ros Coward's thoughtful article exploring why feelings still run so high around the subject of wolf conservation.
12 WHY ARE WE EATING THE AMAZON?
There is a sea change in our attitudes to consumption and deforestation but has it come too late to save our rainforests? Andrew Mitchell, executive director of The Global Canopy programme reports
18 THE LANGUAGE OF WOLVES
If you think wolf conservation has nothing to do with you, think again because there's more at stake than the survival of a single species - the whole subject is tied up with the survival of wilderness itself says Ros Coward
22 MY GREEN LIFE
The poet and conservationist, Ruth Padel, tells us that in the end, the quality of all our lives will depend on our we protect our rivers and forests and admits the first piece of legislation she would introduce to positively impact on climate change would be to control the human population
36 LATENT HEALING
Charles Eistenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, explores how the first paradigm shift needs to be towards an understanding of Nature as intelligent and purposive and how the second should be to use technology to support that unfolding intelligence
Reader's Highlights by Edgar Vaid
6 THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
Mention neonicotinoids and you are liable to make a first association with declining bee populations. Whilst agro-chemical giants continue to deny there is any link, new research published by the American Bird Conservancy suggests such pesticides are not less, but more ecologically harmful, since they can bio-accumulate - affecting other insect species, and even birds.
7 OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
Traditional monolithic coal-fired power stations such as Drax are "moving forward to a progressive new era by adapting themselves to burn renewable biomass as a more enlightened source of electricity generation". Given the superficial absorption of such PR spin, some environmental campaigners may have been exhaling a sigh of relief. But that would be premature, as another classic example of a "problem finding a solution" rears its inconvenient head. Biofuelswatch points out that most wood pellets imported to the UK are sourced from new monoculture tree plantations, sited were old bio-diverse forests have recently been clear-felled. Adding to the harm they inflict on the planet "power stations burning wood emit up to 50% more CO2 than those burning coal".
9 SOWING THE SEEDS OF CHANGE
And now - for a change - a good news story. When completed, at over 4,800 miles long, the Great Green Wall of Africa will be over a third the length of the Great Wall of China. But setting aside such moderately pointless statistics, it will comprise not bricks and mortar, but a mosaic of trees and shrubs planted all the way from Senegal to Djibouti. This represents an inspiring "bid to fight desertification and the associated poverty, an epic land-restoration project .......... across the Sahel".
16 THE MAGIC OF MOTHS
When the large blue butterfly became extinct in the British Isles in 1979 (prior to its re-introduction), the event was widely reported by the media in portentous terms as a loss to the nation. Why then, you might ask, have we not heard of the more recent demise of the Orange Upperwing, Bordered Gothic, and Brighton Wainscot? Answer: they were "only" moths, not "other charismatic parts of the nation's wildlife, such as birds and butterflies". However, reminding us that there are far more UK species of moth - about 2,500 - Mark Cocker emphasises their "invaluable role in pollinating trees or flowers and in acting as an engine house for wider biodiversity".
32 FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS
Here's a particularly lucid and compelling exploration of the value and significance of indigenous forest peoples' intuitive knowledge, gleaned over millennia through their immersion in the natural environment. Kester Reid contrasts this with the developed world, where such traditional ways have "been irreparably altered by the cultural dominance of our industrial ideals".
39 SUSTAINABLE WELLBENG
Referring to economics, Thomas Carlyle wrote "....... What we might call by way of eminence, the dismal science". Although in a different historical context, such a critique feels as apt in 2013 as it must have done in 1849, since economics "provides an ideological screen for rampant self-interested capitalism". Stephen Lewis introduces a new series of articles to show, however, that by applying "ecological economics", many ills could be remedied - including social, economic and ecological injustices.
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