This radio show aims for “pieces of the puzzle of a world that just might work.” Many of those pieces arise out of a vision that reality is not dead, mechanical, or separate, but rather alive, evolving, and composed of interdependent systems. I believe this worldview has been shared by indigenous peoples for millennia, revealed by science since early in the 20th century, and obvious every time we walk outside or look into the eyes of another living creature.
It is this world view that inspires the annual Bioneers conferences that take place each fall in the San Francisco Bay area and now stream via satellite to sites across the country. The conference is a gathering of scientific and social innovators who draw from four billion years of evolutionary intelligence and apply nature’s operating instructions to develop and implement visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth, and its communities and people.
In addition to founding and co-directing Bioneers (Collective Heritage Institute), KENNY AUSUBEL, is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur specializing in health and the environment. He co-founded Seeds of Change, a biodiversity organic seed company. He authored the books, Seeds of Change; Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from the Bioneers. Recently he edited the first two titles in the Bioneers book series with J.P Harpignies, Ecologocal Medicine, and Nature’s Operating Instructions. He founded Inner Tan Productions to produce visionary feature films.
DAVID ORR is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor at the University of Vermont. He is perhaps best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings and selected as one of 30 “milestone buildings” in the 20th century by the U.S. Department of Energy. Orr is the author of six books including THE LAST REFUGE: The Corruption of Patriotism in the Age of Terror; THE NATURE OF DESIGN; EARTH IN MIND; ECOLOGICAL LITERACY; and co-editor of The Global Predicament and The Campus and Environmental Responsibility.
Politics and the media have for the most part shown themselves impotent, indifferent, or in cahoots when it comes to confronting and rolling back the takeover of the United States by the super-rich and the super-corporations.
Since the days of Clinton, we’ve been reminding ourselves of the words of FDR to progressives pressing for the New Deal — “Make me do it.” Envying the attention and power granted the tea party. Millions march all over Europe in response to austerity measures that make the people pay for the failures of the financial class. Millions march in the Arab Awakening when hunger, poverty, corruption, and autocracy prove too much to bear and social media connects and informs the people like never before. When will Americans take to the streets?
September 17th, a small group of demonstrators camped out in a downtown New York park and Occupy Wall Street was born. Occupy Los Angeles emerged a week ago, October 1st. Both are alive and well. As of Saturday the Occupy movement has spread to 1,016 cities in the US and abroad. There has been carping in the mainstream media about the movement’s lack of focus, lack of clear message, lack of specific platform or demands. The closest thing to a brand for the movement so far is the claim that, “We are the 99%”. I think this is a wonderful opening. It’s based on cold hard facts. It is inclusive. Even a tea partier knows they are part of the 99%. Inequality is problem #1 in this country. from which all else follows, including a corrupted political system that is not able to meet the challenges we face.
I don’t think anyone knows where this goes…At some level a lot of us have grown so resigned to the dominance of money in our society that I’m not sure too many have a plan how to get from here to where we need to get.
I think we each also have to invent the role we are going to play as this story unfolds.
I’ll be joined by representatives for both Occupy Wall Street — NELINI STAMP (Working Families Party) and MELANIE BUTLER (Code Pink) — and Occupy Los Angeles — LISA CLAPIER (media, Occupy LA) and SHARIF ABDULLAH (Commonway.org). I plan to ask them to tell their individual stories, report what’s happening around them and what they think it means.