As I respond to what seems a “plan revision” for my life I have been devouring books and blogs on many topics but most related to conservation. I stumbled upon a book at the local Barnes and Nobles called Eco Barons
by Edward Humes. The title was catchy, the cover of course green and it caught my eye. I picked it up and dug in the next morning. I was quickly intrigued by the stories of the lives that the subjects of the book have lead combined with where I am today. This book is provides snapshots to a half a dozen or so prominent people in the world, both famous and not, and how they transformed their lives into helping the world. Hmmm sound familiar. The most refreshing thing about this book is that it tells the story of what is being DONE. Most authors and other writers continue to bombard us with identifying the problems, over and over, to the point where one feels paralyzed. Exciting hypothetical futuristic solutions are presented but not many talk about action. The subjects in Ed’s book bring, amongst others, a key point. We’re out of time. As Ted Turner says in the book “we’re in the seventh inning down by two runs”. The almost novelistic style of Ed was great for me because the story was told so well, that I can understand and relate, and most important inspired even more to get off my ass, accept the changes in my life and do something. I highly, highly, recommend this book to just about anyone I meet. But this leads me to a current challenge. How does one find their next home, the opportunity to participate, to tear down fences in Patagonia for Kim Tompkins (the wife of Doug Tompkins a subject in the book) whom inspired me the most. I’m not speaking of joining a few organizations and become a weekend warrior (although this might be a start) but how and where can someone contribute on a larger scale. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching on-line organizations, causes, events, etc. and see that I am getting lost in the information overload. I see more about donating money than dedicating your life. I see eco tourism sites but it seems more about paying money to visit areas rather than spending a month or a year or a lifetime helping. I have visited the Deep Ecology site, Ted Turners sites, and thousands of others. Joined Trout Unlimited but am just not there yet. The goal is to craft a lifestyle that is ideal for the world. It seems a bit to hard to find these opportunities. So here’s my idea. Maybe it exists already and if anyone knows please send me a note. With what seems THOUSANDS of conservation organizations around the globe it seems logical to band them all together into one community in order to achieve one solitary goal. Build a bridge between the residents of the earth; humans and nature. Create a community where people like me can find out how to help, small, big etc. I guarantee you there are a huge amount of people RIGHT NOW that are contemplating their lives, thinking how can they make a change to better their lives and this is becoming integral with how can I help to take care of the earth. All of the work the people are doing in Ed’s book seem to be taking hold, the next step is to leverage this with the rank and file. Who is going to get the work done, how can we create careers and lifestyles and communities where income is not at the top of the list but coexisting with nature is. A new breed of people are right in front of us. They’re in the elementary schools, high schools, and the colleges. Considering the time we have left to fix this problem according to the subjects of Ed’s book it’s in our lifetime and their starting kindergarten this month. A force needs to be built to take over the reigns of Doug and Kim Tompkins as time runs out, we need work side by side with Ted’s kids to help them, we need to focus on this next generation coming up to make them think; should I be a doctor, lawyer, police officer, or an environmentalist! Each respectable careers but lets ad the last on this to the mainstream. Where one can achieve a degree, pursue a career, and make enough to live in a small town. Stage one is to tap into the current work force. Many are unemployed, more are underemployed, valuable minds are in retirement, young kids can be influenced. The time is ripe. Offer a job to construction workers fighting to pay their rent in an overpriced community to move to New Mexico or Montana, live in housing sponsored by the consortium, and co-ops for food. Instead of logging companies building towns as in past lets ask the Nature Conservancy to lead us into areas that need our help, recruit burnt out professionals, attract young families, tap into the young minds in college and build communities. This could happen with collaboration between the groups. I see the fragmentation, I see some roots taking hold, and now could be time to start thinking about how we leverage this. Depending on government appears to be a lost cause, their the enemy it seems. Even the good intentioned are powerless. But the people are not. Earth is the home for ALL of us to exist together equally including the plants and the animals. We all need the resources to survive but not at the expense of each other.
Eco Barons is a story that needed to be told in the way the Hume has. The book can be very inspiring to those contemplating changes in their lives and feel drawn to helping the causes. It also poses the question how, can a regular guy or gal make a difference. The information out there is paralyzing. Can a person with an unrelated career, experience or education join the force. Can those not necessarily in the position to donate money but may want to, better yet, donate themselves. Does actual work need to be done or is it primarily lobbying, legal, and financial. There are smart people out here at all stages of their lives, that if asked to join a force in which they can have a pleasant lifestyle, would consider making a change. There must be a way to build in the economic elements so that ultimately people will come. “Build it and they will come” This is the next step in pulling together the power of the people.
So how can the plan work? Well here it goes from a novice that is sitting in my backyard right now with plans to take over the earth. Stand by for the master plan……..