Cover of Common Ground magazine, featuring a brown bear sitting in a yoga pose on grass, with text about environmental themes.

April 2011

The Green Issue

Iremember writing this same April letter 12 months ago, aghast at the nonstop oil spillage gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Now the spillage comes in the form of nuclear radiation, and it’s drifting out from Japan. Sigh. How many resounding messages do we need before we heed the call? Mother Earth is telling us, “Clean, sustainable energy, please!”

On a positive note, a college buddy of mine is deeply involved with a clever technology that we cover in this issue, ocean thermal energy conversion. Essentially, the method is able to perpetually capture steam heat from the difference in temperature between cold deep-ocean water and warm surface water. He’s active in building out this technology. We wish him success.

Otherwise, while Common Ground makes every effort to reflect an optimistic worldview, it’s just not easy when we publish a Food issue followed by a Green issue. Thank you for your enthusiastic support of our GMO coverage in March. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, readers were unhappy with what they learned about GMOs. As the Bay Area’s eco-health-wellness magazine, we aim to stimulate ideas for better living. Regrettably, this sometimes requires pointing out the notso-nice about the status quo.

I encourage you to read Carrie Grossman’s feature titled Our Sacred Earth: Reawakening the Wonder in a Wounded World. I know she took the Japanese earthquake and tsunami tragedy deeply to heart, and this essay reflects part of that journey. While difficult for me to be objective about Carrie’s writing, I can safely go out on a limb to say there are hints of greatness in her piece. Bravo!

And thank you, Branden Barber, for your feature on the Amazon. The world community needs the Amazon rainforest, yet sadly, that sacred treasure is being squandered. Despite the decades of attention, particularly in the ’80s, the situation there deteriorates. Thankfully, there are many eco-activists right here in the Bay Area keeping watch and doing what they can to staunch abuse. Please read Branden’s piece and support those causes.

Finally, because California’s mascot is a bear, we put one on the cover. And what does a Common Ground bear do with alone time? Yoga postures, of course. Hope you enjoy this image. In this issue, Carolyn Brown reminds us that as the warmer weather moves in, we enter a season when we can comfortably take our practice outdoors.

In the May issue, we revisit our Bay Pride theme—what we cherish about the Bay Area. Anything we should know? June is our Music issue. Send ideas, photos, feedback to [email protected].

Thanks heartily for supporting our advertisers, whom we esteem.

To greener pastures,


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