April 2012 cover of "common ground" magazine, featuring a stylized bee graphic with text about the ecology issue, including topics on nature, eco-psychology, and relevant articles.

April 2012

The Green Issue

In the process of editing this Green issue, I was often reminded of Marshall McLuhan’s quote from the ’60s: “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” This quote ran through my mind in the office of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Jared Blumenfeld during our interview. Jared is a young trailblazer, helping steer Spaceship Earth to avert crashes. Be ginning his career as a human rights lawyer, Jared found himself at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where something clicked: Defending human rights and defending the environment are one and the same.

After a decade as a globetrotting activist, Jared was chosen by may or Willie Brown to head San Francisco’s nascent Department of the Environment. Later, under mayor Newsom, Jared’s accomplishments became the stuff of lore, pegging SF as the world’s Greenest city—the beacon for the world to emulate.

President Obama noticed this young man’s potential and tapped him to administer the EPA for District 9. We think you’ll enjoy our interview with him and watching Jared’s career continue to unfold.

Another young crew member we’d like to celebrate is Ravyn Tripp smith. Ravyn is but an eighth grader; however, when you read her essay on fracking, the controversial new drilling technique that has environ mentalists and health watchdog groups up in arms, you will quickly agree that her physical age is no reflection of her wisdom. Welcome to Common Ground, Ravyn; we anticipate more articles from you in the years to come.

We are very grateful that this Green issue hosts a roster of splendid crew members. Thank you, Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, for your timeline of the human species. And to Helena Norberg-Hodge, for your contribution on the human potential of a new economy. Thank you, Corey Hill, for your essay on the Rights of Nature.

Thank you to Gunther Hauk and Michael Thiele for their exposés on the bees—those tireless pollinators on whom we depend. The poor honeybees are silently dying, their colonies collapsing—a clear signal that we have veered. Thank you, Pamm Larry, the “ordinary grandma” from Chico, who became fed up with GMOs in the food supply and is trying to rectify the situation. Pamm is now the instigator of a November ballot initiative that will mandate the labeling of GMOs in California. You can meet Pamm this month—and sign the petition—at the New Living Expo.

Thanks to CG’s crew of writers, editors, readers, and advertisers, whose attempts to navigate a sustainable course are not only reflected in this Green issue—but in all you do. Next month is our “Bay Pride” edition.

Thank you for choosing Spaceship Earth,


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