Cover of April 2014 "Common Ground" magazine featuring a close-up image of a baby mountain lion with mouth open in a roar, surrounded by green text and various headlines.

April 2014

April Green Issue

Spring has sprung, and Earth Day beckons. Following a trend started in the last month’s Food issue, wherein I interviewed 10-yearold Vivienne Harr, in this issue I spoke with Erin Schrode, the 22-year-old voice of the green millennial generation. I first noticed Erin in the parking lot of a mall eight years ago as she was protesting with the slogan “Lips Against Lead”—a reference to the carcinogenic ingredients manufacturers put in cosmetics. She was only 15, but already very outspoken and articulate as the founder of the nonprofit Teens Turning Green. Whereas the median age of our Common Ground interviewees is close to 70—accomplished baby boomers—Erin breaks the mold, a role to which she is accustomed.

Erin is globally recognized as an expert on millennials, the generation she represents. Besides being an A-student, she has traveled extensively and done a lot in her short life. She is someone the world will be hearing more about, and we believe you will enjoy our interview.

This month I viewed a documentary titled Take Back Your Power, produced and directed by Josh del Sol. The film, about the smart grid and the smart meter, captured my attention. Apparently, there’s a growing backlash around the world against smart meters. Jeromy Johnson and Regina Meredith have contributed an article about this film, which I recommend.

One thing is certain—the amount of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation that we collectively absorb into our bodies is unprecedented in human history. Daniel DeBaun likens the misinformation about EMFs to the tobacco industry’s hiding of research about the harmful effects of smoking in previous decades. I pray that Daniel is wrong, but since we won’t know anytime soon, it seems wise to apply the precautionary principle now.

In an exclusive preview, we share the scholarship of Drew Dellinger, who reveals how Martin Luther King Jr. was a profound environmentalist despite biographers largely ignoring this facet of MLK’s outlook.

Zara McDonald has written an eloquent article about the Bay Area puma. Last year, I was struck by the image, now on our cover, of a wild puma kitten and immediately imagined an eventual cover story. Thank you, Zara.

On cautionary notes, Rohit Kumar has contributed a piece called “The Karma of Plastic,” while Dana Perls warns about the effects that GMO crops are having on the monarch butterfly population. On lighter notes, Aninha Esperanza has written about awakening the visionary through ecology and the imagination, while Bruce Davis reminds us that “Peace and Quiet Is Green.” Spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh has included “Your Wonder, Beauty, and Creativity: A Love Letter to the Earth.”

We look forward to seeing you at the various Earth Day events taking place throughout the Bay Area, as well as at the New Living Expo, which takes place in San Mateo this year. In the beginning of May, meditation teachers Pema Chödrön and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche hold a valuable three-day retreat at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.

Your appreciation of Common Ground is best shown by patronizing our advertisers—the best. And please consider becoming an advertiser yourself. Our next issue, spanning May and June, is on the theme of creativity. Let us know your thoughts.

Green Is Clean,


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