Commentary

Commentary, Mountain Film, Video / 20.10.2009

[youtube]vYGcIhNGSIY[/youtube]

This video appears on the Huffington Post accompanied by a story written by Sam Stein. In it monkey wrench prankster Andy Bichlbaum poses as an official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a meeting of the National Press Club. Claiming the Chamber had reconsidered its views on climate change Bichlbaum compelled a room full of reporters to ask tough questions about why the corporate interests of the country continue to resist legislation that might reverse negative human impact on the environment.

It was all an elaborate hoax. The idea was  to embarrass the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to do what many believe is the right thing: stop lobbying against The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. This bill proposed by Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer aims to curb industrial pollution while creating green collar jobs in the production of renewable energy. Apparently Bichlbaum wanted to point out that the Chamber of Commerce is one of the bill's leading opponents.

[caption id="attachment_1480" align="alignright" width="354" caption="Andy Bichlbaum at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival"]Andy Bichlbaum at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival[/caption]

Commentary / 09.10.2009

Madison, WI was host city of the 19th Annual meeting of The Society for Environmental Journalists. Media professionals from across the country gathered to discuss among issues the impact of climate change on the planet and the role human populations will play in mitigating the threat of global warming. "The choice that this generation faces is an awesome one," said former vice president Al Gore in his keynote address. "Never has a single generation been asked to make such consequential decisions for future generations. I think we're up to...

Commentary / 28.09.2009

[caption id="attachment_1341" align="alignleft" width="330" caption="Audrey Peterman"]JTP090928_001[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1342" align="alignleft" width="284" caption="Frank Peterman"]Frank Peterman[/caption] The journey home passed in a blur of black asphalt highway and fast food eaten slowly. It’s 850 miles from Atlanta to Madison and at the conclusion of the Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great Outdoors conference I found myself racing back to begin the work that lies ahead.  The 14-hour drive was fueled as much by eager anticipation and heady adrenaline as diesel, tacos, hamburgers and coffee. It seemed the Joy Jetta sped north across four state lines not merely to carry me home but into the future. “At this conference we hope to begin seeding a new conversation,” said co-organizer Audrey Peterman. This small but incredibly dynamic woman with her charismatic husband Frank led a series of discussions and presentations that have set in motion a dialog to change the course of human history. “I don’t want to hear about saving the planet,” Audrey said. “The earth was around long before we came along and it will shrug us off long before it’s through. Right now it’s about changing how we live.”
Commentary, Diversity / 26.09.2009

Pity all National Park Service, Nature Conservancy or US Fish & Wildlife conferences don't conclude with a massive bar tab and a soul train line at one in morning. The new generation of environmental activists is dynamic, diverse and determined to breath fresh energy into the preservation of our wild and scenic places. Who says they can't have a good time while they're at it? Photo by James Edward Mills See the unfolding photostream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nwsr8th/sets/72157622325056863/...

Commentary, Diversity / 25.09.2009

Carolyn Finney In the middle of the last century, Carolyn Finney grew up on a wooded estate in Manhattan. Though not a child of privilege, this professor of geography at the University of California at Berkeley recalls fond memories exploring the wild places on the property her father managed for a wealthy landowner. As the only African-American family in this affluent community Finney also remembers feeling less than welcome in this setting surrounded by nature. “It was not natural for us to be there,” she said. As the keynote speaker in the second day of programs during the “Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoors” conference in Atlanta, Finney shared her memories of a life in wilderness tainted by the racially motivated injustices of our past. “Those memories continue today,” she said. “And for a lot of people memory is truth.”
Commentary, Diversity / 24.09.2009

Photo by James Edward Mills Appointed in 1997 Robert G. Stanton was the first African-American Director of the National Parks Service. Today he is the deputy assistant secretary of policy and program management in the U.S. Department of Interior. As the keystone speaker and a panelist during the Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoor Conference in Atlanta, he inspired a new generation of young people to continue a long legacy of service to the principles of environmental conservation and the preservation of wilderness....