Sunday, January 31, 2016

#31 / Eating Sunlight

I am a deeply-devoted fan (and a member) of the California Native Plant Society. You can be a member, too. Click to see how!

CNPS members get an extraordinary magazine, Fremontia, delivered into their mailboxes on a monthly basis. I really enjoyed the latest issue, which looks like this:

To read the latest, click the link. The very first article is titled "Save The Plants, Save The Planet...," by Emily Brin Roberson. The article is based on presentations made at the 2015 CNPS Conservation Conference. 

Speaking at that conference were science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, distinguished ecologist Paul Ehrlich, and celebrated botanist Peter Raven. Emily Brin Roberson interviewed these speakers to "seek guidance about how native plant enthusiasts can fight the trends that are endangering our planet, our flora, and ourselves."

It's a wonderful article. I invite you to read it in its entirety, and I invite you to think about what wildlife ecologist Douglas Tallamy said, as quoted in Roberson's article: 

Plants are as close to biological miracles as a scientist could dare admit. After all, they allow us and nearly every other species to eat sunlight....

The very last paragraph in Roberson's article notes that the dangers now facing plants and the rest of our natural environment come from human activity, and that the speakers Roberson queried "tell us that we cannot successfully conserve plants, or the life support systems they anchor, without creating societies and economies based on equity rather than competition, sustainability rather than exploitation."

The very bottom line? The very last word in this provocative article?

The kind of economic and social justice that we must achieve in our society, to allow us to protect the natural environment that sustains us, will depend, in the end, on "political action."

"Political action," last mentioned, must be first mobilized, if we are going to "save the plants and save the planet."

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