The Wisest Words You’ll Hear All Year

Greetings from our kitchen table in Ojai, California.

It’s been twelve months since the Thomas Fire surrounded our town, threatened our house, burned close to 500 square miles of countryside, and destroyed over 1,000 homes. That was our launch into 2018, a year that will be forever remembered for thousands of catastrophic wild fires that raged over our state. Yet, as we grieve for those suffering terrible losses, we read this news: The timber industry is lobbying to deregulate logging laws. We know about trees, so we can fix this, they say. We don’t think so. Those trained in the mechanics of exploiting nature are not the same people who know how to heal it. California’s drought, the way our forests and shrub lands have been transformed into fuel, are both linked to climate change. Climate change is linked to deforestation. The timber industry and agribusiness are responsible for that.

In the new normal of ecological deterioration, our survival depends on a land use philosophy that understands that the earth is an interconnected living system with infinite numbers of organisms working in concert to create balance. We need less “management” and exploitation of nature and more awareness of how nature takes care of us–and itself.
It’s the difference between a reductionist, objectifying view of the world and a systems approach: Here, Dr. Shiva explains:

(This iPhone clip is from our most recent trip to India in October.)
This year we showed rough cuts of The Seeds of Vandana Shiva to a number of focus groups–farmers, feminists, filmmakers, friends–and based on the feedback, we’re confident (OK, psyched!) about completing an exciting, thought-provoking and significant film. We attended conferences, worked out a marketing and distribution blueprint with consultants and partners, took advice from a legal team, and hired a researcher to source archival film footage. We’re just a few weeks away from a final cut. 

But we still need to fundraise to finish. The Seeds of Vandana Shiva tells the life story of one of the most important eco-activists of our time, and we need to illustrate key events in her life: Her involvement in 1970s Chipko Tree-Hugging movement, her reaction to the 1984 Bhopal Pesticide Disaster, her participation in the 1999 WTO Battle in Seattle…well, any more and we’d be giving the movie away!

Archival footage needs to be licensed and paid for, as does a composer and several tech wizards who will make our film look and sound the best it can be. After all, we have lofty goals. In this era of crisis, our job is to help grow the movement for regenerative and organic farming and food. 

To that end, great news: Organic Valley just gave us a grant for $25,000! That’s already a third of our budget to finish. Another $50,000 and the job will be done. Thank you Organic Valley and everyone who has supported the film to this point! For your (tax-deductible) donation of $25 or more, we’ll send you a password-protected link to The Seeds of Vandana Shiva when it is complete. 

You can safely donate any amount here or please get in touch to discuss other means. The more cash we raise now, the sooner we finish. We deeply appreciate your partnership in this. 

In the meantime, we wish you a happy, healthy and hopeful New Year.

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