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 wildfires 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 shrublands 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 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 months away from a final cut.
We’ll keep you posted as we progress in 2019. In the meantime, we wish you a happy, healthy and hopeful New Year.