Turtuga Blanku interviews Richard Register

I am promoting the use of renewable energy through this website and my music. But there are a lot of other people out there also doing something in their own special way to contribute to solving environmental problems. I ask each interviewee only five questions.

Long distance running journalist Alex Hutchinson hands over the stick to the president of Ecocity Builders, Richard Register.
Richard is also the author of 'Ecocities - Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature', and is pushing establishment buttons and working with environmentalists and developers to get a better city built and running. Register is a frequent guest of organizations and conference hosts large and small around the world.

1) Save the earth…why?

It will save itself if we stop systematically destroying it. But on the ‘what to do that's positive’-side, for Earth's sake and ours, we need (among other things) to redesign and rebuild cities based on ecological principles. The city can be not only a structure that enables and facilitates human creative and compassionate activity and product, it can in the process advance rather than retard evolution in healthy directions by consciously designing to enhance biodiversity rather than constantly atrophe it.

2) What, in your opinion would be the most realistic way to solve the climate problems we are facing?

The whole systems approach to city design would do a great deal to help. Cities could be seen as analogous to other living complex organisms, like us human beings and the other animals that have been evolving for a few hundred million years. If we realized the dynamics of the compact three-dimensional form of living organisms and realized there are serious parallels between them and the cities, that flat, sprawling cities work no better than animals shaped like a sheet of paper, we'd be on our way to a redesign that could give us cities that actually help healthy evolution, not attack it.

The car is the most conspicuous agent of destruction in facilitating so well the flat form of the scattered city, committing us to paving vast areas and to consuming massive quantities of cheap fuels ... until they run out! Very improvident!


But, if we can get used to whole systems thinking about the cities we build, maybe we can learn to think about the whole system of the human experiement in consciousness on this planet and see the full range and dimensions of our presence here and realize that a couple other things are way out of balance, the whole set of which looks like this: 3) Do you think that anyone can be -or has the personality to be- "green"?



4) How do you think music can contribute to protecting the environment?

Ignore or even lampoon rap. Even with words subtracted it is stacatto and angry. How black music went from such richness to such poverty is a real puzzle to me. It's not helpful as a form. What to do about that I have no idea. Subject matter that relates to "green" topics can be helpful, the words I mean, and the fact that people love all sorts of music means they can focus attention in the manner of benefit concerts to lend power to direct action on causes that need suport. In other words, music can raise money for green action.

I tend to think short simple talk at concerts might go farther than lyrics (unless really brilliant or poetic) in helping since music uses as propaganda gets a pretty cynical response much of the time. "We shall overcome" and "Let it be" are pretty rare. What you, Turtuga Blanku, are doing with the literal use of shall we say "well generated energy" is helpful.

5) And finally: who would you recommend to also ask the questions you just answered?

Kirstin Miller, our Executive Director. She has lots of good ideas.

Thanks, Richard!

Next up is M*A*S*H actor Mike Farrell.

In Turtuga Blanku's 5Q-interview series so far:

1) Award-winning eco-expert Simran Sethi.
2) Environmental photojournalist Gary Braasch.
3) Saxophone playing physicist turned journalist Alex Hutchinson.
4) Ecocity Builders' President Richard Register.
5) M*A*S*H actor Mike Farrell.
6) Filmmaker and sound designer Velcrow Ripper.
7) Environmentalist and agricultural activist Vandana Shiva.
8) 'The World Without Us' author Alan Weisman.


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