I am promoting the use of renewable energy through this
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
hands over the stick to the president of Ecocity Builders,
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
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"?
- We need to build ecocity, the built environment that helps evolution;
- We need to limit human numbers, which are way out of balance;
- We need to see the impacts of diet and agriculture and shift to forms that
use much less land, that is, that de-emphasize meat eating greatly;
- We need to understand generosity and invest in the long term health of the
planet and scociety: taxing the rich, learning about Gandhi, investing in a
healthy future preferentially, giving to our children and the other species
to come, stopping violence and war and exploitation that verges into the
destructive all are dimensions of generosity gone dormant;
- We need to educate, but not randomly but prefentially about the above.
Beyond the three "R" we need the above as absolutely essential and for all
sorts of reasons we are ignoring or putthing very little energy into such
education. The habit is so bad we are likely to bring on cultural, economic
and ecological collapse on this planet.
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?
our Executive Director. She has lots of good ideas.
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
3) Saxophone playing physicist turned journalist
4) Ecocity Builders' President
5) M*A*S*H actor
6) Filmmaker and sound designer
7) Environmentalist and agricultural activist
8) 'The World Without Us' author