As one of northern California’s most exceptional literary gatherings, the Geography of Hope Conference brings together leading writers and activists to the coastal village of Point Reyes Station for a three-day feast of readings, discussions, and activities to inspire and deepen an understanding of the relationships between people and place.
We interview presenters, Lauret Savoy and Wendy Johnson, and Steve Costa, co-founder of Black Mountain Circle, a co-sponsor of Geography of Hope.
Tracing memory threads Lauret Savoy’s life and work: unearthing what is buried, remembering what is fragmented, shattered, eroded. A woman of African American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage, she weaves together stories we tell of the American land’s origins and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. Her latest book, Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, won the 2016 American Book Award. It was also a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award among other honors. Lauret is a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, a photographer, and pilot.
Wendy Johnson leads meditation retreats nationwide as an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. She co-founded the Organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, which inspired her book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate. Since 2009, she has served as a founding instructor and mentor at College of Marin’s Indian Valley Educational Organic Farm and Garden.
As native people here in West Marin and throughout the world have taught us, we can best care for the land by knowing its history, by cherishing its stories, and by actively working to protect it. The Conference hopes to stimulate conversations honoring ancestral connections to this and other landscapes—whether Native American, European, African, Asian, Latino, or elsewhere—that will lead to dialogues between generations and cultures to help us reconnect to place and restore balance to Mother Earth.
“This is a time of unprecedented threats to clean water and air, national parks and forests, and to productive farmland,” conference founder Steve Costa says. “Clearly in the coming months and years, we will be called upon again and again to act to protect our fragile ecology. We will be called upon to decide what kind of ancestors we will become.”
David Morris, a part-time local resident of Point Reyes Station, and long-time activist who co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in 1974, then gave a short overview of “the big picture.” He observed that we were seeing an unprecedented centralization of power and the monopolization of the media in the Trump administration, where the President is governing as a CEO. He warned that the merging of corporate and political realms is dominated by the corporate goal of increasing earnings. This is the definition of fascism. He also pointed out the ominous trend toward privatization of the public sector and the pre-emption of the state by the federal and the city by the states through conditions attached to vital funding.
We talk to Sharon Weil about her new book, ChangeAbility: how artists, activists, and awakeners navigate change, which is so very relevant in these times in which we have a regressive President and his administration, whose intentions are to take us backwards eradicating all the progressive gains we’ve made over the years for economic and social justice, and protecting the environment, and our Mother Earth from climate chaos.
Claire Hope Cummings is an award winning author, broadcast journalist, and environmental lawyer. Her stories are about connecting people, place and plants and respect for the ancient wisdom of traditional land based cultures. She is author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds. She is a member of a group called Wise Words that is searching deeper in these turbulent times, and HOW we do community.
Kerry Nelson, author of One Small Difference: Step Into Action for a Better World. This is an eight week workbook for people who want to change the world and serve in the world. It's for those who think about volunteering but never make the call; for activists looking for a group of like-minded citizens; for parents overwhelmed by the climate crisis and seeking ways to respond; for recent graduates seeking meaningful work in their communities. This workbook helps guide people who have good intentions into first steps into action.
KWMR Epicenter featuring Charles Nichol, immigration attorney, who talks about Protecting Immigrant Rights in the light of Trump’s deportation policies and the ICE raids. Eleanore Despina of the Immigrant Protection Committee of the local group resisting Trump is also on the show.
President Trump recent actions maybe overwhelming, but they have also inspired a tsunami of activism. Starting here in West Marin and Sonoma counties, how do we coordinate our work with national efforts to first thwart, and then overcome existential threat to our planet, the Constitution, and our daily lives? Hear from local activists capturing this wave of activist energy and strategic thinking to help us direct our efforts to the maximum effect in both the short and long-term. And finally, Norman Soloman will cover the national perspective.
We have a conversation with Norman Solomon and Dennis Cunningham on what they see happening now that Donald Trump is President, and how we can take back our democracy. Is it possible to reform the Democratic Party? What are different kinds of organizing, and what to advocate? - Protest, vigil, direct action, lobbying, issue campaigns, or electoral politics. Playing offense? Or just defense? Where should our organizing focus be: local, regional, state, national, or international? And why? And a run down and wrap-up events over the weekend.
Groups in communities all over the country are coming together to protect their communities and resist the Trump Agenda to repeal ObamaCare, to deport Mexicans, start a Muslim registry, roll back environmental, labor, and financial regulations. We talk about a new local group forming to protect the West Marin community.
Our previous Post Carbon Radio show on Nov. 28, 2016, we talked about Emerging New Technologies: Synthetic Biology & Gene Drives - Should We Be Concerned? We now have the ability to alter the code of life creating new and novel forms of life not found in the natural world. These new discoveries give us unprecedented power over the natural world but raise troubling ethical issues.
On this show, we focus on genetically modified trees. Our guests are:
*Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. Anne is also the Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees. She has been involved in movements for forest protection and Indigenous rights since 1991, and the international and national climate justice movements since 2004.
*Claire Hope Cummings is an environmental journalist specializing in stories about the environmental, health, and political implications of how we eat. For six years she produced and hosted on KPFA, a popular weekly public radio show on food and farming in Northern California. She regularly reports on agriculture and the environment for public television in San Francisco. Claire also writes for periodicals, webzines, and news services. She is author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds.
Both Anne and Claire were featured in Synthetic Forests: the Dangers of Genetically Engineered Trees, a video documentary on the risks of irresponsibly introducing genetically engineered trees into the environment. http://asilentforest.info/
*Mark Dowie, West Marin author and journalist in the studio. He is a former publisher and editor of Mother Jones magazine. His recent works include Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples and American Foundations: An Investigative History. He has written and published over 200 investigative magazine articles and has won 19 journalism awards including four National Magazine Awards. Mark retired recently from The University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where he taught science and environmental reporting and foreign correspondence.
We interview Helen Cane, who is a 21 year-old senior at Barnard College, a private women’s liberal arts college affiliated with Columbia University in New York City. She is here in Point Reyes Station during the holiday season visiting her mom, Sarah Cane and aunt, Pamela Wright. Helen is a co-founder of the fossil fuel divestment campaign at Barnard College, called Divest Barnard, an effective year-long student campaign to convince Barnard’s administration and Board of Trustees to consider divesting its endowment from fossil fuel companies. She was instrumental in the research and writing of the 60-page Presidential Task Force on Divestment report to enable the Committee on Investments and, subsequently, the Board of Trustees, to make an informed decision about whether to seek divestment from companies that extract, process, distribute, and sell fossil fuels. Over the course of nine months, the Task Force weighed the financial and fiduciary responsibilities of the Board to grow the value of Barnard’s endowment and the moral and ethical issues surrounding Barnard’s responsibility to do its part to address the climate change issue.
Our other guest is Will Parrish. A quote from a CounterPunch article by Cal Winslow: “Will Parrish is a young journalist in Mendocino County. He’s a rare type in his field these days. He is fearless, he takes on the hard targets, the biggest ones he can find, and he writes with passion and commitment. If we still have muck-rakers, literary crusaders in the best sense, he’s one.” In October, Will wrote an article in the North Bay Bohemian about SPO Partners in Mill Valley and other Bay Area financial institutions that are invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline
On Defending Our Environment & Protecting Our Progress on Climate Change. Recorded on December 19, 2016 at San Rafael High School.
- Congressman Jared Huffman, 2nd District of California
- Bruce Riordan, Climate Readiness Institute
- Michael Wall, Natural Resources Defense Council
-Drew Caputo, Earthjustice Attorney
This week on Post-Carbon Radio: Communicating climate in the era of Trump: what do liberals need to learn about conservatives in order to be effective? Whether at work, at home, or in the streets, we all could use some pointers. Learn how to talk to conservative loved ones over Xmas dinner. Join us as we accompany J. Scott Wagner on a deep dive into the divide between worldviews, and how to bridge them.
J. Scott Wagner is a longtime liberal activist in Sonoma County and a social psychologist. He has just published "The Liberal's Guide to Conservatives", an explanation in layman's terms of the science behind America's ideological divide.
From Amazon.com: Politics are a detail in the story of what we call ideology. After a 6-year effort that involved 3 tours of the U.S., help from dozens of the world's top academic experts, and hundreds of interviews with conservatives, writer and researcher J. Scott Wagner brings us on a rollicking tour of the conservative mind, looking at them through the lens of 5 sciences [sic]: neurology/cognitive psychology, personality, bias, social conformity, and morality. With unprecedented clarity, this interdisciplinary exploration of conservatives reveals many practical tools for avoiding the common problems liberals face with conservative relatives, partners, friends, and managers, while providing liberals a better understanding of hidden corners of their own world view.