Most of us involved in advocating for the environment don’t give a lot of thought to the source of this passion… we just think the issues are critical, and need attention. My good buddy David Wescott did take some time to reflect on how he got here… and it turns out that the things that inspired him weren’t necessarily “environmental” in focus. Check out his guest post at It’s Not a Lecture to find out what moved him to more concern about our relationship to the natural world.
So, what brought you around to your concern for environmental issues? Share them with us (and remember that your comment enters you in our drawing for some great prizes from a number of eco-friendly retailers).
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfriver/ / CC BY 2.0
When Dancing Rabbit was getting started some of our members said they thought most people became environmentalists by getting out into nature. That was not the case for me, and my reply at the time was that if everyone had to commune with nature before they would become an environmentalist we are screwed. It will never happen, or if it did, all the wilderness would be destroyed in the process.
For me becoming an environmentalist was primarily about social justice and was catalyzed in part by the Rodney King riots. I was in college when the riots happened saw some of the effects first hand in San Francisco. It made me way more aware of social issues and politics than I’d ever been. As I became politicized I was drawn towards environmentalism, probably in part because I was not part of an oppressed group of people (if I had been, I’d probably have ended up fighting for civil rights of some sort).
It was also in part a movement of the times, global warming was big, old growth forests, the resurgence of Earth Day, etc. I picked up on that cultural Zeitgeist and ran with it.
It’s almost impossible to figure out all the little events in one’s life that build up until you realize you’re an environmentalist. I suppose one of the biggest “events” was about 25 years ago when I found out DDT was only banned from being sold in the U.S., not from being manufactured.
By the way, there is a difference between nature lovers and environmentalists. There are nature lovers who visit parks then go home and apply chemicals to their lawns.