Zeno, Steven and Connie at High Street Salon

Zeno, Steven and Connie at High Street Salon

Jonah Raskin, Zeno, Lucy Bill Kortum
Mark Green speaks at High Street Salon

Mark Green speaks at High Street Salon

So yesterday, Mom’s Day, was for me the first visit to Zeno Swijtink and Rick Rozet’s High Street Salon, Sebastopol, a Second Sunday affair celebrating the art of conversation – and fine food! A rare treat that will become less rare for us at Oasis Farm and with Petaluma Grange and other Grange events.

Next up at High Street Salon, check their Facebook page. Cost is a mere $20, starts 11am with marvelous brunch (!) at 7203 Maple, front door on High Street, parallel to S. Main in downtown Sebastopol.

Notes from Evernote on my Kindle, an app introduced to me by my daughter-in-law, Vero, a recent MBA who married my son after they shared the UC Santa Cruz life (lucky them; lucky me!). Son, Jon, gave the Kindle a coupla years ago so I could keep reading books in the way he felt is now fitting – from the web. He’s a manager at Yelp, so considered one Millenial in the know. (No bragging from his Mom!) Now back to our topic.

So – notes from Mark Green’s talk (he was first CEO of Sonoma County Conservation Action – ten years! – and ran a huge childcare service in SF):

View of the landscape: Coming trends; What is the environmental movement? Anyone can be an environmentalist – really? How to define it.

Beginnings with John Muir and Henry David Thoreau (bet Millenials don’t know their full names or what they stood for; sigh). These guys held a great deal in common and were 19th Century Romantics, believing nature was “out there” (and we need to merge with that mystical thing).

Technology is terrifying? (Certainly is creating change faster than we’ve ever known.)

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, showed us we’re poisoning the air and killing our birds and SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE; the heart of modern environmentalism.

Often people fund things they never see.

In the late 1960’s people turned to environmentalism to shoulder the responsibility for taking care of the planet and joining environmentalists was easy; write a check. Not a bad or wrong idea, you can help do good things and significant work has been accomplished. But this humans vs. nature siding with nature has led us to the “antropocene” area (where we are destroying our habitat.)

We cannot stop time. Everything will change; the natural world wants to change. People use the environment to boost self interests, not informed by science. The Endangered Species Act may be protecting animals nature would just “wink out” soon. When we save the CA Salamander, we’re saving money for private interests. We need to protect the web of life.

Environmentalists and Millenials: Millenials (the 20 somethings) love problem solving and are not hostile to corporate interests. Millenials are Makers, learning to work with materials at hand. (We left them often without jobs, “sharing” rather than earning a middle class income).

(Millenials are race-indifferent – not racist – and as larger populations of Latinos come to live with us, we find less percentage of environmentalists). Polling tells us environmental usefulness to human beings must be shown to Latino population.

Go to Boing Boing.net to see how Millenials are adaptors.
Sample: The Monkey Signalman (Futility Closet Podcast #009)
Boing Boing ‎- 28 minutes ago
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Key areas of urgency for the environment:
Biodiversity
Maintaining diverse resources
Air, water, soil
Maintanence of habitat for air

Avoid paranoia based on fear of psudo science
It is our job to point out real issues
The future looks very very different
Must deal with income disparity
Don’t lionize Natural World
Save what is savable
– Next generation is optimistic
– Actions should be based on science
– Facilitate a positive view

Evolve or die!

Comments following Mark Green’s talk included ideas about GMOs –
“We could use something that eats plastic – need regulations that protect us but perhaps not ALL genetic engineering of foods is bad?

About Fracking from geologist, Richard: Fracking in shallow depths doesn’t ruin the underlying rock; deep fracking could set off serious earthquakes. Re Monterey Shale deposit running along San Andreas Fault: “Yeah, fracking could set it off but it’s gonna blow anyhow” (paraphrase). OK – so you DON’T MIND FRACKING IF IT MAKES US ENERGY INDEPENDENT, PUTS OFF INTO THE FUTURE REAL ALTERNATIVES TO OIL AND CAUSES THE NEXT HUGE (HUGEST!) EARTHQUAKE HERE?

Harsh. But we do need somehow to prepare. Me? Reading more sci-fi; building Oasis Farm outside Petaluma and the Petaluma Grange becomes a best friend among others. You?

What will we choose to do? We can turn over the reins to Millenials (assuming readers may be senior?) or become mentors. Mentors make education work, I think. A friend who tells you you can do what you dream and offers tools – that’s a friend indeed. Hope to be that friend to more young people, possibly with a Youth Grange, definately at Oasis Farm.