Perspective: Three Paths of Conservation Work
~ Dan Novak ~

Three Paths of Conservation Work: Maintaining Long Range Vision, Full Participation in Local Matters, and Furthering Collective Effectiveness/Education/Collaboration.

Monument Valley by Mary Doo

Monument Valley by Mary Doo

As our planetary consciousness grows, we might consider three main paths of conservation work. First, upholding a holistic vision of qualitative development. In contrast to the heedless quantitative and pell-mell growth that surrounds us, we are genuine futurists in advocating for the long-term and healthy growth of our communities. We take the part of generations to come – their space, their time, their quality of life. We take the part of fellow species and the totality of life-giving conditions. The Environment ‘R’ Us. Intangible qualities are the most palpable, we feel them the most. We might start with the vision of the unity and sacredness of life. A good start!

Then we realize that, like it or not, we are creators, co-creators of life. We have impact, positively or negatively, whatever we do. No such thing as not having an effect on our surroundings and on each other. So the second major part of our work is seeing how well we shape what is given to us. We therefore become very local, intensely focused and local – as if doing it right, right here, in our own domiciles, backyards and towns were the most important thing. We become artists/architects of our immediate environment by becoming its daily advocates. We pick up trash. We become active participants in the local review process. We help our municipalities by showing how certain kinds of development proposals, large and small are ill or not. We want to preserve what’s already superb, and create, design, and manage things so that even better community qualities emerge. We explore far-reaching concepts as we zoom in on the particulars of designing good spaces, good buildings, structures, enterprises — good environments of all sorts.

Dragonfly Hanging by the Reed by Mary Doo

Hanging by the Reed by Mary Doo

Finally, we steadily educate ourselves and fellow residents in eliminating toxic practices, both literally and figuratively, and furthering truly vibrant and safe communities.

Are our families, schools, planners and municipalities adequately doing the job?

How does what we do on the local level dovetail with – or not! – state necessities and federal policies?

Earthrise, tsunamis, earthquakes, accelerated climate changes… continued urbanization of populations, food safety, the viability of agribusiness versus local farming… continued suburban and exurban residential/commercial development, etc., etc. – good, bad, depending on respect for communities and ethical design sensitivity?…

Clean energy technologies and a genuine green economy make sense? Possible? Too little, too late?

Is a global perspective a help or a distraction from local efforts? Is a global perspective the same as a planetary one? Is there a difference?

What are your perspectives on ideas and approaches that might galvanize the larger community?

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