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Silver Donald Cameron

Welcome to Silver Donald Cameron’s blog! Dr Cameron is the author of 19 books and of many plays, films, magazine articles, radio and TV scripts. He is currently the host and executive producer of TheGreeninterview.com and of its feature documentary, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. In 2019, he was appointed the first Farley Mowat Chair in Environment at Cape Breton University, where he earlier served as professor, dean and writer-in-residence. He currently teaches an on-campus/online course called Green Rights.

The Voices of the Great Modern Teachers

In a recent Energy Bulletin, Dan Allen offers a first draft at a foundation document called A Land and Community Ethic – a document that addresses the complex issues that beset us as the Age of Oil comes to an end. Here’s the link:  http://www.energybulletin.net/52973 

Allen is a high school teacher in New Jersey, and he’s been trying to tell his students what they face. Most of them “politely tune out.” What he’d like them to understand, he says, lies “in the large body of literature and accumulated wisdom produced over the past century or so from our great teachers. Much brilliant thought has already been applied to the questions of, ‘What should we do and how should we behave?’ The sad fact that we have largely ignored this advice does not make it any less valuable. And we will soon need this wisdom in the worst way.
 
“A partial list of these great modern teachers includes the following: Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, E.F. Schumacher, Wes Jackson, David Ehrenfeld, David Orr, Vandana Shiva, Martin Luther King, Gene Logsdon, Derrick Jensen, Jane Goodall, Noam Chomsky, David Holmgren, Herman Daly, Barry Lopez, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Edward Abbey, George Orwell, Rachel Carson, Gandhi, etc. And their teachings, of course, represent the accumulated wisdom of all humanity. (Note: The paucity of women in this incomplete list merely reflects my ignorance, for which I apologize.)
 
“But while their invaluable teachings already exist on bookshelves and in the minds of a small fraction of enlightened individuals and communities, how do we ever keep them alive through the troubled times ahead? How do we get these teachings to the 99.9% of the US population who will soon desperately need them — people who have never read the teachings, have never even heard anything about them, and will not likely stop at the local library as they dodge bread riots in the streets and increasingly struggle to feed their families?”
 
As I read this passage, I thought, “That’s exactly what The Green Interview is all about – presenting the great modern teachers in person, in conversation, complete with biographies and bibliographies that allow viewers to find out more on their own.” We’ve

already interviewed one person on Allen’s list, Vandana Shiva, and others in his list are also on ours. Several  that I’d love to talk with – Orwell, Gandhi, King, Schumacher – have become permanently unavailable. But their spirit lives on among us.

 

We’ve now posted seven interviews with great modern teachers, and we have another eight or ten in production. This summer, I’ll be travelling to British Columbia on other business, and I’m hoping to collect several additional interviews. In the meantime, we’ve just posted our interview with Canada’s Green Party leader, Elizabeth May – who will remind others that only a minority of Canadians support Stephen Harper’s “toady right-wing government,” as US commentator Saul Landau recently described it.
 
Landau was writing about war – the Afghanistan debacle – and our next interview will be with Satish Kumar, a disciple of Gandhi who first came to prominence with a spectacular anti-war protest fifty years ago. Kumar has since been associated with Schumacher College and the Small School. For the past 30 years he has been editor of Resurgence magazine, which has been called “the artistic and spiritual voice of the green movement.”
 
My thanks to Linda Best of the Nova Scotia Food Policy Council (which is just being formed) for sending me the link to Dan Allen’s fine piece. Energy Bulletin – which I highly recommend – is published by the Post Carbon Institute. We’ve interviewed one of the luminaries who are Fellows of the Institute, David Hughes, and we hope to interview several others.
 
Who do you want us to interview? Who would you like to hear? Drop us a line, and we’ll do our best.