Stalking the Green Giants
In the town of Blue Earth, Minnesota, alongside Interstate 90, there’s a 55-foot statue of the Jolly Green Giant. He’s the familiar mascot of Green Giant Foods, the fella we see on TV commercials bragging up the foods that come “ From the valley of the jolly – ho, ho, ho – Green Giant.”
That one’s made out of fiberglass. But there are real Green Giants in the world – and those are the people we interview on this web site.
The idea of a Green Interview site first popped up after I had written a lot of articles and newspaper columns about new ideas and new approaches to the environmental crisis. Environment is the issue of our time,and though I’m not religious, I have a pretty strong sense of the sacred,
and I found it unbearably disturbing to think that human beings are in effect making war on all the rest of creation. If we don’t change our ways, we’ll perish, along with a good many other species – and unlike the others, we’ll deserve it.
That’s the black cloud over our lives. The silver lining is the incredible number of people all around the world who are carving out new approaches to our relationship with the natural world. New approaches to wildlife, to food, to industry, to the oceans. New models of education. New ways to measure progress. New inventions in transportation, communications and much else.
The people doing that work, the people who are showing the way, are the true Green Giants of our time. And those are the ones I wanted to talk with – to get them to tell us, in vivid conversations, what they are doing and why. Those are the ones that radiate hope, that charge the rest of us with optimism.
I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and we have our share of Green Giants right here — Farley Mowat, Elizabeth May, Ron Colman. Others pass through Halifax giving lectures or promoting books – Gwynne Dyer, Chris Turner, and songbird expert Dr. Bridget Stutchbury (whose biography isn’t yet on the site).
We have no travel budget at all, and we won’t until we have a substantial body of subscribers. Meanwhile, whenever I travel on other business, I look for opportunities to meet and interview people. I did some work in Bhutan last December, and there I met Vandana Shiva, Satish Kumar, Bunker Roy, Gregory Cajete and Prime Minister Jigme Thinley. In January I had a speaking engagement in Manitoba, and I came home via St. Louis in order to visit one of the great scientific figures of our time, Jim Lovelock. This August I’ll be in British Columbia, and I’m hoping to interview William Rees, Brian Brett, Robert Bateman and Ronald Wright.
Without travel funds, we’re restricted in what we can do. For instance, the four BC women I’d like to interview – Alexandra Morton, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Tzeporah Berman and Betty Krawcyzk – all live in remote locations on the BC islands, from Cumberland to Haida Gwaii. I can’t get there this time.
I will be promoting my new book in Ontario this fall, and I have a list of interviews to do while I’m there. I also have a huge wish-list of interviewees in the US and Western Europe, so the next big investment I want to make is in travel – and also, of course, in carbon credits to offset the impact of flying.
The new book, incidentally, has nothing to do with environment. It’s called A Million Futures: The Remarkable Legacy of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. You can find out more (and you can pre-order) at my other website, at www.silverdonaldcameron.ca/million.html