Pete Seeger died Monday, January 27, 2014. This is a newspaper column I wrote about him in 2001.
SINGIN’ OUT FREEDOM
In June, 1969, I was rattling away at my old Remington manual typewriter when my five-year-old daughter Leslie wandered into my workroom.
When we first heard about Orri Vigfusson, we were completely astonished. This Icelandic businessman and environmentalist has nearly singlehandedly saved the North Atlantic salmon from a fate similar to the codfish. And he’s done it through “green capitalism.”
Over the past 17 years, Orri and his North Atlantic Salmon Fund have systematically bought and “retired” 85% of the world’s commercial North Atlantic salmon fishing licenses.
Andrew Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano are "The Yes Men," the Merry Pranksters of the environmental movement, a culture-jamming duo who fight social injustice and crimes against nature using pranks, humour and their lethal imaginations.They're the audacious jokers who pretend to be spokesmen for Dow Chemical and go on TV to announce that Dow will (belatedly) take responsibility for the worst industrial accident in history, the Bhopal pesticide catastrophe.
Freelance writing, like old age, is not for sissies – and it seems to get harder for each generation.
I’m moved to this observation by contemplating the autumn of my friend and colleague Chris Benjamin, who is 30 or 40 years younger than I am.
My friend Rafe Mair, former Vancouver radio host and former BC Environment Minister, sent this to me (and many others) last week. It’s a wonderful story, reminding us yet again of the millions and millions of people around the world who are tackling their own little pieces of the global problem.
When I first came up with the idea of The Green Interview, I thought of Ray Anderson.
Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of Interface, Inc., which began as a traditional carpet manufacturing company based in Georgia. In 1994, under pressure from his customers and staff to develop an environmental policy, Ray happened upon Paul Hawken’s seminal book The Ecology of Commerce.
“I’d like to see the business case for fishing the stocks to the point of collapse,” Ray Anderson declares. “I’d like to see the business case for destroying the ozone layer. What kind of a system do we have, where we think it’s cheaper to destroy the Earth than to take care of it?”
The Attentive Reader of this column already knows about Ray Anderson, the founder and chairman of Interface Corporation, a global carpet company.
“Annie,” said Marjorie, “do you think hollyhocks would do well over there by the fence?”
Annie Hill laughed aloud.
“Marjorie,”she said, “I wouldn’t know. I haven’t had a home ashore since I was 19 years old.”
It’s true. At 20, Annie and her first husband, Pete Hill, sailed from England to the Caribbean and back on a 28-foot engineless catamaran.