The EarthLab Carbon Calculator

Nick Uren from the EarthLab Foundation sent us this tool to help us each make a personal difference in the fight against climate change.

EarthLab Carbon Calculator

The Earth Manifesto

Earth Manifesto

The Earth Manifesto:  Saving Nature with Engaged Ecology
by David Tracey
Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN 9781927330890

Reviewed by John Scull

Here is a small review of this deceptively small book (132 pages), which is much bigger on the inside.  David Tracey (author of Guerilla Gardening) introduces the idea of “Engaged Ecology”, or E2, which has six laws:

  1. Nature is Here
  2. Wilderness is Within
  3. Cities are Alive
  4. The Earth is Our Witness
  5. We Have the Right to Clean Air, Pure Water, Healthy Soil
  6. Engaged Ecology Creates a Community

The first three chapters cover the first three “laws”, which come down to connecting to your place and with yourself.  Then the next three chapters cover what to do with this connection – join a small group where you are and do what you can to cool the earth and support biodiversity.  Engaged Ecology is what Ecopsychology should be about  — local, personal, and reflective, but also global, communitarian, and active.

An Ode to Nature

by Madison Woods
This poem was previously published in Madison’s blog.

Madison Woods writes, creates, and communes with nature from the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. She and her husband founded Wild Ozark, LLC with a desire to align their passions with their livelihoods. Madison offers readers an opportunity to reconnect to nature through her blog, photography, stories and books.
Contact her by email.

Here are the words of the poem, in text:

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Untitled Poem

By Larry Robinson
Sent in by Robert Greenway

Here’s a poem that a former student and now colleague sent in the other day. F’or me, it reveals the way a poem — in part by its very ambiguity, in part by it’s “rhythm” — reveals nature, ecology, big mind, little mind, egoic mind, etc.

easiest-to-relate-to-the-airOnce there was a time when it was necessary
to remove ourselves from nature. Once.
To distinguish, to see within
these selves is the objective. It’s second nature

now. This chain-of-being buried
& nearly forgotten. Paved over in sediment
like walled in cities, lessons in childhood,
other experiences qualified or in need of

the missing link. “Man is held highest on Earth
& below the Angels.” The intention:
toward God. Then later, toward a controlled state –
technology. The competition is fierce

& it is not. An Angel (many?) who inhabits
the rock suggests you skip its flat surface
on the river. Interfacing the world of eyes,
you pick it up: sentient self awareness

beyond the organs of particularity. Yes, you are
the rock & each plant & animal whose dust
compresses here. A moment of your time.
It is easiest to relate to the air.

“This Changes Everything” – A book review

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This Changes Everything
by Naomi Klein
Knopf Canada, 2014.

Reviewed by John Scull


“At nearly 500 pages plus 60 pages of endnotes, Klein has written an imposing book. Most of the space is taken up with case histories to illustrate and reinforce Klein’s arguments. Klein is a very good storyteller and she has done a great deal of research; the book is a goldmine of specifics. In this discussion I summarize her conclusions, omitting most of the factual background for those conclusions. I assure you it is there.

In chapter after chapter Klein convincingly makes her points, but I do not believe she succeeds in her main point that it is capitalism vs. the climate. In fact, she even suggests several “capitalist” solutions to the climate crisis. As I will describe later, I believe she has done something even more valuable by reframing the issue as Extractivism vs. Blockadia, abstract economics vs. our connection to the earth.”

Read the full review here.

 

The Biophilia Hypothesis & Mental Health

This provocative piece questioning the association between ecopsychology and biophilia was submitted by Douglas Radmore, undergraduate student of Criminology and Psychology at the University of Brighton, Sussex (England):

The concept of biophilia is a prevalent one within ecopsychology and is implicated in many theories within the school (White & Keerwagen, 2013). This article will take a brief look into the implications of biophilia and biophobia on our everyday mental wellbeing, with particular focus on disgust based biophobic reactions and their cultural implications.

Download the entire article in pdf format, here: Examination of the Biophilia Hypothesis and its implications for Mental Health.

Tomato Therapy, renamed “Studies of the Frog Tomato Relationship”

(“See, these red round things are MINE”)
from Robert Greenways’ Corona Farm in Port Townsend, Washington

frog-n-tomatoes“Applied Ecopsychology” (also known as “tomato therapy”)

Quaker Pantheism

Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist
by Sharman Apt Russell
New York: Basic Books, 2008.
Reviewed by John Scull

Standing in the Light I have seldom encountered a book that reflects my worldview as clearly as Standing in the Light: My Life as a pantheist. The book is both a sort of quirky spiritual autobiography and a treatise on the history of Pantheism.

The book follows several different but interrelated threads: On a personal level, she describes her experiences as an on- and off- and on-again Quaker, her personal history living in both urban and rural New Mexico and elsewhere, and accounts of exploring and assisting with research (banding birds) in protected natural areas. Interspersed with these personal stories and reflections she gives us a clear and insightful discussion of pantheism from the early Greeks to the present.

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Moved by a Mountain, Reviewed

front cover mbamMoved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2013
Soft cover, $21.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

Having visited Alaska for the first time earlier this year, where I was enchanted by the ever-changing vista, I was intrigued by this new book by photographer Tom Reed and its focus on a particular mountain in Alaska’s majestic Kenai Ridge.

I usually “read” photography books like this visually first, and Moved by a Mountain richly rewards such an approach. The images are stunning – beautifully composed monochromatic photo-paintings with a distinctive red-ink chop strategically placed to complement and complete each one.

Tom Reed photography Continue Reading →

The Granite Avatars of Patagonia, Reviewed

granite-book-coverThe Granite Avatars of Patagonia
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2009
Hardback, $49.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

This first book by Tom Reed sets the pattern I saw in his most recent book, Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska (reviewed elsewhere in Gatherings) – exquisite black and white photography set in full-page display with smaller color inserts woven in with the accompanying insightful stream-of-consciousness text. The aesthetic for both books is clean, clear, and extremely beautiful – almost Japanese in its simplicity.

Thom Reed Photography
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How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology

flowering_shooting_starsSan Francisco bay area psychotherapist Mark Johnson wrote a great post in his blog, Empathy and Essence: When Therapy Awakens Your Divine Nature, on “How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology”.

Here’s an excerpt from Johnson’s psychologically and spiritually astute post, which quotes from a wide variety of spiritual, psychological and nature-based thinkers from Joanna Macy to Oscar Ichazo:

How we perceive the outer world and the way it works largely determines how we view our inner world and its movement and change. If we have been raised in the Western world, educated and enculturated in its scientific mindset, we will tend to see the Universe as mechanistic, random or accidental, infinitely complex but ultimately reducible to finite, material components and energies, and forever stressed between opposing and competing forces.

This prevailing view directly colors how the human psyche is perceived…

Read the rest of his post, here.

Diversity in Ecopsychology: A Review by John Scull

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A Review of Peter H. Kahn, Jr., and Patricia H. Hasback. Ecopsychology:  Science, Totems, and the Technological Species, by John Scull, Ph.D.

John’s review begins:

“There is a confusing tangle of words about the several psychological disciplines related to the environment – environmental psychology, ecological psychology, conservation psychology, human ecology.  It is not just confusing for outsiders:  When communicating among themselves, psychologists need to explain what they mean because different writers have used these words in different ways.  These diverse fields all have one common feature; they are in the mainstream of academic social psychology.  They all privilege experiments and other controlled quantitative research over qualitative research and they elevate all kinds of research above anecdotal evidence, clinical experience, opinion, narrative, and philosophy.

Ecopsychology has come from different traditions.  The diverse pioneers in the field arrived at ecopsychology from humanistic and transpersonal psychology, experiential environmental education, scientific ecology, systems thinking, and deep ecology.  As a result, the field has been much more interdisciplinary than the inclusion of  “psychology” in the coined word suggests.”

Download this pdf for the rest …

Red Path Spiritman & This Is

Two pieces from David Sparenberg, author of Life in the Age of Extinctions (free download), starting with Red Path Spiritman:

native-american4A man stands on open ground.  His arms stretched wide, his chest lifted, his head tossed back.  Facing skyward he hangs by the spider threads of creation.  He hangs by mere light beams of the sun.

Nobody forgets this young man.  Nobody forgets the earth warrior.  He watches over the continent of Turtle Island.

Elders gather to chant and remember.  Women come around making circle, to wail and moan, and to shed tears.  Children stand by, silent in awestruck wonder.

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Gestalt of the Dialogue

by David Sparenberg, author of Life in the Age of Extinctions

We cannot talk about greening
without talking about peace
We cannot talk about peace
without talking about justice
We cannot talk about justice
without addressing injustice
We cannot speak of injustice with integrity
without talking about the problems of injustice
such as race and poverty, exploitation
and so on.

We cannot talk about the problems
without talking about indifference to suffering
We cannot talk about indifference to suffering
without examining the labyrinth of violence
We cannot speak of violence
without talking about hatred
We cannot talk about hatred
without talking about fear
We cannot talk about fear
without addressing the mutuality of vulnerability
and the given condition of relatedness.
Continue Reading →