Karen Harwell: What can one person do?

The Donella Meadows Institute first published this profile, written by Elizabeth Sawin, of EAN member Karen Harwell’s Dana Meadows Children’s Garden. Karen is Director of Exploring a Sense of Place, whose mission is “to provide the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect to the natural world where they live”.

Climate change, depletion of fisheries, toxic pollution, endangered species. Sometimes it’s enough to make you throw up your hands in despair. “I’m just one person, what difference can I make? What could I do?”

Well, actually one person – one ordinary person – can do quite a lot if she sets her mind to it. If you want proof, just ask my friend Karen Harwell, or better yet, visit her Dana Meadows Children’s Garden. Once it was an ordinary house and yard on an ordinary street in a small California city, but today it is a humming, buzzing, quacking swirl of life and fragrance and color, and a haven for the neighborhood children.

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2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions: Elders add energy and content

by Libby and Len Traubman

In our mid-70s, we are redefining the meaning of retirement. Many of our recent ancestors lived out their lives with shrinking world views and diminishing self importance.  Seeking comfort, they passively abdicated the joy of responsibility,  “leaving it to the next generation.”

Our fellow elders often ask: “What are our options?”  For the two of us, it is participating as fully as possible— giving back our time-tested skills, wisdom, attention, and energy to cure the needful social and environmental sicknesses threatening our human community and Earth herself.

At the root of humankind’s interconnected crises is people’s inability to understand our oneness, our inextricable interdependence with each other and nature. In response, we two spend our days and nights clarifying that killing, destroying, humiliating, distancing, and excluding others at home, on campus, or among nations will never provide the safety and cooperation we seek. Only acts of goodwill and communication excellence—love—can succeed. So we spend our retirement years facilitating lots of diverse women, men, and youth in face-to-face Dialogue to listen and be listened to. Educator Gene Knudsen Hoffman describes the experience:  “An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”

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Building a Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action

Geri and grandkids
Geri Freedman was motivated to join Elders Climate Action to protect the planet for her grandsons Nathan and Noah, pictured here along with her and her husband Dave. Photo: Natalie Brand.

We are excited to share this wonderful blog post by Climate Optimism, Building a Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action

Thank you Climate Optimism for highlighting the work of Elders Climate Action!

Read the blog here:  Building A Green Legacy: Elders Climate Action







Environmental Activism Attracts Boomers Seeking an Impact

Concerned for future generations, they are working to stop climate change

Article from Next Avenue. Read Full Article Here 

By Beth Baker May 9, 2017

Elders Climate Action Highlighted by Huffington Post

Elders Take Action on Climate Change

From Huffington Post, By Ellen Moyer, Ph.D.

Elders around the world may be our best hope for solving the “super wicked” problem of climate change. Short-term thinking created our current climate predicament. Despite warnings and predictions from the scientific community, the developed world spewed greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Given that problems, solutions, costs, and benefits play out over time frames spanning generations, the situation calls for intergenerational climate-change activism.

Why would seniors enlist in the crusade? They have a long view due to the number of years they have already lived, during which many have witnessed changes in the climate. Many also have passion to protect their children and grandchildren. Halfdan Wiik of Norwegian Grandparents Climate Campaign says, “For me, it’s all about love and optimism. Elders of today have lived our lives in a world of great changes, for good and for bad. We know it can be changed once more.”

Elders often work with a sense of urgency, realizing that they may have relatively few years left in which to leave their legacy. And generally speaking — and with countless exceptions — compared with younger people, elders often have more free time, financial resources, wisdom, experience, economic and political clout, sense of connection to nature, and freedom from worries about job security, mortgages, and dependents.

Read the full Article Here




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