Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Women We Love: Environmental Heroines

While I really believe this month's NYLL guest speaker, Summer Rayne Oakes, should be on this list, TreeHugger has compiled a fantastic list of powerful women who are fighting to save the planet.

Check out the post here or see the list below:

Wangari Maathai, is a woman of many firsts: not only is she the first African woman and first environmentalist to bring home a Nobel Peace Prize, she was also the first Eastern African woman to receive a Ph.D. in 1971 and the first woman to hold a professorship at one of the universities in Nairobi, Kenya. Her inspiring story is one of incredible tenacity and purpose. Her work ranges from women’s rights, to combating poverty, to the struggle for democracy in Kenya. Maathai is also famous for being the frontwoman of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

2. Rachel Carson is credited with bringing ill-managed
DDT pesticide contamination under national attention with her 1960s ground-breaking book, Silent Spring. The book helped to crystallize the beginnings of an American environmental movement, and was a catalyst for changing national pesticide policies. Her work provided formative inspiration for the deep ecology and eco-feminist movements, in addition to laying the groundwork for organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Vandana Shiva is an outspoken campaigner for protecting seed biodiversity against biotech-profiteering and genetic engineering. Her grassroots approach has helped to redefine food security and the “green revolution” as a movement that empowers local food growers, rather than big agribusiness. She is the founder of Navdanya, a NGO based in Dehradun, India that promotes organic farming and seed-saving.

4. Maude Barlow was recently named as the U.N.’s Senior Advisor on Water Issues, Barlow is a Canadian activist and author whose work deals primarily with the
unsustainable practices that are wasting this precious gift. For Barlow, water is a “public trust” that must be preserved in our culture and laws, and must be delivered as a “public service, not a profitable commodity.” Her so-called “blue covenant” boldly calls for access to clean, affordable to be recognized as a fundamental human right.

5. Kate Stohr is co-founder and managing director of the humanitarian non-profit
Architecture For Humanity (AFH), and was instrumental in shaping this grassroots organization that believes design can help serve the greater good. Some of AFH’s major milestones include providing disaster relief and reconstruction services during the Hurricane Katrina and Southeast Asian tsunami crises. Beginning in 1999 with a single online competition, AFH has now blossomed into an international organization with forty chapters on five continents, working with local partners and innovative development models. In 2005, AFH won the TED Prize which allowed them to develop The Open Architecture Network, a unique ‘open source’ platform for sharing sustainable and humanitarian design solutions.

6. Majora Carter is the founder of
Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), which has been instrumental in leading a number of sustainable restoration projects along the Bronx waterfront, including Hunt’s Point Riverside Park. SSBx also runs the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST) program, one of the first urban, green-collar job training programs in the country. Carter has since left to build her own private consulting business, but has won a number of awards for her pioneering work, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Rachel Carson Award from the National Audubon Society.

7. Isabella Rossellini, Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model, is well-known for her work in conservation, ranging from her involvement in the
Wildlife Conservation Network to the Central Park Conservancy. Her latest contribution is the quirky but educational Green Porno series done for the Sundance Channel. As a complete departure from the reserved likes of David Attenborough, Rossellini’s unforgettable films focus on the sex life and mating habits of the animal world, charting a fascinating and brilliantly surrealist direction in teaching a subject that would usually be quite tedious.

Daryl Hannah is busy raising awareness about environmental issues ranging from whaling to urban sustainability. But Ms. Hannah doesn’t do the celebrity cakewalk or easy photo-op. In fact, she’s spent time with the Sea Shepherd crew on high-risk anti-whaling operations, and also brought the forced closure of America’s largest urban farm to international attention by chaining herself to a walnut tree for three weeks. It may not be a Julia Butterfly Hill, but still definitely hardcore. Her personal life is also exemplary from an eco-point-of-view: her house is built entirely of green materials and is solar-powered and she drives a biodiesel-fuelled vehicle.

Safia Minney’s innovative fair trade clothing company People Tree was already using eco-textiles and helping skilled, local artisans gain access to markets. She’s known as one of the world’s foremost social entrepreneurs, establishing World Fair Trade Day (observed every second Saturday of May). Minney’s work strives to change the fashion business by addressing integral issues of fair wages, gender equity, transparency, accountability, capacity building, improved working conditions and environmentally sound practices.

10. Eileen Kampakuta Brown & Eileen Wani Wingfield: In the mid-1990s, these two Australian aboriginal elders and
septuagenarians led the fight to stop the Australian government from dumping nuclear waste in the desert lands of Southern Australia. Having survived the fallout of nuclear bomb testing in Southern Australia during the 1950s, the two women and their communities knew that the radioactive waste would eventually contaminate the groundwater, poisoning humans and animals alike. With other women of the community, Brown and Wingfield (not pictured) formed the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta Cooper Pedy Women's Council, or Kungka Tjuta, in 1995, and launched their anti-nuclear campaign, called “Irati Wanti” (literally meaning “the poison, leave it”). Awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003, the council was eventually successful in stopping the multimillion-dollar dump in 2004.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

"Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"

These are figures of "Ecocide".
These are figures of "crimes against Nature".
These are figures of "destruction of Ecosystems".
These are figures of "Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality".

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

Destroy the system that has killed all ecosystems.

Chief Seattle of the Indian Tribe had warned the destroyers of ecosystems way back in 1854 :

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that you cannot eat money.

To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

Delhi, India