Bird Week: Birds Ground Us — The Earth and Environmental Equity

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s tenth anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t you think our lush planet is worth far more than two desolate balls of dust light years away?  This good earth is our bird in the hand.

Birds have, long, been our inspiration. They have served as an impetus to move beyond earthly limitations. If they can take to air, plumb watery depths and strut around the breadth and width of this earth like they own it, so can we!

We’ve followed their example in so many ways. We feather our nests, warn our children not to count their chickens before they hatch, put feathers in our caps and flock together. Don’t take my word for it! Check out The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us about Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future.

We need birds. Birds do not need us. This is, precisely, the premise of the book Their Fate is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World.

This very day we find Climate Refugees: The Global Human Impact of Climate Change running alongside The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change.

Let’s get busy! We have a complicated history to unravel. Some understanding can be gleaned from Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History. Paired with Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States, these two books will provide foundational knowledge and perspective because before us is A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet.

Across the nation citizens are Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability. Communities are Restoring Layered Landscapes: History, Ecology and Culture. People are tapping into Indigenous Ways of Knowing because we are, still, Standing on Sacred Ground.

Every Day We Live is the Future: Surviving in a City of Disasters is not the title of a feature film coming to a theater near you but a reality we see flashing across multiple screens.

Don’t screen out! Educate yourself! Start with, Sharing the Earth: An International Environmental Justice Reader or The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment. Fortify yourself with Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement.

Gain some perspective with Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands. Get wise to The Navajo and the Animal People: Native American Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ethnozoology.  Learn from The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice. Investigate Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage. Get creative! The Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet is just one guide to using the arts towards the healing of the planet.

Check out the resource list Birds Ground Us: The Earth and Environmental Equity for more resources and inspiration.  With our feet firmly planted, we can nurture endless possibilities and opportunities as we do our part to restore the balance of the planet, its peoples and our rich legacy of life.

 ~ posted by Chris


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