Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ohio University's Earth Month 2009

Ohio University's Office of Sustainability is in the middle of their "Earth Month 2009" programming, which is taking place during the entire month of April. The theme of this year's events is "Bold and Uncensored: Not Your Mama's Environmental Movement." Included in the roster of events are numerous opportunities to appreciate the local environment, volunteer your time to help with conservation and preservation, expand your knowledge and understanding by attending guest lectures, or simply talk with people about the change that you would like to see in our region.

Here is a message from the Office of Sustainability about Earth Month 2009:

"Environmentalism has undergone a metamorphosis in recent years – a change that is rather fitting for a movement strongly grounded in evolutionary trends, the shifting role of humanity within the context of the planet, and the cyclical rise and fall of natural systems.

Historically, the American environmental movement has many possible birth dates. Was it Thoreau's pilgrimage to Walden Pond? The congressional decision to establish Yellowstone as the world's first national park? The publication of Silent Spring in 1962? Was it the very first Earth Day, celebrated 39 years ago? Or did it rise from ecological disasters like Love Canal, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl? Perhaps the movement goes back even further – to the first sips from a mountain spring, or the first time our ancestors were stopped in their tracks by a breathtaking vista.

These Earth Month speakers and events are intended to give a fresh perspective on aspects of environmentalism that are unique to our moment in history. This year’s Earth Month theme, “Bold & Uncensored: Not Your Mama's Environmental Movement,” refers to the ideas, individuals and developments that set us apart from generations past.

Our “mamas” didn't talk about sustainability in the South Bronx. They didn't listen to evangelical reasons for respecting nature, and they also didn't live in a world so uncomfortably close to climate thresholds that wrapping Arctic glaciers in reflective blankets was seriously considered as a strategy to combat climate change. And they certainly couldn’t use blogs to write about the 9 billion people who will soon be living on this planet.

Though grounded in a long-established movement, our generation's approach to sustainability is worlds apart from the literal and figurative environment of our elders. “Bold and Uncensored” is an acknowledgment of our responsibility, our unique challenges, and our unprecedented opportunity.

There are still plenty of upcoming opportunities to enjoy this wonderful programming. For a complete list of events and speakers, visit the Earth Month 2009 website. You can also contact Sonia Marcus ( or call the Office of Sustainability (740.593.0460) for more information.