Why I partnered with EDF

It is only a small leap from caring about what’s going on in a garden to caring about what’s going on in the larger environment.

When I wondered why southern camellias were thriving up north, I read everything I could about climate change. I began to understand how interconnected our world is.

Our oceans, which do so much to absorb the pollution we produce, look inexhaustible; tides give us the illusion that they replenish themselves. But they’re filling up with trash, and emptying of vital fish species. Fresh water is becoming scarcer. We interact with chemicals every day, we slather them on ourselves and our children's bodies, and they end up in our soil and water, too. We want to cut carbon use, but we expect to call on vast new supplies of electricity to power our lives.

When I talk with my friends and children about how perilous things seem to be, how fragile, I see how the idea of overwhelming catastrophe is intolerable—I feel it, too. I see how we disconnect, want to change the subject, turn back to tending our small patches of earth. We want to be able to take the health of our planet for granted.

But environmental issues are hitting the very place we want to feel safest: home. Home ought to be a sacred place of retreat, rest, and peace. It won’t continue to be if we turn our backs on the world.

This new column was born in the spirit of paying attention, talking about what we can do now. It isn’t enough to turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat—all those tiny, individual actions are necessary, but not sufficient. We have to turn to leaders with the vision and muscle to make change.

EDF is respected world wide for its commitment to understanding climate science, partnering with business, and affecting change through ambitious public policy. When you get right down to it, public policy is about people; it is really born of, and shapes, our personal lives.

In sharing the work of the talented folks at EDF I’m hoping to give matters of global urgency a human touch. We may not have thought of ourselves this way, but we are all becoming environmentalists. After all, this planet is home, too.

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