Monday, September 8, 2008

The value of preaching to the choir?

On August 27th, Vandana Shiva spoke to a small crowd at the Sonoma County Day School tucked in a typical suburban business park. Her message was one of food sovereignty, of global responsibility, of a complicated web of dysfunction that is our world agricultural system.

Eloquent, insightful, funny, activism rooted in science--the talk was rejuvenating for me and a small group of my foodist friends that piled in the car to drink in Vandana's speech. But what really hit home was that the audience was all of a piece--the food activists and local farmers that have made the Bay Area an incredible model of a thriving local food system. Vandana was preaching to the choir. While value of rejuvenation & inspiration shouldn't be overlooked...I, at first, felt angry that her message wouldn't be conveyed to the uninitiated. The people who need to hear it the most.

But now I see one value of preaching to the choir---she taught me how to speak more eloquently about these issues, she gave me resources and ideas from which to make my arguments, she was imbuing in us the tools to keep up the fight.

Here are a few of her ideas that inspired me...

We need to call global warming/climate change by it's proper name. "climate chaos" climate does not change in predictable ways

We must change from an oil economy to a Soil economy.

In some places saving seed has become a CRIME.

GMOs as a solution do not increase yield, GMOs increase toxic production; not yield increasing technology, a vulnerability increasing technology.

We need to look at the greenhouse gas emissions of big ag.

It's never too late to stop doing the wrong thing & start doing the right thing. time I'm bringing someone who has yet to hear the message.

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