Benjamin Vogt’s new book, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future, is not your typical gardening book. It doesn’t teach you how to grow the best cilantro or tips for keeping plants alive during the cold, instead it focuses on how we can positively impact the environment and wildlife around us. Vogt explains, that with climate change and so many species extinct or endangered, we have to completely reimagine our connection with nature.
“Your garden is a protest. It is a place of defiant compassion. It is a space to help sustain wildlife and ecosystem function while providing an aesthetic response that moves you,” writes Vogt. He sees gardening as a way of saying I disagree with how we’ve chosen to interact with nature so far. Furthermore, I’m going to garden, not just a symbol of my protest, but as a way of actively changing that relationship with nature and positively impacting the ecosystems around me. Vogt also explains that gardening can improve us as humans. A greener urban setting can help us to be more productive, creative, focused, and even help cool our environment by combating climate change, giving off water through its leaves and, of course, providing shade. More importantly, Vogt says, humans are supposed to interact with and enjoy nature. It’s only recently, through urban communities, that we’ve become so separated from it.
Benjamin Vogt, Garden Designer with Monarch Gardens and author, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future
Scientists have maintained for years that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are causing climate change. In the face of deniers, scientists insist their answer is correct. We talk to Dr. Kerry Emanuel from MIT about what makes he and other scientists so certain greenhouse gasses are to blame and how the problem can be addressed to not only help our planet, but create new jobs for American workers.
We’ve heard a lot about climate change and global warming over the past 20 years or so, but ironically people care about it less now than they did a decade ago. We talk to a researcher and author about how the framing of climate change can skew the message and create attitudes that affect how we think of global warming and how we become motivated – or not – to do something about it.
It seems that everywhere you go, fashion surrounds you – in ads for clothing and makeup, a billboard, the cover of a magazine, or virtually anything featuring a model. These images provide us with the idea of what makes a perfect person: If you wear this color lipstick and this kind of dress, you’re considered beautiful. The fashion industry has been doing this for ages, but over time it has increasingly raised issues about confidence, self-esteem and body image. Our guest discusses why it’s important to look beyond the advertisements and find the fashions that are right for you, how cheap clothing is hurting developing countries and the environment, and why designers and manufacturers need to change how they create clothing for and market to older men and women.
Learning to survive in uncertain times and learning how to treat everyone in our community with respect and equality are lessons we can all benefit from. However, we don’t usually think that primitive peoples are the best teachers of these lessons. Our guest would take exception to that. As a young woman, she lived with the old Bushmen of southwestern Africa and discusses how she learned a lot about how to raise children, find food and water, and about how community cooperation and equality of the sexes enabled these people to survive and thrive in a formidable environment.
Synopsis: We’re all familiar with the various ages such as the Jurassic and the Paleozoic, but have you ever heard of the Anthropocene? We meet a woman who has traveled around the world looking at how climate change caused by humans has transformed areas of our planet and how people are looking for creative ways to deal with the changes in lifestyle, agriculture and migration caused by these changes.
Host: Gary Price. Guest: Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene: A journey to the heart of the planet we made.
Synopsis: Many ecologists, farmers and members of the public are worried that non-native plants and animals are invading the U.S. and preventing native species from thriving. Much money and time is spent trying to rid the land of these aliens – often to no avail. But are these species present because they’re the only ones that can thrive in an area? Are they multiplying because of something bad we’re injecting into their environment? Are these aliens actually helping nature create a diverse and robust environment? And are those so-called native species of plants and animals really native? Our guests have some surprising answers to those questions.
Host: Gary Price. Guests: Fred Pearce, science journalist, researcher, and author of The New Wild: Why invasive species will be nature’s salvation. Tao Orion, permaculture educator, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A permaculture approach to ecosystem restoration.