“Men and Nature”

men and nature -fdrWe were down in Washington this past weekend for a book party. On Saturday we did some sightseeing and went to the FDR Memorial. It is in a lovely spot, on the far side of the Tidal Basin from the Mall and not far from the Jefferson Memorial. This quote, from a “Message to Congress on the Use of Our National Resources” from January 24, 1935 struck me as pretty compelling.

The subject of my book is very much “the throwing out of balance of the resources of nature.”  It is the restoration of balance that is our task and that is also what the book recounts.  Roosevelt went on in his speech to say that it is  “an error to say that we have ‘conquered Nature.’ We must, rather, start to shape our lives in more harmonious relationship with Nature.”  Indisputable.

So, in any event, we had a good time at the book party with folks from several walks, including the environmental field.  There was a former EPA official, a staffer from Conservation International, a couple of journalists and a documentary filmmaker, a leader at the Wilson Center, the policy advisor for climate and energy of the German embassy, and, I’m delighted to report, Kathleen Merrigan, a shining star of the sustainable agriculture and food security movement.  A good time was had by all.

I also want to report here that there’s a bigger event – much – planned for Washington this coming weekend:  the Forward on Climate Rally on Sunday the 17th.  People will gather, by the thousands, to tell President Obama that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad idea.  American participation in the exploitation of the tar sands, in short, makes no sense.  (See my The Paradox of Canada’s Tar Sands and America’s Drive to Substantially Decarbonize Energy from DeSmogBlog.)

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