Barry Commoner, crusading scientist for the last 50 years has passed away. His work was crucial to the evolution of the environmental movement, starting with his work to bring to light the effects of fallout of nuclear radiation in the 1950s.
He linked environmental concerns to poverty, public health and global unrest and unraveled the DNA of political influence of corporate polluters and bad government science. As a young organizer in the Midwest in the 80s and 90s, I read a great deal of Commoner and was glad for the clarity.
I encourage food organizers that have not gone back and read some of these early works of the sustainable sector to take the time to do so. Read about what he termed the three Es that were plaguing the United States in the 1970s: “First there was the threat to environmental survival; then there was the apparent shortage of energy; and now there is the unexpected decline of the economy.”
And this of course:
His four laws of ecology:
Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch