About eight years ago, Glenn Albrecht began receiving frantic calls from residents of the Upper Hunter Valley, a 6,000-square-mile region in southeastern Australia. For generations the Upper Hunter was known as the “Tuscany of the South” — an oasis of alfalfa fields, dairy farms and lush English-style shires on a notoriously hot, parched continent. “The calls were like desperate pleas,” Albrecht, a philosopher and professor of sustainability at Murdoch University in Perth, recalled in June. “They said: ‘Can you help us? We’ve tried everyone else. Is there anything you can do about this?’ ”
A fellow coalfield citizen in West Virginia sent this link around today. I found it just after I posted some thoughts about President Obama's ideas on the future of coal in West Virginia on my Earthbytes blog. The notion that people are traumatized by coal mining activity in their community is explicit in my post, but implicit (as evidenced by the Freudian slip that I made and left in the piece) is the idea that unconscious processes are at work in our lives as individuals, and in our relationships as leaders and followers, or fellow citizens of one world or one nation.
These ideas represent an intersection of my professional work and my work as a grassroots activist for social and environmental justice that have inspired much contemplation over the past few years. I have much more to write on this idea but, for now, I'll simply express my gratitude to my coalfield brother for the synchronous cross-validation.