Jonathan J. Halperin
Jonathan J. Halperin
Designing Research, Communications
and Strategies for Sustainability

Forests and Food

As the elderly and aggravated Chinese gentleman said in Hope in a Changing Climate, “my grandchildren can’t eat trees!”

Reading the long piece in the New York Times (With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Key Climate Protectors) this week it appears that across the world trees are being eaten not by children but by beetles and other insects at such an increasing rate that the role of forests in sequestering carbon need to be recalculated.

Here in Vermont, at the Dana Meadows Sustainability Institute, amidst the intentional community she inspired the maples and oaks and sycamores are beginning to shift colors; the smell of fall is in the air, and the grass has a sheen of just frozen water atop it so that it crunches when compressed under a boot.

In Aspen, at the Ideas Festival over the summer, trees were a focus as well – emblazoned with environmental information about their important and varied roles – as the life support systems of the planet.

When I present next at the James Beard’s Foundation annual conference in New York City, on the theme of money and media in the food sector, yet again trees will not be on the menu. But they will be on the agenda – as they should and must be.

(On the first day of the conference [Oct. 12] I will be showing an excerpt from Hope in a Changing Climate in a session entitled "The Power of Effective Leadership." On the second day [Oct. 13] I will be part of the panel "DIY: Cooking up a Better Food System -- Perspectives on How We Can Affect Change" leading a session entiteld "What We Can Do with Messaging". The conference will be broadcast live and video will be available at the conclusion of the conference. For more information on the conference, see the preview in the Huffington Post--James Beard Foundation Food Conference: How Money and Media Influence the Way America Eats and the Full Conference Agenda.)

 

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When I began to unhook from SustainAbility in 2008, after 20+ years, to co-found Volans, Jonathan was working with the US end of SustainAbility — and sent the London end of the Volans team a large cardboard box of multi-colored felt rocks, which initially I couldn't make head nor tail of. I thought he was mad, or overly American.

But I have to say that, over time, those felt rocks have become a central feature of the Volans culture, thrown by team members at other team members (or guests) on the slightest provocation. That aside, he's a consummate professional, creative collaborator, skilled communicator, and keen intellect—and I am delighted both to have had Jonathan as a colleague and to now count him as a friend.

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Feb 4

 Jonathan J. Halperin Retweeted Civil Eats
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Pay attention. Pay very close attention. This is just the beginning.
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USDA removes animal welfare reports from its website
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