As each New Year comes around, I find myself reflecting on the past year and thinking of the coming year, and as always, I think about my age. I was born on New Year’s Day, so it is only natural. And yes, I am an environmental elder, and very proud of it! I am honored to be included in the company that I keep with the Resource Renewal Institute staff! Working with someone as vital and energetic as my mentor and inspiration, Huey Johnson, founder of the Resource Renewal Institute!
In 2013, Huey has successfully undertaken three major environmental projects, all featured on rri.org. In addition, this year, Huey has been a film star in, Rebels with a Cause, a wonderful documentary about how the magnificent Point Reyes was saved. We should all thank Huey for helping to save West Marin, the beautiful gem that it is. Just a small slice of his land-saving legacy.
Some background. In the 1980s, as the California Secretary of Resources, Huey envisioned, and his team created, a comprehensive California Water Atlas, the first of its kind, illustrating and dissecting every major water body in California, and explaining the state’s complex plumbing. Huey, now a young octogenarian, has currently embraced 21st century mapping to create a New California Water Atlas. Personally, I find this unbelievably inspiring that a senior has created this tool for the next generation. The savvy folks who understand the power in government open data totally respect and appreciate this. Starting with California, but hopefully, this project will help to ignite a movement that explodes nationwide to bring transparency to complex natural resource issues in government.
As the director of the Forces of Nature project, I have been honored to meet those that have influenced Huey, and those whose lives have been changed by knowing him. An unparalleled friend to many, Huey’s generosity of spirit is unique. His honest and simple lifestyle encourages me to be a better environmentalist every single day. On weekends, when he is not doing something for his friends, he is in the office writing an op-ed, or thinking up new ideas for some particular passion of his, or finding funding for our work. He never quits – that word does not exist in his vocabulary. Huey’s outspoken nature and those of our Forces have inspired me to move beyond my fears, the ultimate shrinking violet, to write this blog and be more present in our larger electronic world. I believe this is what it will take to change our world for the better.
Our project is aptly named, the Forces of Nature. They are – We are. In the past two years, I have met more extraordinary environmentalists than in my 30-year career in environmental consulting. More than ever, I am inspired to share these videos with young and old, and I see the Forces of Nature as a wonderful bridge to our 21st century environmentalists who will follow in the footsteps of those that have led the charge in the mid-and-late 20th century. What wisdom we have to tap into today with more than 100 videos on our website – just click play! It is so easy. We would love to hear your comments on our videos. Our Forces are so wise, and many are at a point in their lives that they can give back and share their wisdom with our powerful youth. I see 2014 as a year to come together as one.
I hope you will take some time to watch these incredible interviews with Huey Johnson, and if you care about our planet, our land, water, trees, wildlife, history, poetry, art, science, climate change, open data, and sharing from one to another for a single honest cause, consider watching the Forces of Nature and show your support by contributing to our projects at www.rri.org.
All of us from RRI wish you a happy, healthy, and inspiring 2014! One Love!