As the consequences of climate change begin to compound, it’s tempting to believe that solutions are now out of our hands. The careers of Greg Watson and Sallie Calhoun demonstrate resolutely that this is not the case.
It takes strength of will to change the management of a 7,600 acre ranch to model grazing methods for carbon sequestration, no-till crop production, and drought-resistant viticulture. It takes an open-heartedness to host training sessions for landowners, ranch managers, and a new generation of agrarians. It takes clarity of purpose to search out and implement an investment portfolio focused on regenerative agriculture. It takes a generosity of spirit to initiate a philanthropy that supports all the rest. Sallie Calhoun has all of these. In her Schumacher Lecture, she described this #noregrets approach to decision-making in the face of climate change.
As a young man of color, Greg Watson faced rebuke by his peers for championing environmental issues, broadly seen as the purview of privilege. Watson understood that clean air, fresh water, healthy soil, and good food are a necessary right for all. He went on to work in both the public and private spheres to create community food systems, renewable energy initiatives, and citizen-designed development programs. Influenced by the work of R. Buckminster Fuller, his lecture focused on Fuller’s World GameTM and the Game’s potential to inform a fair allocation of Earth’s resources in a time of climate crisis.
The 39th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures: “Actionable Responses to Climate Change” took place on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, MA.