I suppose a favorite environmentalist was David Brower, one of the founders of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. He died a few years ago. Before he was a conservationist he was a mountaineer. He fought to stop many dams, including ones that would have flooded Dinosaur National Monument and parts of Grand Canyon, though he always regretted not stopping the Glen Canyon dam.
John McPhee’s book “Encounters with the Archdruid” tells about series of trips he and Brower took with a mineral engineer, land developer, and a dam builder. It’s a great book that shows how people with such different beliefs actually can have a conversation, if not change of heart.
As for what we would eat, I’m not that picky. Something local and in season would be just fine.
I think I’d like to have lunch with Jane Goodall. I’m an animal lover, and appreciate all the work she’s done with primates. I think it would be really interesting to hear all the stories she has to tell!
As for lunch, I’m craving warm stuff since the weather has been so blah, so probably some hot tomato or potato soup!
I would love to have a meal with Theodore Roosevelt. He was the classic naturalist: he studied everything. It is amazing to me that in the late 1800s he was already realizing that our natural resources were precious and limited; in a time of abundance of wildlife, clean air, clean water, he was already promoting conservation. Roosevelt was part of the Boone and Crockett club which was integral to the creation of Yellowstone National Park.
As president he created the bureau of forestry which today we know as the US Forest Service. He was involved with the preservation of the Grand Canyon, AZ; Devil’s Tower, Wyoming; and Muir Woods in California.
Of course we would eat deer or elk that we had previously hunted; Roosevelt was a skilled hunter and conservationist. What vegetables and grains accompany our meat would depend on where in the US we were, but I’m certain they would be local and organic.
If possible, TR and I would love to invite Aldo Leopold and John Muir to our meal.
I would love to have lunch with John Muir – who was a naturalist and preservationist. He travelled all through the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and because of his efforts Yosemite Vallely, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas have been set aside for millions to enjoy. He also co-founded the Sierra Club and was it’s first president for the next 22 years until his death. The Sierra Club is one of the most important conservation organizations we have. He is also referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”. I love hiking and backpacking and Yosemite is one of my favorite places to be and I would love to enjoy lunch there – whatever was in season would be fine for the meal.
I was going to say Robert Sapolsky, but he’s more a scientist, and then I was going to say David Attenborough, but then I thought of Jane Goodall. I might have to join the Jane Goodall dinner above, I saw her speak a few years ago and was very moved by her positivity. To live in the midst of disappearing habitat, bureaucracy, and surely occasional hopelessness, for her to have such a enthusiastic and optimistic view on life was refreshing and motivational. I was in college and surrounded by a lot of apathy, especially in the time of the new Bush administration, hearing someone of considerable more years and experience have a true belief in the potential of human beings was absolutely inspiring. I’m sure I would immediately forget whatever I ordered.
Perhaps you were answering the question about which enviromentalist you would want to have a meal with?
Ok I know he wasn’t first an environmentalist, but I would say Al Gore. I feel like An Inconvenient Truth was a big part of the explosion (in the mainstream) of awareness regarding climate change. Obviously climate change was going to enter the public consciousness eventually (some might say inescapably), but I think the sooner people became aware of its effects, and consequently consider shifting their lifestyles by an inch or two, the better. I also think that coming from the political sphere, and having that avenue available to garner policy support has also been helpful. As for ordering, pretty much anything vegetarian and local would work: )
Although I don’t particularly care for Al Gore, I must admit that he has most definitely raised awareness on environmental issues either in a good or bad way. I agree with you that he was a large part on the explosion of environmental awareness going mainstream.
If I could have dinner with any environmentalist I would have to say Marjory Stoneman Douglas. What Marjory did was take journalism to an entire different level by using print media as a way to inform people on the subject of environmental abuse. Even as a woman, she was the author of “Everglades River of Grass” and a freelance journalist. She became a crucial voice in bringing federal awareness to the biological hotspots of South Florida and used her voice to federally protect the Everglades and Big Cypress. Today we have areas like Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Nature Preserve alongside in depth awareness on the dangers of unsustainable farming in the State of Florida because of her activism.
Not only was she a feminist and fought for women’s rights, but she also was a true Miamian, worked for the Miami Herald in her youth, lived in Coconut Grove, and died at the age of 108. If I were to have dinner with her today I would have her take me to her favorite Miami restaurant and I would ask her to give me advice on how I can increase public awareness on environmental issues in such a way to enact change. I would order the catch of the day, from a local fisherman off the Miami shore and enjoy the conversation between two Miamians who share a passion for the river of grass.
Definitely Jane Goodall, famous for her pioneering research with chimpanzees in the 60s and, more recently, fighting to protect the rights of animals and rural people being exploited by the rich worldwide. As for the food, I’d love to have some native cuisine of Tanzania, the country where Goodall started her work. Ndizi kaanga, a fried banana dish, is supposed to be quite good!
Being a musician I would have dinner with Jack Johnson. He creates songs relevant to the environment, has designed a recording studio based with recycable items and solar panels, and donates some of his touring revenue to chairities and environment-related issues. I believe he is one of the main musicians making a difference in regards to the environment, and his reason for it seems so natural and selfless. I would enjoy having dinner with him.
I would have dinner with Ralph Waldo Emerson. I love his work, he is very passionate and talented writer. As an artist and aspiring writer myself I have a huge respect for him and I think he was very forward thinking for the era he lived in. I wouldn’t “order” anything; I’d pack some meats, cheese and bread and we’d go for a picnic in nature- just what he preached!
If I could have dinner with any environmentalist, I would like to have dinner with Al Gore. He is someone that has always been in the news because of the work he does for the environment. I think it would be interesting to speak with him about it. I also think it would be interesting to talk to him because he was the Vice President of the United States. I’d like to know how having the position helped him progress environmental causes.
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