Life Nell

April 16th, 2007

In recent months, as I've tried to do my own little part to help save the Earth via the nascent (meaning still disorganized) Project Quixote, I've had the great pleasure of meeting people who've actually been devoting their lives to the cause of fighting global warming. Some are neighbors of mine. Some -- bless their patient souls! -- are in government. One is a friend of my brother's who taught himself about energy and then actually wrote energy legislation for several states, including ours. Oh, and I also met Al Gore, who I think has been doing pretty good job of getting the word out.

The cumulative effect of hanging out with these people has been to give me a sense of hope -- albeit, nothing close to certainty -- that people may yet respond to this unprecedented global challenge with unprecedented global resourcefulness. The one thing that I am sure of is that it feels a helluva lot better to try than to stick to my usual practice of drawing the blinds and curling up in a ball. And I know, too, that I'm intensely grateful to folks who, by example, show that it's possible to move forward through our finite lives even while facing infinite-seeming obstacles.

A bonus is when they also provide lots of free food for me and my crew! Such was the happy case when Nell Newman swung by our studio to tape the interview that will be broadcast tonight (at 7:30). Newman, the head honcho of Newman's Own Organics, had arranged for a, like, huge box of their stuff to precede her. (I can assure you all the products found happy homes.) I found her to be remarkably unscathed by a relatively happy childhood with famous actor parents -- and in remarkably good shape, too, considering all the snacks she has access to. Perhaps it's all the surfing she does.

In any case, we talked about her helpful, down-to-earth book, Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life, and other stuff, like predatory birds (a passion of hers). She also checked out the "Wandering Josh" piece we did for this show, which features a visit with Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (an energetic advocate of green-osity), a trip to the educational, inspirational Berkeley Marina Shorebird Nature Center, and an off-the-grid experience at the offices of Local Power -- an organization run by Paul Fenn (pictured), the friend of my brother's I alluded to up top.

Between the studio conversation with Nell and the field visits for the WJ, my crew and I learned a ton of stuff about how we can help make things better. (And, yes, we collectively probably gained a ton of weight as well -- but we can probably work it off by building windmills and such. ...)

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Entry Filed under: citizenship,project quixote,tv episodes


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