Aldo Leopold, in his well-known book “A Sand Country Almanac,” described a potential solution to man’s relationship to the natural world. In 1949, he wrote, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Leopold uses the phrase “land ethic,” connoting that we have a responsibility to take care of our planet, our home. I couldn’t agree more. One of our stories that documents this responsibility is a short film Among Giants by filmmakers Chris Cresci, Ben Mullinkosson, and Sam Price-Waldman. The film highlights an activist for Earth First! Humboldt, an environmental advocacy group dedicated to preventing the clear-cutting and deforestation of redwoods by organizing tree-sits and roadblocks. The activist ultimately protects an ancient redwood ecosystem, an important part of California’s natural history.
In this lesson, students explore the themes of empathy toward nature and environmental justice. In a reflective writing prompt, students respond to a quote from the activist in the film. He said, “It’s too easy to put the blinder over your eyes and pretend that everything is alright.” How might this statement apply to something you’ve witnessed or experienced in your own life?
All the best,