Journal of Environmental Studies
on the cover: â€œUrban Dwellerâ€? by Kirsten Vinyeta
about the ecotone THE ECOTONE is the journal of the Environmental Studies
Program and is created by graduate students at the University of Oregon. The journal provides a venue for communication and exchange within and beyond the Environmental Studies Program among undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and facilitates cross-campus dialogue between disciplines and departments. It serves as a platform for sharing professional interests, discussing environmental concerns, and facilitating creative expression. The Ecotone is published annually and includes journal articles, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, art, and other creative submissions. If you have questions or comments, would like to submit work, or want to be placed on the mailing list, please contact:
The Ecotone Environmental Studies Program 5223 University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403 firstname.lastname@example.org
photo by Erin Crnkovich
table of contents
Andrea Willingham | Water Bear
About the Ecotone 1 Editorâ€™s Note 6 About the contributors 8
written works A Little Riddle by Nick Dreher 12 Eating Apple Pie Crust by Erin Crnkovich 13 NestlĂŠ in the Columbia River Gorge 15 by Ayla Ginger Burnett Gaia by Madeleine Travis 24 Matcha by Nick Dreher
Nature Reworked by Jacob Arnas 30 Life After the Apocalypse by Chris Torres 32 Life from Death by Andrea Willingham
Hierarchy by Gayla WardWell
You Have to Rehearse the Impossible by Kaley McCarty 40 Hoodku by Paul Reed
Sunset by Erin Crnkovich 52 Postmeta by Euell Macke
The Lamb: An Apologia by Katrina Maggiulli
Twin Rugs by Erin Crnkovich 59 The Shift by Kaley McCarty 60 A no nym by Euell Macke
Editorsâ€™ Choice Summer Reading List Reflection by Paul Reed
Photos and Artwork Kendall Coffee 48 Erin Crnkovich
33, 38, 47, 53, 63
13, 41, 54, 67, 72
Kirsten Vinyeta Anya Vollstedt Andrea Willingham
6, 20, 25, 30, 37, 53, 68, 70 10, 17, 34 2, 9, 42, 54, 58 contents
editor's note “The truth about stories is, that’s all we really are.” - Thomas King I have been thinking about this quote ever since I first heard it a few months ago, and I believe it continues to ring true. Seeing all the incredible submissions we received this year has once again proven to me the power of stories, whether visual or written, heard or felt. Within a story, one can inhabit alternate worlds or experience vastly different ways of being, and that’s exactly what I have found in this year’s Ecotone. The stories and visual arts you are about to see reflect the many ways that we each find to express what it means to be human in the worlds we inhabit. Jacob Arnas’ poem, Nature Reworked, takes us on a journey through the alteration of natural resources with skillfully crafted words and a deep sense of emotion. Both The Shift, by Kaley McCarty, and Life After the Apocalypse, by Chris Torres, are examples of how environmental fiction can help us to envision life in the future. The Shift imagines a utopian Eugene through the eyes of young person learning about its past. Alternatively, Life After the Apocalypse offers an abstract dystopian version of what the future might look like if we continue on our current societal path. Works of eco-literature like these offer us a taste of what life can be outside of our own experience. Consider also the perspectives presented in the non-fiction pieces that tell the stories of the world we live in today. Nick Dreher’s article, Matcha: From Ceremonial Staple to Superfood Fad, explores ideas of authenticity, cultural colonialism, and commercialization in a traditionally Japanese food. In Nestlé on the Columbia River Gorge, Ayla Burnett discusses the impacts on her
the ecotone / 2016
Kirsten Vinyeta | Swirly Wood
home that will be caused by the development of a NestlĂŠ corporation bottling plant. These authors and others show us how vital it is to critically analyze and respond to issues affecting our modern world. Finally, you may find stories within stories in the poetry, art, and photography scattered throughout this issue. Visual and creative arts give us an entirely different language through which to convey messages and experiences, perhaps more open to interpretation by the viewer. I think it is this openness, however, that makes these forms of expression so intriguing and important. Over the months spent putting together this yearâ€™s Ecotone, what struck me most powerfully in all of this was the creativity and courage of everyone who came together to make this happen. It takes some serious guts to put yourself out there with a work of poetry or fiction, an article or reflection, for all to see, and confidence to know that your voice is worthy of being heard. Getting to read all these submissions instilled in me a renewed sense of inspiration and hope for this next generation of scholars, writers, artists, activists, and scientists coming of age into this world we all share. And so with that, I am proud to present to you the 2016 Ecotone, a striking collection of the many stories lived, imagined, and experienced by members of our Environmental Studies community. Enjoy! -Andrea Willingham Summer 2016
about the contributors Jacob Arnas is an undergraduate student interested in
international issues, restoration ecology, poetry, and art history and theory. He sees the natural world as a complex system granting sanctuary and inspiration for his photography and poetry. He wants to travel, but only to countries with good coffee.
J Bacon is a PhD candidate in ENVS and Sociology. Their current
research aims to center the experiences of LGBTQ+ environmentalists. Interests include cross-cultural and inter-group collaboration, differential vulnerabilities, and place as a component of identity.
Ayla Burnett studies Environmental Studies and Spanish at the
University of Oregon and her passions lie in the field of indigenous rights, environmental justice and sustainable farming. She is a DJ and staff member at KWVA 88.1 FM and enjoys obsessing over music, dance and spontaneous travel, preferably accompanied by her bicycle Roxanne.
Kendall Coffee is an Environmental Studies major and Political
Science minor graduating in the spring of 2017. Her photograph was taken on the Wildlands Studies program in Yellowstone National Park where she studied endangered species such as grizzly bears and wolves.
Erin Crnkovich is a Masterâ€™s student in Environmental Studies. Her interests include writing and painting, and her work has been featured prominently on her motherâ€™s refrigerator.
Nick Dreher is a Masterâ€™s student in Environmental Studies.
Soon he will be something else. All he has ever really wanted to be is a paleontologist.
the ecotone / 2016
Lauren Hendricks is a Master’s student in Environmental Studies. She is researching how climate influences size and fitness in plants native to Pacific Northwest prairies. Her non-academic interests include being outside (especially Type II fun activities), reading, photography, and cooking.
Euell Macke is alien-native woman-man-animal-cyborg it enjoy deconstructing sandwich with it face.
Katrina Maggiulli is a second
year Master’s student in Environmental Studies studying human-animal hybrids in literature, comics, and film. She spends her spare time reading copious amounts of genre fiction and frolicking with her Australian kelpie Žižek (although not necessarily at the same time).
Kaley McCarty is a California-born Oregonat-heart fourth generation female Duck soon to be graduating with her Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies. Her academic interests have lately emphasized ecofeminist thought and the role of utopian visions. She dabbles in singing/ songwriting at open mic nights and loves hikes with her Goldendoodle, Prudence.
Paul Reed is a PhD student in
ENVS and Biology focusing on the effects of drought on the range distributions of Pacific Northwest prairie species. His academic interests span the sciencepolicy interface and he strongly values applied research for the purpose of advancing environmental policy and natural resource management decisions. Outside of academia, Paul can be found hiking, adventuring, climbing or supporting the BUFFALO BILLS while eating wings.
about the contributors
the ecotone / 2016
Anya Vollstedt | Stepping Stones
Chris Torres is a full time graduate student in the Environmental
Studies Program and the Department of Philosophy. He is also a parttime squirrel (and sometimes a cat) and enjoys chocolate chip cookies while hitting a wooden hoop with a stick down a dirt road. Because when I was your age, we didn’t have the internet; and we were grateful for it, too.
Madeleine Travis has been writing since she could hold a pen but stopped creative writing in recent years. She wrote her poem published in this issue on the cusp of winter during a flight back to Oregon... She writes, “my mind was brimming with adjectives and before I knew it I was typing away on the notes in my phone. I love looking at the earth from an aerial view - talk about perspective.”
Kirsten Vinyeta is a PhD student in Environmental Studies and
Sociology. According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, she is an ENFP with a lot of feelings and little to no logical thinking capacity. In other words—unfit for the academy.
Anya Vollstedt is an undergraduate student within the
Environmental Studies program. Anya is passionate about exploring natural landscapes, growing food, and creating artwork. Her environmental projects thus far reflect her strengths in artistic design.
Gayla WardWell is a native Vermonter and vegan who believes
that animals are our saving grace. She is entering her fifteenth year as Graduate Programs Coordinator for the Environmental Studies Program.
Andrea Willingham is a Master’s student in Environmental
Studies, researching the connections between Traditional Ecological Knowledge, science, and climate change in Alaska. In her free time, she can be found hiking, climbing, drawing, cooking, photographing things, and dreaming of one day meeting a narwhal.
about the contributors
A little riddle
In a town known for being green, I’m mostly seen when things fade to red and yellow. I move problems from here to there, While using a resource that many consider too precious to spare. Many see me as a technology of convenience, A device that eases the burden of those who sculpt the land. To others, I’m a symptom of a culture that does but does not think; I replace a simple, ancient tool (a long-armed claw). But please don’t talk to me of the externalities of my work, I will drown your words with my drone.
a little riddle
Eating apple pie crust Apple pie unguarded on the counter Surprise attack Crusty carnage Dad walks in -a sighand another fork joins the fray
by Erin Crnkovich
eating apple pie crust Paul Reed| Hun(gray) Jay
NestlE in the Columbia River Gorge: Private Hands in Public Waters by Ayla Ginger Burnett Some of my first childhood recollections took place in small towns and cities scattered throughout the Columbia River Gorge. My mother and I would faithfully follow the river towards an abundance of thriving natural ecosystems and often my head hung happily out the car window like a dog. As the skyline of the city faded and gave way to the trees and mountains, Papa would tell me “Let your worries go.” He knew the power of Mother Nature’s gifts in these moments. In other moments I recall holding a glass of water drawn from a nearby well against the light and examining its purity. I always knew this water to be sacred to the people of Willard, the small town I spent much of my childhood, Nestléd in the mountains of Washington. Even as a child visiting the Gorge, I was aware of the significance of something as minor as the purity of the water to its local inhabitants. I was also simultaneously blind to the possibility that this water could be taken away at a monetary value that disregards its inherent worth and reverence held by the local community. The future of the Columbia River Gorge and its water is at risk of privatization by the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé Corporation. In 2008, Nestlé proposed the construction of a 250,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Cascade Locks, Oregon to bottle municipal water and spring water from nearby Oxbow Springs. Cascade Locks is an ideal location for Nestlé to target,
the ecotone / 2016
due to its abundance of fresh water located only 25 miles northeast of Portland. Cascade Locks is also vulnerable due to its size and economic state; according to the State of Oregon Employment Department, the city has an unemployment rate of 18.8 percent with a population of only 1,144 (2010 United States Census Bureau). The presence of Nestlé would offer a sense of refuge for the small, economically deprived town. Nestlé has promised upwards of 50 jobs generated from the plant along with the estimation of doubling the city’s property tax revenue (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). However, given Oregon’s current state of drought, as well as other large scale environmental concerns, should a company with an exploitative reputation be given the right to commodify a public resource for profit despite the disruption to indigenous groups and ecosystems? Nestlé is seeking to purchase spring water directly from Cascade Locks, but a few barriers stand in the way. The right to the water bubbling out of Oxbow Springs belongs to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) (Sheeran, Zhou, The Proposed Nestlé Bottled Water Facility In Cascade Locks: A Preliminary Analysis of the Economic Issues). The city and ODFW would have to agree to swap water rights with state approval for the trade to take place. ODFW would then swap a portion of Oxbow Springs water to the city in exchange for municipal well water to be diverted to the Oxbow Springs fish hatchery. Nestlé would then purchase its spring water and municipal water from the city as a commercial water customer, and bottle over 100 million gallons annually (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). According to Oregon Director of Climate Solutions Kristen Sheeran, “ODFW could benefit from the water rights exchange because it would allow for the establishment of a new non-seasonal supply of pathogen free water to Oxbow Hatchery,” whereas “the city of Cascade Locks could benefit by attracting a new commercial customer for municipal water supplies and a new employer to the region that can contribute to the city’s tax base” (13). Writer for The Oregonian Kelly House noted that Cascade Locks Mayor Tom Cramblett described the proposal as “a win for everybody,” but not everyone agrees (House, 2015). On November 4, 2015, due to considerable public outcry, including thousands of letters and signed petitions of opposition, Governor Kate Brown asked ODFW to withdraw their application to trade part of their water right with the city. Brown’s spokeswoman, Kristen Grainger, claims Brown feels the need to issue a public interest review and further examine how this decision will affect the community (House, 2015). The question of whether or not to privatize public water is complex. Advocates of Nestlé agreed with David Palais, a spokesman for the company, who said that Governor Brown’s request to withdraw the application will “further delay muchneeded economic development in Cascade Locks” (House, 2015). Given the city’s unemployment rate, many are desperate for an economic boost, and believe that Nestlé can offer just that. Bottled water is a highly profitable industry. Demand for freshwater for domestic use continues to outpace population growth, and
a large portion of this demand is for bottled water. According to Corporate Accountability International’s campaign “Think Outside the Bottle,” more than 75 percent of people in this country drink bottled water, and one in five Americans drink only bottled water (http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/thinkoutside-bottle). Given the economic state of Cascade Locks, desperate times may have to call for desperate measures. How far is Cascade Locks willing to go to boost the economy? There are a number of issues that need to be addressed in Nestlé’s proposal. On July 21st of 2015, Governor Brown declared that 23 counties in Oregon where in droughtrelated emergencies, and guidelines were put in place for citizens to reduce their water use. The Oregon Water Resources Department Public Declaration Status Report has noted that this number has gone down to 8 counties. In addition, however, Grainger stated that Oregon is “coming off of the worst wildfire season in recent memory and dealing with growing water scarcity, and the lowest snowpack we’ve seen since the 1890’s (House, 2015). Nestlé’s water grab is a big risk considering the company’s reputation in other vulnerable communities. Nestlé is currently subject to serious outrage from California citizens facing a drought worse than that of Oregon. According to Dan Bacher of Mint Press News, Nestlé is continuing to draw up to 80 million gallons a year from Sacramento aquifers, despite California’s severe drought. Nestlé is also facing another scandal regarding water drawn in California for the Arrowhead label. Burnish noted that in 2013 the company drew twenty-seven million gallons from 12 springs in Strawberry Canyon on a permit that expired in 1988. Nestlé justifies this action, however, by claiming to have faithfully paid the annual fee required to draw this amount of water--all of $524.
Anticipated Impacts Nestlé’s proposal could have serious implications for the life cycle of salmon in the Columbia River basin and specifically in the region of Oxbow Springs. Populations of salmon have been on a steady decline for over 100 years due primarily to climate change and large scale hydroelectric projects. According to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, salmon runs have declined by 90 percent since the coming of settlers to the Northwest, and 75 percent of the remaining fish are raised in hatcheries. It is estimated that about 36 runs of salmon are at risk for extinction (American Fisheries Society). Frank Hopper, of Indian Network Today, writes, “since the beginning of the 20th century, 14 hydroelectric dams have been built on the Columbia, each one damaging the river by creating reservoirs that warm the surface temperature. Additionally, the hotter than normal summer this year combined with a lower than normal
the ecotone / 2016
Photo by Anya Vollstedt
snowpack have heated the river to deadly levels, killing more than half this year’s run of sockeye salmon” (Hopper 2015). Salmon rely on cold water like that of Oxbow Springs, as it holds more oxygen than warmer river water, providing a thermal refuge necessary for salmon to spawn. Diverting municipal well water to the Oxbow Springs Hatchery would most likely not be sufficient to maintain the livelihoods of the fish. Sustainability is another issue in bottled water production. The Pacific Institute estimated that it takes 3 liters of water to produce a single liter of bottled water. Considerable research has shown that the production of bottled water in one community to be shipped elsewhere contributes to local water shortages (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). Energy use and transportation costs associated with the plant also needed to be taken into account. The city is operating close to capacity in energy use, utilizing 4.6 megawatts of the available 6 megawatts (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). While the city plans to expand its substation and add transformers, it is estimated that the Nestlé plant will require further development in electricity infrastructure, which could be very costly (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). “The addition of a major industrial consumer will limit capacity for future growth and development, unless those investments are made” (BIA 2010; Hovee and Company 2009). Nestlé estimates that 100 trucks per day, or 200 trips, will travel to and from Cascade Locks during peak bottled water production in May through September (Sheeran and Zhou 2011). High traffic will cause wear and tear of roads, specifically of Interstate 84 and the main road that travels through Cascade Locks. Nestlé spokesman David Palais stated in a recent meeting that the company will not pay for necessary road upgrades (House 2015). The city has largely not taken these economic factors into account. Mark Hays, Senior Researcher of Corporate Accountability International’s campaign “Think Outside the Bottle” explained in his work “The Social and Environmental Impacts of Bottled Water,” that cities are already charged more than 70 million dollars in tipping fee disposal costs, which are fees charged for the amount of waste disposed of by customers at a landfill. This does not include the costs of collection, trucking, and litter removal. This is funding not available for other pressing city needs like water infrastructure and public safety. Taking into account the increased amount of waste associated with a water bottling plant is pertinent. City council member Deanna Busdieker claimed that, through her experience, “legitimate concerns are often brushed aside…the reality is all of the details are being negotiated in secret and I have been given no reason to believe that they [the city] won’t just let Nestlé do whatever they want to get them here. The city has made it clear that they are only interested in the information provided to us
the ecotone / 2016
by Nestlé, and many citizens do not consider that to be proper due diligence.” Thousands of Oregon citizens and others across the globe are in agreement with Busdieker that proper due diligence is not being taken. They have responded with outrage in the form of letters, petitions, protests, countless public meetings, marches, and even fasts, which brings to light perhaps the largest problem presented in Nestlé’s proposal. Cascade Locks is located on aboriginal lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, which consists of indigenous groups that have inhabited this region for centuries. Their livelihoods are sustained through traditional fishing practices specifically from Oxbow Springs; water that holds deep spiritual meaning to their culture and its people. The words of Warm Springs Chief Johnny Jackson resonated in the hearts of anti-Nestlé activists at a protest outside the state capitol in Salem on September 16, 2015: “We were always taught when we were young to have great respect and care of our springs of the mountains. It is a part of us and we are a part of it. It is not for us to give away. It’s spiritual and sacred to our people. The white man calls it a useable resource and that’s all it is to them” (Johnny Jackson’s public speech at Oregon State Capitol building).
Indigenous Rights The Warm Springs tribe, along with the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Tribes signed the Treaty of 1855 with the U.S. Government that should have had a significant effect on Nestlé’s decision to set up camp in Cascade Locks. The treaty reserves the rights of these tribes to fish, hunt and gather traditional foods and medicines, without interference, throughout ceded lands, to ensure that future generations can preserve and exercise traditional practices and customs. They make an important note to remember that they have been sustaining themselves in harmony with their environment “since time immemorial” (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation). These rights were not given to them by the U.S. government, but rather reserved. The difference between given and reserved can be understood in terms of who beared these rights first. In this case, The Confederated Tribes of the Pacific Northwest lived in this region and therefore held these rights before colonization, meaning that they are now forced to reserve rights that they have historically held. No one person or group of people were present to give tribe members their rights. The treaty is taken very seriously by native peoples and is still enforced today. Tribal members feel that privatizing Oxbow Springs will be a direct violation of treaty rights (House, 2015). Nestlé claims in their “Responsible Sourcing Guideline” handbook that “agricultural and forestry developments and activities on local people’s land are subject to the free, prior
Kirsen Vinyeta | Window of Second Chances
and informed consent of the affected local communities, including indigenous peoples.” They also state that “land rights, including legal title and customary land of local communities are respected” (Nestlé 2013). Free, prior and informed consent refers to a community’s right to give or withhold its consent to projects that may affect the lands they customarily own, occupy, or use (Forest Peoples Programme). Despite these initiatives, tribal members only found out about the proposed water bottling facility in the summer of 2015, almost seven years into the process. They were never formally notified of the proposal or involved in negotiations, but rather found out by word of mouth. Upon discovery of the threat to Warm Springs land and treaty rights, tribal members responded in strong opposition to the facility and are still fighting it today. One protest initiated by Anna Mae Leonard, in representation of the Unchee Wana Fisher People Against Nestlé, will likely be remembered for many generations to come. On August 17, 2015, having just heard about the proposal a few months before, she began a five day fast outside of Cascade Locks City Hall. Aside from a single ceremonial sip of spring water in the morning and night, Leonard went without food and water, stating “I want the council to think about what a world would be like without water…I want them to look at me suffer and think about how the fish will suffer without that cold spring water.” There is an indescribably long history of exploitation of indigenous groups of people around the world, particularly in the face of development and economic initiatives. It seems that our increasingly urbanized system leaves no room for traditional land use customs of indigenous cultures and the ways in which they sustain their livelihoods. In recent history, tribes associated with the
the ecotone / 2016
Columbia River Gorge have consistently been forced to comply with large-scale development and economic initiatives, displaced, or destroyed all together. For example, from 1933 to 1974, 11 dams were built on the Columbia River that drastically altered the hydrology of the river, flooding dozens of tribal fishing sites and killing off large quantities of salmon that have remained a “staple food and cultural keystone” for centuries (Klarice Westley of Wanapum Fishing People Against Nestlé). What we now call Oxbow Springs was originally home to the tribal members who were displaced to Warm Springs as a result of flooding caused by dams. Now, tribes are once again at risk of having their rights violated and their livelihoods sacrificed. Klickitat Chief Wilbur Slockish spoke at the protest outside the state capital, powerfully stating, “We are tired of being the invisible people.”
Firsthand Experience I had the opportunity to attend the protest that took place on September 16, 2015 outside the state capitol and listen to the heartfelt speeches of many of the tribal members directly affected by Nestlé’s proposal. I was deeply saddened by their lack of representation in this issue given their close interconnection with the region. I was humbled, however, by their passion and willingness to fight for their fundamental rights as human beings. Former Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Peter Brabeck famously declared at the 2000 World Water Forum in the Netherlands that water should be defined as a need with a specific value, not a human right (“We Feed the World”, Erwin Wagenhofer). This brings into question a much deeper issue regarding Nestlé’s presence in Cascade Locks and their intent to privatize and commodify publicly owned water, an issue that deals with more than the current economic state of Cascade Locks. It is an issue of values, and one of fundamental human rights. The only person at the Salem protest representing Cascade Locks was Deanna Busdieker, the sole city council member on the entire board who is against the facility. She was the only one out of a group of prominent decision makers in this case to witness the pleas of tribal members and to understand how it will affect their livelihoods. Cascade Locks city councilor Jeff Helfrich and state representative Mark Johnson have notoriously called opponents of Nestlé such as Busdieker and the natives “outsiders” (Quirke 2015). In response, Chief Slockish laughed, saying “Does he want to call me an outsider? Someone should ask him where his burial sites are. We’ve been here thousands of years—not a hundred years” (public speech outside of State Capitol building). The waters of the Columbia that I came to trust as a child, along with the thousands of other inhabitants and indigenous peoples, are at risk of being diverted to faraway lands, to the mouths of those who have never and will never be able to appreciate the river as we do; to witness its beauty carving through the nestlé
Earth like blood running through our veins. University of Oregon Environmental Law Professor Mary Wood was recently quoted in Stephyn Quirke’s article “Keeping Nestlé at Bay,” in discourse of the importance of indigenous practices: “To arrest the hemorrhage of natural systems brought about by federal and state trustee mismanagement, tribes must reclaim a measure of their ancestral environmental sovereignty” (Quirke 2015). Luckily, the voices of tribe members have played a significant role in the most recent battle with Nestlé. Environmental activist groups such as Local Water Alliance and Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge have been working closely with the Confederated Tribes to petition signatures for the approval of a new ballot measure prohibiting commercial water bottling in Hood River County. The Hood River County Water Protection Measure was qualified to appear on the 2016 ballot when, on December 7, campaign members turned in over three times the 497 signatures needed to approve the measure. Local citizens, campaign members, tribal members, and thousands of other supporters of the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge Campaign erupted in celebration and the news exploded over the internet. In addition, on April 4, 2016, The Local Water Alliance announced that over 100 Hood River County businesses and farms officially endorsed the water protection measure (Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge, 2016). This is not only a huge step in the fight against Nestlé, but also in the field of indigenous rights and environmental justice. It is understandable why Cascade Locks would consider the construction of a water bottling facility to aid in the creation of jobs and boost tax revenues. However, many Hood River County community members concede that Nestlé will not create jobs, but rather, take them away. Well-known community member Mike Kitts addressed Nestlé’s promise to provide jobs, saying, “Bottled water plants are highly automated and only provide a small number of low-paying jobs while threatening our water supply that is critical for thousands of existing jobs” (Keep Nestlé out of the Gorge, 2016). In light of the the drought and other environmental concerns, external costs such as transportation investment that Nestlé refuses to account for, and violation of the Treaty of 1855, allowing Nestlé in the Gorge is the worst possible way to solve the city’s economic problems. House recently noted that the port of Cascade Locks is in negotiations with two alternate, smaller scale companies whose arrival would provide up to 50 estimated jobs (House, 2015, oregonlive.com). Nestlé does not have to be the “end all be all” of Cascade Locks. As an Oregonian with roots in many of the towns scattered throughout the Gorge, I can say with confidence that I have deep faith in the State of Oregon and its residents to understand the inherent value in water as a human right and therefore public good that should not be privatized. Desperate times may indeed call for desperate measures, but not enough to consider a long term contract
the ecotone / 2016
with a company that has a terrible reputation in environmental stewardship and human rights. We must continue to stand strong against corporate woes and trust the course of the Columbia with the knowledge that it will not lead us astray, so long as it runs free. S Works Cited Bacher, D. (2015, March 20). Nestlé Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://www.mintpressnews.com/Nestlé-continuesstealing-worlds-water-during-drought/203544/ Bernish, C. (2015, September 4). Investigation Suggests Nestlé Lying About Its California Bottled Water Operations. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://www. republicbuzz.com/investigation-suggests-Nestlé-lying-about-its-california-bottledwater-operations Degraw, J. (2015, December 7). Keep Nestlé Out Of The Gorge. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from https://keepNestléout.wordpress.com/ Responsible Sourcing Guideline - Nestlé Global. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9. 2015, from http://www.Nestlé.com/asset-library/documents/library/documents/corporate_social_ responsibility/Nestlé-responsible-sourcing-guidelines.pdf Hays, M. (2001). Databank. Environmental effects of bottled water. Nutrition & Food Science, 31(3). doi:10.1108/nfs.2001.01731caf.009 Hopper, F. (2015, October 1). Suffering for the Salmon: Native Woman’s Five-Day Fast ... Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork. com/2015/10/01/suffering-salmon-native-womans-five-day-fast-opposes-Nestléwater-grab-161936 House, K. (2015, January 23). Bottled water wars: Nestlé’s latest move in Cascade Locks sparks outcry from opponents. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://www. oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/01/bottled_water_wars_Nestlés_lat.html House, K. (2015, November 06). Gov. Kate Brown asks for new approach to Nestlé water deal. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/ index.ssf/2015/11/gov_kate_brown_asks_wildlife_d.html Quirke, S. (2015, November 12). Keeping Nestlé at bay. Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://news.streetroots.org/2015/11/12/keeping-nestl-bay Tribes, Confederated. “Treaty of 1855.” Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla IndianReservation. Nixyáawii Governance Center, n.d. Retrieved December 6, 2015. Sheeran, K., & Zhou, F. (2011, December 1). The Proposed Nestlé Bottled Water Facility In Casca de ... Retrieved November 21, 2015, from http://bark-out.org/sites/default/ files/bark-docs/Final_Econ_Impact_Report_with_Exec_Summary.pdf
by Madeleine Travis
The veins of the body are as the rivers of the Earth, just as networks of capillaries connect artery to vein, interwoven creeks link river to sea. The ebb and flow of mother Earth’s blood dances through veins, the forces circulate water like the body circulates blood, constant, self-sustaining and never running out. Intricate chains of rivers and creeks alike creep alongside seemingly lifeless frosted banks; Earth is still as the winter welcomes ephemeral deaths of Earth’s creatures. As she sleeps, silence engulfs us, animals and plants alike.
Though Gaia grew up to be a goddess as strong as she is beautiful, her grandmother can’t help but to see her as a little girl still. Once a year, Grandmother Universe lays a thick white blanket over Gaia to keep her warm. She tucks her in and tells her to rest up for Sister Spring’s yearly visit. It is not hard to tell that Spring is the youngest of the sisters; she is always youthful as she is exuberant. Spring never had children of her own so she rejoices in visiting her sister Gaia and spreading gifts among her nieces and nephews, commending them for surviving the cold winter. Tiny chirps restore the sounds of spring after the silence of winter. As a child of the solar system she is as all things in this galaxy: a product of infinite cycles. Gaia sustains herself like she sustains her creatures. She circulates her waters and minerals, soils and seeds, spreading them to all places, never depleting, always nourishing and replenishing.
the ecotone / 2016
Kirsen Vinyeta | Mom’s Coneflowers
Like all good mothers, Gaia found pleasure in tending to the creatures she gave life to. She made sure to quench our thirst and soothe our stomachs. But unlike the children before us who fell subject to the forces of nature and their primal mentalities, as human beings we somehow managed to combat these forces and outlive our time. In fact, if mother Earth hadn’t been so loving and forgiving, we might even say we “outstayed our welcome.” Even though we continued to live off her as a cancer or a parasite, Gaia was too kind and generous to ask us to go. She became confused as to why her own children were being so cruel to her, but she continued giving us what she could until she took her last breath. Just as the mountains, we are in time shaped by the waters and the winds. Mother Earth raises us with her forces and nurtures us with her bountiful fruits and plants. P
Photo by Erin Crnkovich
the ecotone / 2016
From Ceremonial Staple to Super Food Fad by Nick Dreher A small lump of mossy green powder with a chalk-like consistency
transforms, when whisked into a cup of hot (but not quite boiling) water, into one of the most culturally-significant beverages in Japan. For hundreds of years, matcha was a central part of the Japanese tea ceremony, a highly ritualized cultural celebration. More recently, it has arrived on the shores of North America as one of the latest superfood fads. The transformation of this ceremonial drink reflects the issues of authenticity and appropriation that are pertinent in the reimagining of many traditional foods. Matcha is distinct from most other preparations of tea due to the way it is cultivated, processed, and prepared. This green tea is always made from shadecovered leaves, called tencha in Japan (Heiss & Heiss, 2007). The harvested leaves are ground into a fine powder. Unlike most teas, where the leaves are steeped and then removed from hot water, traditional ground matcha is a whipped tea, meaning the green tea powder is whisked into water until it dissolves. This process leaves a cup of opaque green liquid with wisps of white froth on top. Matcha has a long history in Japan, dating back to the 12th century when whipped teas were first introduced from China (Faulkner, 2003). Matchaâ€™s significance in Japanese culture is due largely to its role in chanoyu, the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The origins of this tea ceremony are traced back to the 16th century. The ceremony is an incredibly ritualized process and includes specific steps in welcoming guests and preparing the tea; specific utensils and intentionally chosen drinking vessels; and an exact etiquette. Today, the tea ceremony is still an important part of Japanese culture. However, consumption of matcha goes beyond the ceremonial tea house, including
throughout the United States. I had my first taste of matcha at a Portland tea house. In this establishment, the matcha was taken seriously, brewed and whisked precisely to produce a white foam over a sea of green. While the care in this preparation was apparent, the occasion was a far cry from the ritual and ceremony that surrounds matcha’s tradition in Japan. This experience brings up the problematic question of authenticity. Authenticity, when discussed in relation to cuisine, is often used to describe a dish’s proximity to its geographic or cultural origins (Heldke, 2003). The recreation of the dish itself without the ceremony or ritual that surrounds it is similar to the commercialization of king cake, the popular Mardi Gras celebration staple in New Orleans. King cake’s origins are based in Catholic tradition, but this religious meaning has largely been replaced to focus on a delicious and ostentatious pastry (Ryland, 1994). Just as the authenticity of a king cake that does not incorporate its religious backstory can be questioned, so can the consumption of matcha without its own ceremonial tradition. Still others challenge the concept of authenticity as a static concept, arguing that it changes over time (Yan, 2012). The question of the authenticity of a cup of matcha is further complicated by the fact that it has long been consumed socially in Japan, outside of chanoyu. The shift of the consumption of matcha from its origins to social consumption in a Portland tea house is notable on its own. However, even more interesting is the way that matcha consumption has expanded to a diverse range of products beyond tea – an article from Health.com writes, “you’ll find everything from matcha muffins, brownies and puddings, to matcha soup, stir frys, and even matcha guacamole!” (Sass, 2015). In the United States, matcha has been redefined as the latest trendy essential among health food and superfood advocates. Similar to the way in which traditional dishes like quinoa have been extracted from the local context to serve an elite cosmopolitan class, matcha’s strictly defined preparation has been replaced by strange new concoctions and a variety of new ingredients. The degree to which matcha consumption has strayed from tradition has been captured by a number of online comments for Republic of Tea’s green tea matcha. Diana from California blends matcha “with soy milk, ice, stevia and honey or agave nectar for a refreshing summer cooler!” (Republic of Tea, 2016). Andy includes matcha in his health-focused smoothies: “I generally use it in smoothies with Soy Milk, Protein powder, banana and ice…yum, yum and tastes divine. Always feel so good after drinking it” (Republic of Tea, 2016). Both Diana and Andy have created their own uses for matcha that focus on its health benefits while extracting it largely from its cultural context. On the other hand, Rebecca explicitly favors an alteration on the traditional bitter, vegetative taste: “I had this tea in Japan and hated it. Then had Matcha Tea ice cream. Sugar definitely improves the flavor!” (Republic of Tea, 2016). These comments highlight the way in which many American consumers of matcha
the ecotone / 2016
have disassociated it from its original form and assimilated into mainstream Euroamerican food trends. Critical approaches to cultural colonialism typically consider authenticity problematic because the privileged outsider determines what is authentic about a culture – think about all the Yelp reviews that claim a particular Chinese restaurant authentic or inauthentic that are written by non-Chinese people. Lisa Heldke presents another kind of authenticity; what she calls strategic authenticity. Strategic authenticity is the context-specific right of insiders to claim whether or not their cuisine is being appropriated and for that claim to be recognized by outsiders (Heldke, 2003). Strategic authenticity gives Japanese or Japanese-American individuals the right to say whether the assimilation and dissociation of matcha from its culture origins is appropriative. The introduction of a traditional dish into a new cultural context is most often accompanied by questions of reinvention and authenticity. Matcha’s prominence in U.S. culture is likely to grow even greater in the next few years (Krieger, 2016). As its use continues to grow, these questions will need to be further addressed, and strategic authenticity should play a role in these conversations. D
Works Cited Faulkner, R. (Ed.). (2003). TEA: East and West. London: V&A Publications. Heiss, M. Lou, & Heiss, R. J. (2007). The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. Heldke, L. (2003). Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a food adventurer. New York: Routledge. Krieger, E. (2016). Got matcha? Five healthy foods that will make their mark on 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/ lifestyle/wellness/got-matcha-five-healthy-foods-that-will-make-their-markon-2016/2016/01/11/7a92bfca-b3dc-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html Republic of Tea. (2016). Matcha Reviews. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http:// www.republicoftea.com/productreviewdisplay.aspx?p=V00715&page=All Ryland, J. (1994). From Custom to Coffee Cake: The Commodification of the Louisiana King Cake. In Lousiana’s Living Traditions: Articles & Essays. Retrieved from www.louisianafolklife.org/creole_index/htm Sass, C. (2015). 7 Things You Should Know About Matcha. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from http://news.health.com/2015/03/27/what-is-matcha/ Yan, N. (2012). Un-defining Authenticity in Chinese Restaurants and Cuisine. In P. Lysaght (Ed.), Time for Food: Everyday Food and Changing Meal Habits in a Global Perspective (pp. 88–94). Abo Akademi University Press.
Hacked and never recovered, Stunted life becomes the destroyer, An empty space is the reminder of the branch that became the axe handle, the rifle stock, the wooden sheath that received the blade coated in warm blood. Roots ripped out, The squirrel chatter is replaced by the chatter of one thousand misplaced souls. They belong in the city, the structure that was already taken from the land, but they brought it with them. They planted concrete and claimed to sow innovation and technology.
by Jacob Arnas
the ecotone / 2016
Kirsten Vinyeta | After the Burn
by Chris Torres There are two things most people forget about “apocalypse”. To many people of a certain history and background it means “the end of the world”; its more ancient meaning is “an unveiling; a realization; revelation”. Second, for many different people in many different places, the “apocalypse” is not somewhere in the near or distant future: it has already happened and/or is (still) happening. What may sound like “the end of the world” to you is what life is now, and has been like, for many others for a (very) long time.
§ The elders tell us stories, stories of when things were different. They tell us stories of how different outside was. They tell us stories of how you could run in the rain, mouth open to the sky as you offered your face to a gentle storm. Stories of how you could travel to the coast and see fish swim in the water; a soft breeze kissing your cheek; a light spray from an ocean reaching across the world; the ebb and flow of so many lives and places. Stories of how the day would move you from dawn to dusk as the sun peeked over the horizon with a cascade of light. And if you waited long enough, you could see it float back under the horizon, trailing flickers of fire behind it – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet – until only moon shadow was left. But I don’t know what a fish is, and I don’t know what more than 5 gallons of clean water at a time looks like, and I’m not sure if a breeze feels different from what the air conditioning and fans do, and without ever having seen a horizon, a sunset, or a moonrise through all the haze, I don’t understand what a day is if clocks, alarms, and schedules don’t tell me. We like the stories, but I’m not sure we understand them; having never done, seen, felt, or heard most of those things, I don’t think we can.
It’s not just another place in time; it’s a completely different world.
the ecotone / 2016
We ask the elders to tell us what happened, to tell us why things are so different now, to tell us why we can’t do, see, feel what others could before. They tell us about some of the people and the world they wanted and created. People would live as if their home and the rest of the world were different, as if there was a distant “away” somewhere: an “away” where they could travel to when bored; an “away” from where the things in their world came; an “away” where they could throw things when they were finished with them; an “away” where they could put things they didn’t want or didn’t like; an “away” someplace else where they didn’t have to worry about. Their world built on “away” was too much for them to pay. So they made others pay for it “away” somewhere. These people, their world, make no sense to us. Like so many other things in our world, we don’t understand where “away” is. And that’s when they tell us why things are so different now; why there are so many things we have never done, seen, felt, or heard: We are the “away”.
We ask the elders to tell us why and how this all happened. There must have been those who fought this, those who could make no sense of the world being created. The elders tell us that they had the same thoughts but that the people who made this world did not see it as being that simple. The people of that world would say that it’s far more complex than we could ever imagine. That there was
Nick Dreher | Paris Graffiti
Photo by Anya Vollstedt
far too much bad history already built up and far too many different ideas and beliefs to have made everyone happy or to have been able to change anyone’s mind. They tell us that no one could have imagined what would happen or that it could have happened the way it did. They tell us that the problems were deemed either too small or too big to do anything about them; or that it wasn’t even a problem yet (at least not yet for them). When the problems began to spread past from just being “away” and it did become their problem, the people would talk about past mistakes and who had made them; all about blame and nothing about responsibility. That they never meant for it to happen. As we grow older, we grow impatient; with reasons of how it all supposedly makes sense and with intentions. At this point, intentions don’t make a difference. There are so many things we can’t do because of what so many people were able to do. And they were only able to do them because we couldn’t and can’t. And we’re tired of being told “You don’t understand” and “You can’t understand” and of all the things we can’t imagine. Because after living the lives we’ve lived, after breathing and eating and drinking and doing what we’ve had to in order to survive, there is so much that we can imagine. We can imagine a different world. A world where there isn’t always the hum of a generator or the droning of a vent. A world where the air isn’t always poison; A world where the water isn’t always foul; A world where the food doesn’t always leave you starved. A world where problems don’t only belong to those who have to suffer them. A world where lives are not built upon the sweat and death of others, paying for the benefits of a world of which they are not seen as a part. To build a new world from what we know, from what we have learned at the edge of the world, means that regardless of all the things we haven’t experienced,
of all the things we’re told we don’t understand or can’t understand, there is one thing we do know, one thing we have to know: there is no “away”; there can’t be an “away”. v
life from Death
by Andrea Willingham The following is a journal entry that I wrote while working a summer season as a park ranger in Sitka, Alaska. Having the opportunity to walk the same trails day after day and become closely acquainted with the local environment through the change of seasons is a profound experience. One cannot help but to reflect on the endless cycles of our world in these moments.
§ There is nothing serene or comforting about the Sitka woods right now. The air reeks of dead salmon, seagull feces, fungus, mushrooms, and the rotting substrate of the forest floor. The soundscape is not the usual quiet whispers of the woods, but a cacophony of screeching, whining gulls and eagles piercing the air with their bombastic cries. Every sense is filled with the rawness and harshness of nature’s less-romantic side, the side we don’t want to see, the side we often choose to pretend doesn’t exist. Salmon are desperately battling the currents as they swim upstream, squirming past the bodies of their decomposing brethren, as the gulls wade through the mess of carcasses, cackling loudly about it. Winter is on its way and things are dying off, yet nothing wants to die. So all those things still living are desperately devouring all the things that are dying: the fungus, the birds, the bears, even the microscopic bacteria are converting all these dead things back into the basic chemicals that make up all life in the first place. It’s a free-for-all among those feasting off the death of their wild comrades. At this very moment, the wilderness is acrid, loud, cold, wet, uncomfortable. It is not the usual safe haven to which I can normally escape. Because I have this romanticized view of what nature should be, my knee-jerk reaction is to feel disturbed by the brutality of this part of the yearly cycle. I want to pretend nature is peaceful and romantic and orderly, just like I want to pretend all other parts of my life are the same way. But nature is not, and neither is life. In fact, the two are rather synonymous. Both follow cycles of birth, life,
the ecotone / 2016
Kirsten Vinyeta | Bejeweled Lupine death; progress, success, failure; order, disorder, chaos, and back again. I think being able to recognize this and find comfort in the discomfort of it all is where happiness is found. I am uncomfortable with the many uncertainties I am facing right now. Uncertainties with the direction of my life, with figuring out what I want, with my friendships and relationships, with where I’ll even be a month from now. And instead of being able to escape into the forest to experience the peaceful order of the natural world, I am bombarded with nature’s own uncertainties of her many manifestations grappling with inevitable mortality as the season of abundance comes to an end. Yet, as I walk the spongy damp trail each day, with fetid aromas filling my nostrils, I also see all the new life and order coming forth from the death and chaos. The dead salmon are fertilizing the rainforest and feeding the scavengers and recharging the river ecosystem with fresh nutrients. There are tiny new saplings growing right out of the dead tree stumps throughout the woods. These dead stumps are called “nursery logs,” and as their saplings grow big and strong, the stumps will rot away, leaving the new grown-up trees with big hollows in the root systems in the space where the log once laid, a beautiful reminder of where it came from. Despite all appearances, there is something comforting and serene about the Sitka woods. There is comfort in knowing that this is how the cycle goes, that life comes straight out of death, and that change truly is the only thing we can rely on. j
life from death
Nick Dreher theby ecotone / 2016 38Photo
So what is this, then, that we see howling at the full wolf moon? Nothing that can be mathematized or statistically gutted in academic hyperbole, but pure trenchant emotion and connection to whatâ€™s left of our subsistence on this earthly plane. The animals have it down: they writhe on ground, snuffle dirt, chew on nettles and thistles, and regurgitate good and right into the world, while the human species argues and pontificates, allows and disallows, scampers and disputes and thinks, somehow, that they can write their way into the proper frame that places them in the universe. We can still learn from the animals, but only if we stop ourselves from believing they are beneath us and thinking we know all there is to know.
Gayla WardWell hierarchy
You Have to Rehearse the impossible
by Kaley McCarty Our world is experiencing environmental change and destruction
on a scale unprecedented in human history. The current consumerist, hyperindividualistic paradigm is a huge factor contributing to the environmental crisis. In order to have any hope of altering our collective trajectory, we must first be able to imagine alternatives. Science fiction has long been used as a medium through which new ideas are explored. Andrea Hairston, a science fiction author who spoke on a panel at the University of Oregon symposium entitled “Worlds Beyond World,” which explored the role of feminist utopian thought in society, called this intentional, creative envisioning of alternative worlds a “sacred task” (Hairston, November 2013). Poetically, she also reminded the audience that “realistic is just what we’re willing to believe at the moment” and that the task of science fiction is to expand the imagination and suspend disbelief of the audience. A mix of utopian thought and speculative fiction, Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 novel Ecotopia envisions what an ecologically harmonious future might entail. Ecotopia tells the story of William Weston, a reporter from the United States who visits Ecotopia (comprised of Washington, Oregon and Northern California, which seceded from the United States to form its own country), which had remained mysterious and closed to outsiders since its independence. Through his portrayal of various aspects of Ecotopian society, particularly the emphasis on the importance of expression, interpersonal relationships and an understanding of systems, within a setting of vastly improved environmental conditions, Callenbach illustrates that a hyper-individualist, consumer mentality is incompatible with ecological harmony and sustainability. To achieve that ideal,
the ecotone / 2016
humans must re-evaluate the nature of their social lives and restructure society according to the knowledge of their humble place within ecological systems. Although in many ways Callenbach presents a far more ideal, harmonious future than our current society offers, there are nevertheless some critiques of the work which must be acknowledged and examined. One such critique is that, in practice, Callenbach’s narrative does not live up to the ideals he professes, especially in regard to the liberation and equality of women. In her article “Failures of the Imagination in Ecotopia,” Naomi Jacobs succinctly states that Callenbach had “less difficulty in rationally formulating a transformation than in actually envisioning or imaginatively experiencing the implications of that transformation” and asserts that this deficit “can be traced to an ‘individual failure of the imagination’” (Jacobs 2). Although there are clear limitations in Callenbach’s narrative, they may not be as bleak as Jacobs claims. Jacobs’ critique of Ecotopia is that although William Weston says that “women’s objective situation is equal to men’s,” this is not shown in the actual narrative (Callenbach 36). She highlights the fact that most important interactions Weston has are with men, women remain incredibly sexualized (often to the benefit of the male protagonist), and the one powerful female figure with whom he interacts “perpetuate(s) the masculinist stereotype that a politically powerful woman will not also be sexually powerful” (Jacobs 2). These are legitimate and troublesome critiques, especially considering Callenbach’s ostensible attempt
Reedthe | Patagonia you have toPaul rehearse impossible
Andrea Willingam | Whirled Peas
to portray women as liberated equals. The fact that “almost all of the officials with whom Weston actually meets are male” is unfortunate, but may have actually been an attempt to flip the readers’ culturally constructed patriarchal expectations. What Jacobs neglects to mention is that many men with whom Weston meets are, by and large, the assistants of higher up officials whose genders are never specified. By placing men in the role of assistant – or secretary – which is stereotypically a position held by women reporting to male superiors, Callenbach may have been making a conscious attempt to destabilize gender stereotypes of his day. Unfortunately, this “failure of the imagination” admittedly does take away some of the purpose of utopian thought: it fails to provide the reader with visions of women that stray very far from current stereotypes. As a privileged white male in 1970s America, Callenbach’s portrayal of Ecotopia was probably the most radical vision he could imagine from his specific vantage point. The women are sexually and socially liberated which is a step forward even if the author’s illustration of their sexual liberation is regrettably androcentric. However large the gaps between what is professed and what is actually shown are, it would be ill-advised to allow Callenbach’s inability to imagine much beyond the sociocultural structures of his time and his poor execution of ideas to negate the foundations upon which he builds Ecotopia.
the ecotone / 2016
An additional critique of Callenbach’s vision of Ecotopia that is implied in both Jacobs’ and Tschachler’s articles is that his illustration of women is essentialist. Tschachler notes that, in the novel, “the exemplary state is womanhood” (Tschachler 308). This statement, in conjunction with the overly simplistic and stereotyped portrayals of women that Jacobs points out, is reminiscent of Betty Roszak’s perceptive assertion that “idealizing ‘woman’ is often the same as subjugating her” (Roszak 291). Although this is true in regards to specific female characters – he does often fall into overused stereotypes with Allwen as the motherly figure, Marissa as a wild animal, and various females as flat characters whose main purpose is to fulfill Weston’s sexual desires – his portrayal of women nevertheless is an attempt at a broader commentary on patriarchal society. Patriarchy is not about specific male individuals, but rather a set of “ideas about the nature of things, including women, men, and humanity, with manhood and masculinity most closely associated with being human and womanhood and femininity relegated to the marginal position of ‘other’” (Johnson 73-74). By showing Ecotopia as a society governed by a mainly female-headed political party, Callenbach implies that attributes that have historically been characterized as feminine and relegated to a lower status in patriarchal societies, but which are not actually universal characteristics of women, must be expressed and valued in order to achieve a sustainable ecological and social future. Although it is clear that Ecotopia has its flaws, there is evidence that the underlying principles upon which this fictional society is built, if implemented, could realistically lead to a better society for both humans and the natural world. The Ecotopian lifestyle and cultural narrative embrace and treat as normal a wide variety of views, beliefs and practices which appear incredibly foreign to the prevailing American mindset. In Ecotopia, children attend schools in the country with very minimal structure and no formal curriculum. Their perception of time is far more attuned to natural cycles than to the imposed authority of watches and clocks. The sense of restraint regarding emotional expression, the nature of interpersonal relationships, and normal community structure has been greatly relaxed based on their more holistic approach to life in general. At first glance, these cultural shifts may be dismissed as idealistic or regarded as pathways toward guaranteed social chaos from the viewpoint of the individualistic, “rational” Western mind, but upon further examination they are not so easily dismissed. Take the novel structure of the Ecotopian school system, for instance. These schools “give children far more time outdoors” than the American school system does and the children are “never forbidden to go out in the wet” (Callenbach 38, 128). Outdoor education is seen as an absolutely essential part of childhood development and learning. The children are also permitted, even encouraged, to explore the woods, come up with projects, build forts, and “generally carry on like happy savages” beyond teacher control (Callenbach
you have to rehearse the impossible
127). Ecotopian educational philosophy is supported by real, contemporary research in environmental education. As Richard Louv notes in Last Child in the Woods, “playtime – especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play – is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome childhood development” (Louv 48). By allowing children freedom to play and learn outdoors, they learn personal independence, develop their senses to fuller capacities than they would in a classroom, and begin to cultivate an ecological appreciation and respect simply by immersion in natural surroundings. Although one might wonder how – or even if – teachers are able to keep children under control through this relaxed and arguably haphazard approach, this appears to be a non-issue in the schools in the story. In fact, in one of Weston’s columns he ponders this very question, wondering if the “extremely unregulated atmosphere lead[s] to wild conduct among the children,” but concludes: “not at all” and even goes on to note that “the school is curiously quiet” (Callenbach 128). While sounding like a far-fetched fantasy to many Americans whose children have been diagnosed with various “behavioral disorders,” there may, in fact, be evidence supporting this claim as well. “New studies suggest that exposure to nature may reduce the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)” and conversely, the “need for [psychotropic behavioral drugs] is intensified by disconnection from nature” (Louv 35, 48). If we stop and consider the implications and potential benefits of the Ecotopian approach to education (children better capable of learning, fewer psychotropic medications, and more physical activity all leading to healthier, well-rounded children) it becomes apparent that dismissing its strengths is short-sighted. Another stark contrast between Ecotopian society and contemporary American society regards their level of comfort with emotional expression. William Weston’s character provides the embodiment of Americans’ aversion to open, honest emotional expression. In one conversation with Marissa, his lover, he states: “I always worry about sentimental” (Callenbach 138). His hesitancy to express himself reflects his culturally ingrained dualistic value system of reason over intuition, head over heart. In “The Rape of the Well-Maidens,” Gomes and Kanner assert another root cause of this aversion to emotional expression is that in order “to live with the repeated violation of the natural world and the harsh environment that has resulted, we shut down much of our sensitivity” (Gomes and Kanner 118). The corollary of this is that if we reconnect with ourselves as emotional beings, we would no longer tolerate the destruction of nature that is occurring. This view explains the vast differences between Weston’s attitude as an American accustomed to living in a degraded habitat and the willingness for emotional expression of the Ecotopians. Occasionally, however, Weston does open himself up to fully experiencing his emotions, as when he describes making love to Marissa. Here, he notes that
the ecotone / 2016
“everything comes from [their] feelings” (Callenbach 59). It is interesting to note that this is one of the few experiences he has while in Ecotopia that is too personal to even record in his personal journal. By doing this, Callenbach implies that there are strong, intense experiences that are simply meant to be lived rather than recorded and analyzed from a logical perspective and that these emotional, personal moments are just as real and relevant as anything else – if not more so. Throughout the narrative, Weston slowly begins to shake off his American stoicism and reach an appreciation of emotional experiences. Towards the end of the novel, there is a beautiful moment in which Weston opens himself up even more and confesses in his journal: “This country has certainly taught me to cry, and for some reason, it feels good, as if it is not only my tear ducts that have been opened up” (Callenbach 159). Not only has he learned – or regained the ability – to feel emotions, he even admits that the full experience is pleasurable and implies that the process has allowed him to feel more fully alive, more fully human and to recognize his deep connection to others. Weston’s experience echoes the sentiment of the Okanagan belief that “emotion or feeling is the capacity whereby community and land intersect in our beings and become part of us” (Armstrong 321). Through allowing himself to experience his emotions rather than repress them, Weston is able not only to better connect with himself, but also to connect with other Ecotopians and with the natural world. An additional contrast between Ecotopian society and American society can be found in the vital role that communities and interpersonal relationships play in Ecotopia. For one, in Ecotopia, the concept of the “nuclear family” has been replaced by a broader, more inclusive communal concept of family. When Ecotopians speak of “families,” Weston notes, they are referring to “a group of between five and twenty people, some of them actually related and some not, who live together” who share various duties, including household care and raising children (Callenbach 70). To the hyper-individualistic, American worldview, this at first could seem overwhelming and less than ideal; however, this type of communal living does provide a solid social structure and a strong sense of belonging. As Weston notes, Ecotopians “always [have] a strong collective base to return to, a place and the people of that place” (Callenbach 138). Callenbach’s portrayal of group living is also echoed by Bill McKibben’s assertion that people “often look back on their college days as the best years of their lives” because during that time, “they lived more closely and intensely in a community than ever before or since” (McKibben 109). This recognition that group living is beneficial to humans can also lead to a stronger sense of community outside of an individual’s respective living group. Another moment that highlights the importance of community in the lives of Ecotopians is after Weston gets upset that Marissa told members of her
you have to rehearse the impossible
living group details of their relationship. She cannot understand why Weston would be upset about such a thing and explains: “These people live with me and love me… they give me reactions, advice, they look at me, I see myself through them as well as through myself ” (Callenbach 89). The fact that Marissa embraces that the input of her community allows her to see herself more clearly implies that humans are social creatures whose sense of identity is defined by the complex web of human interactions. “‘Who I am,’ Edward E. Sampson observes, ‘is defined in and through my relations with others; I am completed through these relations and do not exist apart from them” (quoted in Conn 164). This awareness of our fundamental interconnectedness with other members of our species is essential to the creation of an ecological awareness too; by understanding our relation with others of our own species, the leap to the understanding of our place within greater ecological systems does not seem as far. Perhaps the most definitive aspect of Ecotopia is the cultural recognition of the broader systems in which humans are a part. Their ideal goal of attaining a “stable state” in nearly all aspects of life is perhaps the clearest example of their understanding of the humble role of humans within, as opposed to separate from, the biosphere. As part of this understanding, Ecotopians’ priorities are dramatically different from those of current American society. For instance, Weston speaks to Tom, an Ecotopian reporter, who believes that “technology and social structure can be put at the service of mankind, instead of the other way around” (Callenbach 36). It is rather gloomy commentary that this sentiment at first seems incredibly far-fetched, especially since these aspects of society were formed in hopes of improving the human condition, but in fact they may have made us worse off. In Deep Economy, McKibben even implies that Americans’ priorities are not just skewed, but completely out of touch with the realities of the natural world; he notes that “to most of us, the health of the economy seems far more palpable, far more real, than the health of the planet” (McKibben 29). In a society whose citizens are that far removed from the functioning of their natural environment, it is no wonder that it has allowed environmental degradation in the name of ever-larger profits. Upon learning about the steady-state goals of Ecotopian society, Weston – ever the embodiment of the American value system – asks Bert, “‘Doesn’t this stablestate business get awfully static?’” (Callenbach 33). With typical Ecotopian confidence, Bert explains that a steady-state system is “like a meadow in the sun;” although it appears static, it is constantly in a state of dynamic flux and “may not look so static to the mouse” (Callenbach 34). This particular metaphor is powerful because it relates the sphere of human activity to processes of the larger biosphere. It also suggests that humans, contrary to prevailing hyperindividualist thought, do not have to choose between living fulfilling, exciting, dynamic lives and the health of the ecosystem and, in fact, the two options may be intricately interwoven. In her article “Technology, Trauma, and the Wild,”
the ecotone / 2016
Chellis Glendinning reminds us “we are creatures who grew from the Earth, who are physically and psychologically built to thrive in intimacy with the Earth” (Glendinning 52). If humans wish to achieve ecological harmony, we must acknowledge and re-inhabit our humble place within natural systems. Another way in which Ecotopians find their place within natural systems is through their easy understanding and acceptance of themselves as animals. Marissa’s cousin, a doctor named Jake, puts this understanding most succinctly when he tells Weston that “‘knowing yourself as an animal creature on the earth… can feel more comfortable than your kind of life’” (Callenbach 87-88). By this, Jake means that acceptance of one’s place within the workings of various systems, rather than trying to fight it as many Americans do, can provide a type of comfort and sense of self that is not possible any other way. With that understanding, individuals can be at ease and find sustenance in the knowledge that they have a specific and important, albeit small and dependent, role in life. As Bert points out “there’s no such thing as a thing – there are only systems” (Callenbach 88). The individualistic mind, informed as Western Civilization is by Cartesian dualisms, may balk at this idea in an attempt to hold on to the dichotomous separation of self from other. It is apparent, however, that by and large this insistence upon delineating sharp boundaries between self and other has done far more harm than good to the psyches of those who try to hold tightly to their preconceptions. Sarah A. Conn observes that “the focus of the self-contained individual is accompanied by a cultural overemphasis on rational thought to the exclusion of emotional responsiveness” (Conn 163). As discussed earlier, this “emotional responsiveness” is necessary to the growth of the individual, the formation of a connection to community as well as the acknowledgment of the self in relation to other, larger processes. Underneath the observable worldviews of Ecotopians lies the connecting theme that in order to realize an ecologically sustainable future, humanity must reach
Nick Dreher | Oktoberfest
you have to rehearse the impossible
beyond false dualistic thinking in favor of a more inclusive, holistic view of reality. Tshachler expresses Callenbach’s message well: “there is a progressive function in regressive tendencies, which involve the reversal of the Cartesian dualism of subject and object which had ultimately led to the aggressive regimentation of the defensive rational consciousness over the other, the body, the passions and the irrational” (Tschachler 307). Ecotopian society does not simply reverse the existing dualisms; rather it seeks to erase the lines that have long attempted to perpetuate the illusion that these dualisms even exist. Emotion is not favored over mind, but is given an accepted place in the human experience along with rational thought; community is not favored at the expense of the individual, but is acknowledged as at least as valuable as the individual. Although Callenbach’s Ecotopia does have some admitted “failures of the imagination,” the underlying message and structure of his fictional society are nevertheless promising. Even though he does not provide all the answers – and realistically, no one can – he does provide hopeful clues as to where to find the path which leads to a better society. Arguably, even the faults in his narrative provide accidental warning flags to watch for along this path, which include: caution not to “liberate” women in such a way that merely changes the nature, but not the fact, of their subjugation; and caution regarding how to achieve such sweeping changes, lest we risk involuntarily slipping into authoritarian rule. The changes necessary to create an ecologically and socially sustainable society ask for nothing less than a complete shift in the trajectory of both millennia of dualistic Western thought and hyper-individualistic action. And yet, this shift is necessary to our future survival. We all have important roles to fulfill in this shift and the creation of fictional societies which expand our imaginations as to what is possible may play a crucial role. As Andrea Hairston reminds us, “you have to rehearse the impossible.”
theCoffee ecotone / 2016 48 Kendall | Yellowstone
Works Cited Armstrong, Jeanette. “Keepers of the Earth.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 316-324. Print. Callenbach, Ernest. Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston. Berkeley, CA: Banyan Tree: Distributed by Bookpeople, 1975. Print. Conn, Sarah A. “When the Earth Hurts, Who Responds?” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 156-171. Print. Glendinning, Chellis. “Technology, Trauma, and the Wild.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 41-54. Print. Gomes, Mary E. and Allen D. Kanner. “The Rape of the Well-Maidens: Feminist Psychology and the Environmental Crisis.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 111-121. Print. Jacobs, Naomi. “Failures of the imagination in ‘Ecotopia’(Ernest Callenbach, utopian novel).” EXTRAPOLATION 38.4 (1997): 318-326. Johnson, Allan G. “Patriarchy, the System.” Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. 6th. Kirk, Gwyn and Okazawa-Rey, Margo. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. 68 – 77. Print. Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin of Chapel Hill, 2005. Print. McKibben, Bill. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. New York: Times, 2007. Print. Roszak, Betty. “The Spirit of the Goddess.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 288-300. Print. Tschachler, Heinz. “Despotic Reason in Arcadia? Ernest Callenbach’s Ecological Utopias (Raison despotique en Arcadie? Les utopies écologiques d’Ernest Callenbach).” Science Fiction Studies (1984): 304-317.
you have to rehearse the impossible
Oh! The grandeur A hood over the Cascades August in August
Words and photo by Paul Reed
Sam Moore \ “Wenhui at the coast”
by Erin Crnkovich
April realized it had been years since she had seen the sunset.
Her life these days was such that she had almost forgotten such a thing existed, vaguely noting only that she couldn’t see so well at 10:00 PM as at 10:00 AM, and not giving the matter much thought beyond that. But she was thinking of it now. And, as she imagined all the tones of purple and fire she had missed out on, she was filled with a sense of loss. These sunsets were more than themselves; they were every bypassed opportunity, every sweet moment of childhood forgotten. They were, quite simply, April’s life gone by without acknowledgement. She glanced outside to see that it was starting again- the street, the trees, the world was glowing in the yellow light of early evening- and she resolved not to let another moment slip away uncelebrated. She ran out the door, not thinking where she was going beyond “out THERE”. She wished she could absorb the light around her; it seemed almost to dim as she passed through it. She ran to the nearest park, struggling to reach the crest of a hill before she missed it all... April realized that the word “sunset” was not so immediate as it sounded. In fact, it takes rather a long time for the sun to set. Meanwhile, she was getting cold. And maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all for a young female to be alone in the park after nightfall. She started off for home a few minutes later, suspecting that she may have pulled a muscle during her frenzied run up the hill. s
the ecotone / 2016
Above: Photo by Nick Dreher
Below: Kirsten Vinyeta | Of Barbed Wire and Lupine
life from death
Above: Photo by Paul Reed
Below: Andrea Willingham | Feeling Small
the ecotone / 2016
postmeta notice a look you can tell we are past the event horizon nearing light speed slow motion into the death canal notice over there a friend is reclining while a face is melted into a clear blue silence stretch a hand across a lightyear / cast a face beyond a chasm this that makes a feeling lonely: rind of sadness these peelings and casting these dry husks and rattle blown together: this laughter is part of it flesh to flesh we acquiesce
by Euell Macke
the lamb an apologia
by Katrina Maggiulli
Everything was grey then. The trees were just a darker shaded lattice against a lavender-black sky. The January rain had blurred the edges of life with mud. I was settling ewe and babe in golden straw when I found her. Her hide was the same dull hue as thick mud. Only texture taught my clumsy hands the difference: the ribbed pattern of newborn wool made sharp ridges under fingers dumb with darkness, cold, and mud.
the ecotone / 2016
I drew her from her bed. The earth sucked—greedy— at her form and she flopped in my arms. Gently, I opened her mouth. I sought out illusive breath from frozen lungs, but my fingers pooled with fluid. Grey, grey, thin— so cold. I laid her on the damp wood roof of the old rabbit hutch. I watched as rain animated hooves and hide into some macabre dance— every second deceived by the imitation lift of chest and life with heavy drops. So I brought her inside— out of the rain—and I waited. I waited until my mother came to rest my lamb— quiet— into some soft burlap sack and take her away. the lamb
the ecotone / 2016
Andrea Willingham | Forest Floor
Twin rugs to suit both tastes, painted walls to match. To them, the colors of an Arizona sunset; But the only green sunsets Iâ€™ve ever seen were in Nebraska right before the wall clouds formed. They planned their future on twin rugs A Hawaii proposal, a June wedding. June came and went And another is approaching.
by Erin Crnkovich
by Kaley McCarty
Waves smashed against the side of the ancient ship and piercing
raindrops sliced through the air before landing on her face. Where am I? Shielding her eyes from the wet daggers, she looked up into the sky. Rather than help her determine where she was, the sky instead gave her the distinct sensation of falling into a dark, infinite pit. Well, that didnâ€™t help. Dizzy now, she glanced around and noticed that she was amidst a crew deeply involved in battle. The crew, all dressed in dark clothing, was hurling everything possible at the opponents. Terrified, she ran to the side of the ship and squinted across the turbulent sea at their foe. What she saw was unsettlingly familiar. She turned and realized the cause for familiarity: The two ships were nearly identical! Intricate, imposing figureheads at each bow were the only differentiating characteristics. Setting the course for the opponentsâ€™ ship was an imposing male figurehead with harsh, angular features. His left hand held the sun close to his chest and his right jabbed a sword defiantly at the sky. Curious, she moved towards the front of her ship, here and there dodging a crewmember determined to sink the others. Grabbing hold of an unstable railing, she cautiously peered down at the figurehead of a woman with soft, rounded features and a full figure whose torso gradually morphed into a tree trunk. Vines snaked up her body and grew into a crown around her head. Her left hand cradled a crescent moon to her breast and her right held a dove with wings outstretched. Still pondering the carving, the girl turned back toward the enemy ship and examined the crew dressed in light clothing. The other ship was so close that her eyes met the dark eyes of a man with tousled hair who she swore she had seen only moments before. She glanced over her left shoulder and directly into those same dark eyes. Then it hit her â€“ each member of her crew had a mirror image on the enemy ship.
the ecotone / 2016
A rooster crowed. Light cascaded through the open window and a breeze kissed her face. Maya rolled over, rubbed her tired eyes and pondered the bizarre dream. Ships and war? Twins? Strange… She perched on her elbows and peered down ten stories to the lovely spring morning outside. The sun had just risen, but already the street was alive with activity. People were busy biking to their next destination, tending to the central garden beds or simply strolling and enjoying the fresh air. Exhilarated by the serene morning, Maya emerged from her half-awake reverie, jumped from bed and threw on her tattered overalls and boots. As she ran through the hallway, she shouted a loving goodbye to her parents and other members of her living group and continued on her way. When Maya reached the ground floor, she grabbed her bike and started toward school. As she rode through the streets, she thought about something Huxley had taught her last week. He told her that before the Shift these streets were paved with solid asphalt and used for the sole purpose of automobile traffic. It seemed insane. Although she had seen cars before since the city had kept some as relics of the past and for use in very rare instances, she was still shocked. Looking around, Maya could hardly believe that large portions of the earth had ever been covered to accommodate these fuel-guzzling contraptions. At least it’s different now, she thought as she rode her bike over narrow solar-panel paths amidst garden beds full of fruit trees, herbs, veggies, flowers and medicine. After riding a mile or so, she stopped her bike at the edge of where the more heavily populated portion of town became agricultural lands. She leaned her bike against a peach tree (which she knew from her lessons would have been difficult to grow here without the use of pesticides as recently as the turn of the century), grabbed some strawberries from one of the public beds and sat down on a handmade bench fashioned from fallen branches of various trees. She looked at all the little homes sprinkled across the landscape and daydreamed about the day when she would be old enough to live in one for a few years. Although children were allowed much freedom in regard to their education, they were obligated (culturally, if not legally) to try a variety of activities before they turned fifteen and began to determine their own course and place within the community. Only two years away… I can wait, she thought. Besides, I’m enjoying Huxley’s class and there’s always so much to learn. The more I learn now, the more I can help later. And with that thought, she bit into the last juicy strawberry, jumped back onto her bike and continued toward class. As she meandered along the path she noticed something that she had never noticed before. The fields looked nothing like pictures of quaint wooden farmhouses with straight rows and red barns that she had seen in old photography books in the library. In fact, there was not a single straight row in sight. Instead, stretching this way and that, the plants looked as though they
grew whichever way was most comfortable to them. Even though the view lacked (or perhaps because it lacked) the orderliness of quaint old farmhouses, Maya decided that she would not change it for the world. There was order in the apparent chaos. She knew that the farmers followed permaculture principles and strived toward a steady-state system in each and every way they could. After all, these were two of the founding principles that had led to the Shift in the first place. After a few more miles, just before she reached the place where agricultural lands drifted into areas that had been allowed to return to forest, she came upon the cob learning room. In front, a number of children were playing in the trees, gardening or reading. She leaned her bike against the structure (which some of the older students had helped build a few years prior) and walked around back to find Huxley. Today, like most days, she had quite a few questions. Behind the room, she caught sight of Huxley’s wild gesticulations and knew he must be in the middle of explaining something exciting. Knowing it was planting season and not wanting to interrupt him, she went to the cob house to grab seeds and returned to the garden in the back to plant. After a while, he walked up. “Good morning Maya. Thanks for getting started in the garden. How are you today?” Huxley asked as the children he had been talking to ran off into the forest to eat wild blackberries and practice their plant identifications. “I had a really strange dream last night where I was stuck on a ship in the middle of a battle… But the morning is great.” “Well, dreams can be a teacher, too. Maybe you should consider writing it down.” “Hmm, maybe I will tonight. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the things you told me last week about the bike paths and the roads. I want to learn more about what life used to be like.” “I thought you might,” Huxley laughed. “I have a gift to give you before you leave today, but first let’s get these in the ground.” “Perfect,” Maya said as she stuck her hands into the earth and began to place sugar snap peas into the soil. For a while, she and Huxley worked side by side to the melodies of birdsong and the laughter of students. “Do you know what this year marks?” Huxley asked suddenly. Maya looked up at him and thought for a moment. “Let’s see… 2064. Well, it has been fourty-four years since the Shift, right?”
the ecotone / 2016
Photo by Nick Dreher
“True, but it is also the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of a very important ban. In 2014, Eugene became the first city in the nation to outlaw the use of neonicotinoids, a group of pesticides that contributed to a sharp decline in bee populations, on city property.” “Bees…” Maya trailed off and allowed the information to settle. “Without bees, most of our food wouldn’t grow!” “This is true, but at first many people didn’t care. Or, more accurately, most people did not understand the consequences. The passage of that ban was important for the bees and important for us, but do you know why else it was so important?” Huxley paused to allow Maya time to think. When she shrugged, he continued. “It was important because it gave the community hope. It let people who wanted a life like we have now know that they weren’t alone. The years following the neonicotinoid ban brought a lot of change. People started to speak up for their visions of the future and things began to change. Of course, there was a lot of disagreement along the way because people had different visions of what they wanted, but enough people came together to make it happen. In the process, they realized something very important…” He trailed off. Maya waited patiently, but when he continued, he seemed to have changed the subject. “Maya, are you happy?” “I am…” She was unsure of where he was headed with this. “Me too. See, people realized that the only way to make a community, a lifestyle like ours work is to make sure that everyone involved believes in the direction we
are heading. Even if we don’t agree on details, it is the vision that is important…” Once again Huxley trailed off, but by now, his students had come to expect this. For awhile they planted in a thoughtful silence. “Now, about that present…” He reached into a bag that leaned against the garden bed, pulled out a book and handed it to Maya. “Like I said, I had a hunch you might ask more about the Shift. You seemed interested last week. So I brought this to lend to you, but I want you to read it on your own. Now, let’s finish getting these seeds into the ground and when we’re done, you can take off for the day and read if you’d like.” “Thanks Huxley!” And with that, she rushed back to the garden beds, eager to finish planting so she could leave and read. As soon as Maya was done, she checked with Huxley and some other students to see if they needed anything else before she left. After helping some of the younger children with their plans for a new fort in the woods, she grabbed her bike and headed back toward town. On the way home, she stopped at one of her favorite places, an old fallen log in the middle of a permaculture site. Sitting down on the log, she pulled out the book Huxley had given her. She flipped to the first page and noticed that he had written her a note: Maya, It is wonderful that you are curious about the Shift -- things were very different before... I marked a couple pages that I thought would be interesting to you. The first one is a very brief history of Lane County. It is incomplete but it gives an idea of what happened. You’ve probably read the second one, but it is an early draft of the Lane County Manifesto document listing the beliefs of those who initiated the Shift. Enjoy the adventure. - Huxley
She looked up from the book at her surroundings. The sun was almost directly overhead now. A scrub jay flitted from branch to branch while chickens squawked at the nearest agricultural house. The plants around her were lush and green. She could almost sense their exuberance for the spring air; she felt it too. Maya sat in the sun with her eyes closed for a moment, lost in the noises and smells around her. Then, after some moments, she flipped to the first marked page, “Historical Factors & Timeline of the Shift”:
the ecotone / 2016
Historical Factors & Timeline of the Shift 1969: The first year of the Oregon Country Fair: It started as a fundraiser for an alternative school, but over the years, it grew into an outlet for artists and musicians as well as a conduit for the exchange of beliefs, ideas, and alternative lifestyles. 1970’s: Intentional Communities and Community Projects: Lane County became a popular location for individuals determined to try new ways of life and conduct countercultural experiments. 1997: Tree-Sit Protest: On June 1st, 1997, a number of residents staged a nonviolent protest against the removal of trees in the downtown area. The protesters were met by police with multiple cans of pepper spray. Late 1990s/early 2000s: Earth Liberation Front: Eugene was the hub of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an anarchist group that, according to their ELF Press Office, used "economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the environment." 2010: Community Climate and Energy Action Plan for Eugene: Eugene produced a document acknowledging the reality of climate change and the necessity of planning for mitigation as well as adaptive measures. 2012: Climate Communications Project – Research Findings: In a memorandum to the City Manager the Sustainability Office presented research findings regarding the attitude of Eugene residents toward climate change. From these findings, it became clear that the majority of residents believed climate change was caused by humans, support climate action and were willing to take part. (See Memorandum in Appendix) 2014: Resolution Banning Neonicotinoids: “(Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2014) The City of Eugene, Oregon became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been scientifically linked to the decline of honey bee colonies... In addition to neonicotinoid restrictions, the City’s resolution also expands Eugene’s pesticidefree parks program and now requires all departments to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) standards.” 2015-2019: Period of Heightened Community Involvement: During this time, a number of diverse social and environmental activist groups in the Lane County area began to realize that they would be a more effective, powerful force if they made alliances to further their goals. Over these four years, a number of groups coalesced and began to see that their visions of the future were possible if they had majority support and the space in which to try them. 2020: Visions of Tomorrow: Visions of Tomorrow, the group that emerged as a result of efforts in years prior, realized that the only way for their community goals to become reality was if everyone involved, or nearly everyone, agreed with their vision. So, in 2020, Visions of Tomorrow brought the idea of turning Lane County into a social and environmental experiment to a county-wide vote: If the measure passed by at least 80%, all those who did not agree to at least the basic tenets of the vision would be given financial and social Relocation Support and two years to relocate. The measure passed with 89% of the vote. 2022: The Shift: Relocation was completed in the Spring of 2022. By early summer, the new social and environmental experiment began to implement visions in the Lane County Manifesto.
Maya closed the book and looked around, allowing the history of the area to settle into her mind. We were the first to try this? Still pondering, she flipped to the next page that Huxley had marked. She had read final versions of it before, but it was interesting to see the Lane County Manifesto as a work in progress:
Early Version of the Lane County Manifesto Drafted by Visions of Tomorrow - 2019
We, the people of Lane County, affirm that we desire to work with this land and all those residents who are willing to create change and engage upon a social and environmental experiment. Although it is unclear whether we will succeed, we do know that the current paradigms cannot stand and must be abolished so that new and better ways may be tried. Here are the basic tenets of our vision: 1. We are part of – not separate from or superior to – the Earth and must act accordingly to re-inhabit our humble place within these earth systems. As such, we shall always strive toward the ideal of a steady-state system from which we have strayed so far. 2. Permaculture principles will be applied to all areas of life including social structures, agriculture, urban planning, education, politics and any other realm to which they can be fitted • As Bill Mollison, who coined the term, states: “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” 3. The principles of Ecopsychology and Deep Ecology will also be applied in every instance possible. 4. Artistic visions and creativity will be given a place of honor and acknowledged as essential to the process of change. 5. We shall listen to, and learn from, a diverse array of voices, perspectives, religions, philosophies, etc. to achieve our stated goals. 6. Education will acknowledge the complexity and mystery of existence; topics will not be arbitrarily divided – instead, the interrelationships and connections will be highlighted and more holistic thinking will be encouraged. Also, since humans learn in a variety of ways, education, to the extent that it is possible, will be conducted outdoors and all learning styles will be accommodated and encouraged. 7. Furthermore, we assert that the hierarchies of value that have resulted over centuries (humans > nature, man > woman, individual > community, mind > body, rationality/reason > emotion/intuition, “tame” > “wild,” etc…) can be found as root causes to most (perhaps all) social and environmental challenges. As such, we acknowledge that even though we do not yet have the conceptual and philosophical framework through which to envision a world without dualistic hierarchies, we establish that the abolishment of value hierarchies is of paramount importance to our vision. Note: As a new movement, it is clear that we will encounter dissent, disagreement, and problems that we cannot foresee, but we declare that there is nothing less at stake than the future of ourselves, our children and the planet in which we live. We know there will be setbacks, but we are determined to achieve our goals.
Maya closed the book. She had read the more extensive, final version a number of times (“All residents shall have a compost bin; all children shall learn basic gardening and survival skills; jails will be abolished in favor of community process,” etc.), but she had never seen the raw, underlying principles so clearly. It seems so simple now. Why did people have to be reminded of their dependence on nature? How could they have forgotten? Perplexed by these thoughts, Maya sat for a long time before riding her bike home in an introspective daze. Once she arrived back in her room on the tenth floor of the residential complex, she set the book down, lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling as the daylight faded and the moon rose. Although she hadn’t used any electricity in quite some time, she decided that tonight she wanted to write by candlelight. She grabbed the nearest piece of paper and began to recount her dream from the night before. After a few moments of feverish scribbling, she propped herself on her elbows and looked at the moon. The ships weren’t fighting each other, they were fighting themselves… Visions of Tomorrow knew that neither side could ever win. They would always need one another to balance and sustain… y
Photo by Paul Reed
Kirsten Vinyeta | In the Chest
A no nym
vegetal intervention in human consciousness is getting ridiculous Papaver somniferum is not at all a smart bomb the stoned drone pilot on his drive home limb from limb sublimation f a t h o m youâ€™ve been planted
by Euell Macke
summer reading list This year the Ecotone Editorial Team put together a summer reading list of our favorite books we recommend to our readers. Enjoy!
Kirsten Vinyeta | Osprey Nest
Andrea recommends: Call of the Mild, by Lily Raff McCaulou Erin recommends: Love Medicine, by Louise Erdich Lauren recommends: Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine Euell recommends: Ecology Without Nature by Timothy Morton Nick recommends: Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer, by Lisa Heldke Chris recommends: Power and Place: Indian Education in America, by Daniel R. Wildcat and Vine Deloria, Jr. J. recommends: Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance, by Yolanda Retter, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, and Gordon Brent Ingram Paul recommends: The Power of Habit:Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg Katrina recommends: Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, by David Abram summer reading
In the midst of our hectic lives and graduate school schedules, we may occasionally need reminders to not take ourselves too seriously. Donâ€™t consent to becoming so consumed in work, or studies, or what-have-you, to a point in which youâ€™ve lost sight of the bigger picture that is life. Always set aside time to relax and enjoy life. Be responsible; get your work done. But get out there and go exploring.
the ecotone / 2016 72 Photo and words by Paul Reed
editor-in-chief Andrea Willingham
editing team J. Bacon Erin Crnkovich Nick Dreher Lauren Hendricks Euell Macke Katrina Maggiulli Paul Reed Christopher Torres
Peg Boulay Richard York Stephanie LeMenager Gayla WardWell Alison Mildrexler Taylor West Shane Hall ENVS Student Advisors UO Printing & Mailing Services Environmental Studies Donors (Answere to the riddle on p. 10: a leaf blower!)
Free inquiry and free speech are the
cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. The views and opinions expressed in this journal are solely those of the original authors, artsists, and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Environmental Studies Program at large, including its faculty, staff, and students, nor those of its generous donors.