On Sunday, June 23, Aldo Leopold Foundation Senior Fellow Curt Meine will keynote the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s 30th Anniversary Energy Fair. The foundation is pleased to partner with MREA, bringing together our organizations’ shared interests in land ethics and sustainability. Curt’s address, “Making Connections for a Resilient Future: Building on the Land Ethic,” will review how respect for the land, for one another, and for the future can bring us together in a time of rapid social and environmental change.
As its name suggests, energy has been the focus of the fair for the last thirty years. And renewable energy is a key aspect of sustainability. Aldo Leopold was keenly aware of this approach and lifestyle, and he wrote about it frequently. Although he did not know the term “sustainability,” he described conservation as the effort to “live on a piece of land without spoiling it” and to create “a new relationship between people and land.” The fair gives our organizations new opportunities to encourage the use of renewable energy and care for land as (in Leopold’s words) “a community to which we belong.” Together we can build on our shared values and goals that advance the land ethic.
In his talk, Curt will explore the common bonds between the renewable energy movement and the conservation movement. Born of a common desire to respect and care for our environment, both have experienced similar obstacles over time, and both now are hindered by our growing urban-rural divide. City dwellers and rural residents alike participate in renewable energy and conservation programs and practices. But they may approach their efforts with different perspectives, have varying interests at stake, and face different challenges and opportunities in carrying them out. Sometimes these differences put communities are at odds with each other, even as both are working from—and toward—shared values. Bridging the divides across our landscapes is key to advancing all our conservation efforts.
Recognizing our connections is the first step toward strengthening our common ground. So, what connects us? We can see our shared values in the things that tie us together across the landscape: the land we live in and travel through, the water that flows through our watersheds, the food and energy we produce and consume, the health we cherish in our land and in ourselves. These connect people across geographic, social, economic, and political divides–and even across time. But complicating matters is today’s increasing pace of change. Resiliency is the key to keeping up with the changes we experience. And, as Curt will discuss, the more connections we make, the stronger the connections grow, and the more resilient we become.
Learn about our conservation connections, and how they can provide insight and inspiration for tackling today’s complex challenges. Join us at the Energy Fair on Sunday, June 23 at noon in the Keynote Tent to hear more from Curt Meine.
Feature photo, top, courtesy of Tim Green, CC by 2.0.
Visit us at booth A24 all weekend! View the full fair schedule and details by clicking below.