June 2018: Social Movements in Sustainability
We thought we would end on a positive note as the 2017-2018 school year comes to an end. This issue, we are focusing on the social movements that are bringing environmental issues to the forefront of the world’s attention.
As we explore social media’s effect on environmentalism, the philosophies surrounding conservation, and the changing politics about sustainability, we hope readers can be inspired to take action. So, as everyone leaves for the summer, enjoy this thought-provoking issue where we intertwine art, news and opinions from a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints.
We look forward to seeing you all again in the fall! Thank you to everyone who contributed to Gaia this year, whether through submissions or by reading our material. In total, we had nine schools submit work and we are extremely grateful. Shout out to Lawrence Academy, Lawrenceville School, Loomis Chaffee School, Milton Academy, Phillips Andover Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, Roxbury Latin School, St. Mark's School, and Taft School! We couldn't have done it without you!
In Buddhism, there is no distinct “self.” Rather, the “self” extends to everything: every person, every tree, every planet, and so on. It is no wonder, then, that Buddhism often connects well to environmental awareness. After all, how could you not worry when a piece of yourself is damaged?
Even though the goal of a national park is preserve and protect the land, the Grand Canyon is a battleground for its richness in uranium. Political figures are fighting to sell parts of the Grand Canyon to those seeking to earn profits from the uranium mining industry, while the Navajo nation fights to protect both the land they have lived on and their own wellbeing.
When Richard Nixon, a Republican president, signed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into law in January 1970, nobody found it entirely too startling. If President Ronald Reagan had done the same only ten years later, however, the nation would have been shocked. What made it so that environmental issues became a question of political affiliation by the 1990s?
On March 24, 2018, I participated in the March for our Lives, a nationwide rally fighting against gun violence. At the rally in Boston, I was stunned by the sheer number of young people present. I have become acutely aware of the power of our voices and the need for social movements to further our cause. My cause is sustainability.
When the fundamental 1970 Clean Air Act and 1972 Clean Water Act were passed, they were popular bipartisan bills, yet now, a climate change denier heads the EPA in what looks to be an awfully bleak situation. How have policies changed so drastically from the fervent environmentalist movements of the 1970s?
By: Yusuf Zaidi; Loomis Chaffee School
Is there anything more euphonious and serene than a harbor? The waves of the harbor come day and night, playing music better than a Juilliard master. The sea never tires, never misses a beat, and, through brilliant days and darkest nights, the percussion of the shore persists––a lullaby to the ear.