THE EARTHFIRE BLOG

Snowy road lined with snow-covered pine trees
Urban Living & Nature
January 20, 2020

Seeing Beauty or Worrying—Which to Choose?

— By Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — It was so beautiful. I was driving a friend over a wintry mountain pass to make a doctor’s appointment. We started out in a snowstorm...

  Renowned wildlife artists Dwayne Harty and Billy Hassell donated artwork to Earthfire in 2016 to help us fund new and existing animal facilities. You can support the welfare of our animals by buying their Earthfire dedicated artwork here. Billy Hassell about this week's featured artwork "Beyond Earthfire": "The inspiration for the painting was the experience I had with the animals during the Conservation Conversation retreat. I placed all the animals with their backs to us, facing the same direction we, as viewers, are facing, to suggest that we are together as viewers and participants in a grand pageant; watching the cranes fly northwards (up the Yellowstone to Yukon...

-- by Susan Eirich, PhD -- We never really know how things will turn out. Events that appear terrible can actually be positive in the long run. I personally would classify the result of the election a terrible thing, predominantly because of climate change. We humans can survive all the various dislocations that will happen based on poor political decisions, though that is not to discount the suffering that individuals may go through. But with denying climate change we will be affecting all Life on earth. All life lies helpless before us, awaiting our decision and actions. But the good news. We can use this event to energize us to stop depending on government to take action. Yes they...

Two Wolves

-- by Richard Landry -- A few days after the presidential election, I received an email from Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future. It was one of at least a dozen emails I received during the week from various nonprofit organizations, all expressing some version of despair or defiance over the election result, infused with anxiety and fear over what would come of it all in the end. But Marina’s letter was different. In it, she wrote: The future is still a safe place. It’s a place where we can imagine beyond the confusion of today to create a world that everyone can inhabit with their bodies, their hearts, and their spirit. At times like this, despair,...

-- by Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. -- This summer I listened to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the superb Grand Teton Music Festival, under the direction of Maestro Runnicles. There were close to two hundred people on stage with the orchestra and choir, plus a rapt, sold out audience. All humans present were focusing on beauty; either creating it or receiving it. One unit; one consciousness, recognizing and responding to something magnificent in unison. The best of what we can be. The standing ovation went on and on and on in exuberant appreciation. No one wanted it to end.  We yearn for moments like these.   What astonishing beauty we can create! It is a good thing to remember – who we...

-- by Deb Matlock, M.A. -- At Earthfire Institute, the powerful idea of starting a conversation, any conversation, as a way to explore how to best live on this earth is rooted in every offering…from retreats to presentations to blogs like this one.  In fact, Conservation Conversations, gatherings of change makers for the purpose of discussing some of the most challenging conservation issues, are at the core of Earthfire’s mission.  Also though, at Earthfire, the concept is taken one step farther than is often the case.  The voices of wild animals are considered a valued and critical part of the discussion...ones that are often left out or dismissed in common human communications....

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