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E-M:/ Blue Mountain Statement on the Environment

Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>

At a conference held in November to discuss principles
that might guide our work on the
environment, a group of activists and philosophers developed
this statement:


Values become actions. Too many of our actions are killing our planet, our
communities, and our spirit. Our actions are killing our loved ones. We are
diminishing the future for everyone and everything.

Particular values form the basis of our survival. When practiced, they help us
live in reciprocity with nature and with each other. We are the relationships
we share, and we are permeable--physically, emotionally, spiritually--to our
surroundings. Therefore, we hold these values as essential:

gratitude, because our lives depend on air, water, soil, plants, humans, and
other animals;

empathy, because we are connected with all of creation;

sympathy, because we all experience suffering and death, both necessarily in
the course of life and unnecessarily when these values are not practiced;

compassion, because it moves us to attend to suffering and injustice; and

humility, because we cannot know all of the consequences of our actions.

We belong to the community of the Earth. It is the source of our own life, and
our actions affect its well-being. Therefore, we practice:

respect, because it is fundamental to good relationships;

restraint, because the Earth is finite, and we must honor its limits;

simplicity, because we are only one species sharing Earth with many others;

humor, because life is good, and humor disrobes tyranny and absurdity.

Human beings need sustaining social and natural environments. No one by law or
habit is entitled to rob others or future generations of a diverse world
vibrant with hope and possibilities. We have an obligation to restore social
and ecological fabrics that have been torn by violence or exploitation.

We affirm that all being is sacred and has intrinsic value that is not

People who hold these values outnumber those who do not. We draw strength from
each other. As we abandon harmful activities, we take nature as our guide. We
explicitly consider the effects of actions on individuals, families,
communities, species, landscapes, regions, and future generations.

It is through love for the particular--a child, a neighborhood, a family of
otters, a meandering river--that we find our way to a sustaining relationship
with the Earth and our communities.

Blue Mountain Center, Blue Mountain Lake, NY, November 12, 2000

Blue Mountain Participants
         Andy Jameton, Omaha Nebraska
         Bill Vitek, Potsdam New York
         Bruce McKay, Montreal Quebec
         Carolyn Raffensperger, Windsor North Dakota
         Craig Holdrege, Ghent New York
         David Abram, Idaho
         Derrick Jensen, Crescent City, California
         Fred Kirschenmann, Ames Iowa
         Harriet Barlow, Minneapolis Minnesota
         Jennifer Sahn, Great Barrington Massachusetts
         Katherine Barrett, Victoria British Columbia
         Nancy J. Myers, Oak Park Illinois
         Mary O'Brien, Eugene Oregon
         Mark Ritchie, Minneapolis Minnesota
         Peter deFur Richmond Virginia
         Peter Montague, Annapolis Maryland
         Peter Sauer, Salem New York
         Steve Light, Minneapolis Minnesota
         Ted Schettler, Boston Massachusetts
         Tracey Easthope, Ann Arbor Michigan
         Wes Jackson, Salina Kansas

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