710: Madeline Ostrander, part 2: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth

August 8, 2023 by Joshua
in Podcast

Since our last conversation, check out the reviews that have come in about Home on an Unruly Planet from past guests of this podcast:

“With deep, compassionate reporting and elegant prose …  Ostrander finds creativity, vital hope, and a sense of home that outlasts any address.”
Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

“As each new climate calamity obliterates, incinerates, or engulfs entire communities, we shudder to think our own could be next. Gently but purposefully, Ostrander guides us into places that have known this nightmare, not to shock but to show that the meaning of home is so powerful that people will make surprising, imaginative, even transcendent leaps to hold on to theirs. By her book’s end, you realize that maybe you could, too.”
Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown

“What does it mean to maintain a sense of place in an age of climate change? In At Home on an Unruly Planet, Madeline Ostrander explores this question with searching intelligence and uncommon empathy.”
Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize-winning author of Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future

The book comes out in paperback today (As I wrote in part 1, I don’t get a commission, I just couldn’t stop reading the book).

In today’s conversation, we talk more about what people are doing in the communities she spent time with. I may not have conveyed enough in the notes to part 1 that she spent years with these communities. She didn’t just drop in on them. She created enduring relationships. She shares more from behind the scenes and her personal relationships with people who start with creating gardens and bike programs. They don’t stop there. They organize to find ways to move oil refineries out of their neighborhoods.

I brought up how Chevron doesn’t buy its products. We all do. What they do, when we fill our gas tanks, buy airplane tickets, buy things shipped around the world, buy disposable diapers and other plastic, we fund their efforts. In my view, we have to change those patterns, not wait for them even if we say it’s their responsibility. So Madeline and I talk about that view a bit too: individualism, capitalism, profit, and sustainability. Also, the way out: fun, community, gardens, persistence, and taking responsibility.

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