Baltimore Green Week: Author Michael Klare Talks About his New Book on Sustainability

The  10th annual Baltimore Green Week , an education in all things sustainable and eco-friendly in Charm City, included bike tours, demonstrations, and a free talk at the Enoch Pratt Central Library by Michael Klare, author of The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources.  Klare, an author of 14 books, teaches courses at Hampshire College focusing on war, resources and sustainability. The goal of his most recent book is to present sustainability in a new light, based on resource consumption, extraction and depletion.

The idea that the high-tech, advanced industrial civilization we have created is not sustainable is widely accepted. But while most models of sustainability focus on environmental consequences such as food scarcity, land degradation and climate change, Klare argues that diminishing natural resources, which we rely upon for our cars, homes, gadgets and industries, will accelerate the end of civilization as we know it.

Image by Suzanne Kashnow

Image by Suzanne Kashnow

Spoiler alert: it’s not all doom and gloom – just when I was starting to feel hopeless, Klare pointed out the hundred of college and university campuses (and what is a college but a mini-city?) that are already working towards carbon neutral. He conveyed his sense of hope in the younger generation and their ability to engineer an economic and industrial revival by putting climate change before everything else. Klare reminded us that “sustainability is not a virtue. Rather, sustainability is a blueprint for the creative reinvention of human civilization.”  He went on to say that sustainability provides a creative space for an entire generation, but that we must lay out the work that needs to be done and engage youth in creating this new civilization. If that’s not an inspiring call to action, I don’t know what is.

This Saturday April 27th is the daylong Ecofest, a culmination of Baltimore Green Week’s events and programming. It’s held at Druid Hill Park near the Rawlings Conservatory from 12-5pm, where you’ll find food and drink to fuel the day’s festivities – workshops, bike rides around the reservoir, and belly dancers, to name a few. Check it out and get inspired! And if you missed Baltimore Green Week this year, have no fear – this annual event is held every April around Earth Day.

Header image courtesy of Amy Kozak


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