Thinking Like A River with David Brower

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Leading conservation battles since 1938, David Brower (1912–2000) was executive director of the Sierra Club for seventeen years. He founded Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, and Earth Island Institute, and played a major role in keeping dams out of Dinosaur National Monument, the Yukon and the Grand Canyon, about which he speaks candidly in this dialogue. Still an activist at the age of eighty-six, Brower's dedication stems from his ever-constant wonder and love of the natural world and his belief that all its elements have the same rights people do: "We borrow from the Earth's bank of resources something like $32 trillion dollars a year, and we don't seem the least bit interested in paying it back." Recipient of the Blue Planet Prize in June, 1998 awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan, and twice nominated for the Nobel Peace prize, Brower believes true progress will come when we improve our ability to think in radically new ways. "We didn't learn early enough in this century to learn how to think like a river. A river is not just an accident; it knows what to do." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Brower is the author of:

  • Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those Who Would Save the Earth (HarperCollinsWest 1995)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How to connect with the natural world
  • Companies serving as models for the environmental movement
  • Crucial environmental challenges you need to know about
  • Browerís thoughts on deep ecology
  • The childhood event that changed Browerís life
  • Using your car as a "pet"
  • Brower's idea of CPR: conservation, preservation and restoration
  • Brower's role in helping protect the Grand Canyon
  • The philosophy behind Browerís contributions to the environmental movement
  • "Wise use" vs. "wise abuse"
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 7/8/1998       Program Number: 2732