The Power of Nature

Op-Ed: How the U.S. came to protect the natural world — and exploit it at the same time

Our country’s fossil fuel-fueled love affair with fossil fuels may have finally run its course.

More than half of America’s natural resources remain unexploited. And our government doesn’t like to give up.

An op-ed in the New York Times (July 3, 2017) by Tom Stites, is more than a personal lament. He describes a vision of how the future of the U.S. could look:

With our natural resources consumed, our infrastructure destroyed, our climate compromised, and our economy destroyed, it is time for a new vision. …

The best way to bring the United States back to its past self could be to embrace the power of nature.

In the words of former Vice President Al Gore, nature is the “primary driver of prosperity” for an interdependent world. But until we re-evaluate our relationship with the planet, we will remain vulnerable.

We will be vulnerable if we continue to sacrifice our economy and our way of life for the pleasure of a lifestyle our government will do everything in its power to preserve.

We will be vulnerable if we continue to sacrifice our economy and our way of life for the pleasure of a lifestyle our government will do everything in its power to preserve.

By contrast, nature’s beauty is our greatest wealth. By protecting it, we have the potential to create a new economy — one where the greatest source of wealth is the beauty of the world around us.

We’ve come a long way since Henry David Thoreau. But only if we let nature be the greatest wealth we can take from the earth.

Tom Stites is the cofounder, and principal of the Thriving Communities Project, a national nonprofit organization that promotes a sustainable, prosperous future through community-led solutions to urban living.

When Thoreau walked into the

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