New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Jennifer Browdy’

R.O.I. from Another P.O.V.

August 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy

Measuring Wealth and Well-Being from the Perspective of Mother Earth

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Peter Buffett, one of billionaire Warren Buffett’s sons, published a brave, thoughtful op-ed piece in the New York Times the other day.  In it, Buffett takes to task what he calls “the Charitable-Industrial Complex,” the philanthropic crowd who piously seek to save the world, as long as the R.O.I. is sufficiently rosy and the status quo is not upset.

Buffett knows he sounds like a class traitor here as he proffers this description of “Philanthropic Colonialism” (his term):

“As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to ‘give back’. It’s what I would call ‘conscience laundering’ — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity. But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over. Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world (or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life.” (more…)

If Not Now, When?

May 14, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Playing Hardball with the Fossil Fuel Industry

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Bittersweet sadness filled me as I read an excerpt at Women’s E-News from Eve Ensler’s new memoir, In the Body of the World, about her long, determined, agonizing battle with uterine cancer.

Her TED talk, “Suddenly, My Body” is one that I have returned to watch several times over, and have recommended to many friends as a pulsating, powerful performance that makes perfectly clear what many of us are coming to realize: that there is no separation between our bodies and the world around us.

Not only is it true, as Joanna Macy and Brian Swimme tell us, that we are the most recent emanations of the stardust that created the life on our planet eons ago, it is also true that our fragile bodies are porous and open, made of the air, earth and water that we move through each day. (more…)

Our Planetary Home

March 25, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Becoming Part of Gaia’s Cure, Instead of What Ails Her

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I will never forget one hot summer day when I was about eight years old, and a Monarch butterfly took it into its head to land on my arm and delicately lick up my sweat with its long, probing tongue.

Gaia callingI froze, wanting the Monarch to stay with me as long as possible, and watched with total fascination and delight as it balanced on my warm brown skin and enjoyed the salty treat I had to offer.

Eventually, with a graceful swish of its elegant wings, it rose up in the air and twirled off to land on a nearby stand of sweet-smelling pink milkweed flowers.

I felt blessed by the encounter, and ever after, when I see a Monarch I approach cautiously and respectfully proffer my arm, hoping to feel again the light touch of those fragile black legs and tiny tongue.

My childhood connection with Monarchs came to mind this week as I read the deeply disturbing news that “the number of monarch butterflies that completed an annual migration to their winter home in a Mexican forest sank this year to its lowest level in at least two decades, due mostly to extreme weather and changed farming practices in North America.” (more…)

Time to Grow Up

January 30, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Family, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

From Independence to Interdependence…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

In his second Inaugural speech, President Obama gestured back to other great and trying times in American history — “Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall” — and even further back, to the Civil War period and the War of Independence.

In all of these historical eras, freedom was the watchword, and first slavery, then inequality, the great evil that had to be eradicated in order for us to move forward as a nation.Now we’re in a different period, unlike any we have yet lived through as Americans or as global citizens.

What we need now is not more freedom, but more connection.  If there are battles to be fought today — and there are! — they must be in the name not of liberty, but of interdependence.

It’s hard to make a stirring speech out of complex concepts like interconnection, collaboration and sustainability, and President Obama’s gestures in this direction were, at best, oblique. (more…)

Not in Vain

December 23, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Family, Jennifer Browdy

American Mothers Must Unite Against the Culture of Violence

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

A couple of weeks ago, when I heard that my 14-year-old son and his friend had been playing with the other boy’s air-soft pistols by shooting each other at close range, I saw red.

“But it just stings like a bee-sting, Mom,” my son protested.  “It just leaves a welt.  Why are you getting so upset?”

At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was getting so upset — after all, these were only toy guns.

My answer to my son was that a “bullet” could ricochet and end up hitting him in the eye, which is true and a rational explanation for why I flatly forbid him to engage in that kind of behavior any more with those guns. (more…)

Standing Strong

December 17, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Jennifer Browdy

Uniting Around the Finest Values of Human Life

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Just as people in places like the Maldives, Bangladesh and Pakistan may have shook their heads at the cluelessness of Americans who suddenly woke up to climate change when Sandy came to town, people living in hot spots of violence around the world now have every right to be shaking their heads at the collective American refusal to see and understand how, in the wake of the Newtown massacre, we are much to blame for our own misery.

The U.S. is the largest arms manufacturer and exporter in the world.  We have by far the largest military.  We are also by far the most heavily armed civilian population in the world, with some 300 million guns circulating among our population of about 300 million people.  Americans, we need to acknowledge that collectively, as a nation, we have been responsible for hundreds, and probably thousands of deaths of children worldwide through the weapons we sell abroad.

There is not a conflict in the world today that has not been fueled by American weaponry. (more…)

Call to Action

December 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Telling the Story of Climate Change

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

You probably didn’t notice, but this past week another round of major international climate talks were held in Doha, Qatar, surely one of the least “green” locations on the globe.

The mainstream press barely bothered to give a nod to what has come to be a mind-numbing ritual of bait, switch and dodge. The alternative press knew better than to look to the assembled ministers in Doha for any real news, focusing instead on the grim report released early last week by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

The 84-page report, titled “Turn Down the Heat” and funded by that radical fringe group known as the World Bank, demonstrates that if we continue our reckless heating of the planet at the present rate, all the scenarios of which readers of this blog are well aware — sea level rise, droughts and floods leading to severe food shortages, more frequent and more severe storms, loss of biodiversity and loss of human life on a biblical scale — will come to pass. (more…)