In the mid-2000s, estimates in the United States suggested that we were losing up to 40% of honeybee colonies. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder was widely covered in the media as the next emerging threat, but then it all but disappeared. Beyond these headlines, we never heard much follow up as to how bee populations were faring. This week we return to the bees with entomologist Dr. Samuel Ramsey. Highlighting the intertwining issues of poor nutrition, pesticides, and parasites, Dr. Ramsey also shares how climate change impacts the nutritional quality of pollen and how human design and development has strengthened and spread parasitic mites to the disadvantage of bees globally. Samuel Ramsey earned his doctorate from Dr. Dennis van Engelsdorp’s lab at the University of Maryland; Dr. Ramsey maintains a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through the development of IPM strategies and STEM-based outreach initiatives. Music featured in this episode is “Beanstalk” by Jeff Parker, “Natural Harmony” by The Mysterious They, and “Saka” by Gabriella di Capua. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.
In this powerful conversation with land defender Sii-am Hamilton, we are invited to discuss futuristic ways forward in recognition that Indigenous communities have been practicing creative resistance against colonialism and capitalism for hundreds of years. We begin by discussing what is currently transpiring on Wet’suwet’en territories and how colonial governments are using the current pandemic (and will use future crises) to roll back regulatory measures and push development full force. Sii-am offers a holistic reflection on frontline land defense and the extent to which violence is afflicted upon land defenders, and resource extraction participants, by transnational corporations, while also reorienting us to the reality that just, dignified, and brilliant futures already exist but are not given attention, curiosity, or love because they do not serve corporate profit. Sii-am Hamilton is a land defender and traditional knowledge holder born in occupied Hupacasath territory to mother Kwitsel Tatel and father Ron Hamilton. Their experience stems from time on the land, feast culture, and living traditional law and protocol. They are a qualified hand poke tattoo artist as well as a song holder. Sii-am has been raised in political organization, land title, and grassroots activism since childhood, and now specializes in publicity/media promotion of environmental and land sovereignty movements. Music by Elisapie. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.
Prior to settler development and extraction, the landscapes and lifeways of Ohlone territory were richly abundant with acorns, grass seeds, wildflowers, elk, salmon, grizzly bears, and berries. In this week’s episode of For The Wild, guest Corrina Gould reminds us that Ohlone territory still holds tremendous abundance and that the land can sustain us in a way that would provide for our wellbeing should we choose to really re-examine what it is we need to survive. But more than a conversation on the wealth of the land, we explore responsibility and reciprocity on stolen homelands by asking what it means to be in right relationship? How can we foster integrity in conservation and land restoration work amidst a world that continues to peddle scarcity, greed, and extraction? How can folks contribute to the re-storying of the land, even if through small acts? Corrina Gould is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone. She is an activist that has worked on preserving and protecting the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for decades. She is the Co-founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change and co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. Music by Shayna Gladstone and Amo Amo. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
In this quintessential For The Wild episode, initially released in January of 2015, Ayana speaks to eco-philosopher, author, teacher, and scholar, Joanna Macy. As we find ourselves alive in this time of great turning, where feelings of grief, despair, and gloom are omnipresent - we seek counsel from Joanna on finding emotional courage, building allyship, and practicing gratitude for all which moves us. Joanna begins by reminding us that “the whole late capitalism project would have us distrust our feelings and privatize them”, instead of succumbing to denial, complacency, or isolation we can emerge from it, and move through it, to participate in radical transformation and collaborative action. Joanna Macy Ph.D., author and teacher, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and Deep Ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learnings from six decades of activism. Music by Roberta Flack, Pharoah Sanders, and Roy Harper. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references, and action points.
In past US general elections, about 60% of the eligible population voted, and while this may be the year that changes, it’s been shown that democracy is suffering globally - with total declines not just in participatory voting, but in political rights and civil liberties. This leaves us wondering, do we truly yearn for democracy? Are elections our only avenue for democratic participation? This week we are joined by the indomitable Astra Taylor who reminds us that “elections matter, but they are not synonymous with democracy”. As we find ourselves in the thick of an overloaded election year; we’ve all been thinking about what voting does and doesn’t accomplish, or whether or not it inadvertently upholds the system driving our demise. Is voting simply harm reduction at best? How can we engage in democratic processes beyond the ballot box? Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of three acclaimed philosophical documentaries: What Is Democracy?, Examined Life, and Zizek!, all of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor is the author of the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, her latest book -- Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone -- is just out in paperback and audiobook. Named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the LA Times, she co-founded the Debt Collective, a groundbreaking membership organization that has won over a billion dollars of debt relief for poor and working people. Music by Tan Cologne and Leyla McCalla. Visit our website at forthewild.world for full the episode description, references, and action points.
It’s been almost a year since the 2019 wildfires that hurled across Australia began. We vividly recall harrowing images of burnt orange skies, vast swaths of scorched forest, and our beloved kin searching for shelter amidst one of the most intense wildfires. It’s estimated that nearly 30 million acres caught fire, over 20% of Australia’s forests were burnt, and around one billion animals perished. In this episode, we revisit this event with Vanessa Cavanagh, Deb Swan, and Rachael Cavanagh while also digging deeper to explore the historical land mismanagement that intensified these brushfires and the power and importance of cultural burning. Vanessa Cavanagh is an Aboriginal woman with Bundjalung and Wonnarua ancestry. Vanessa is a Ph.D. candidate and Associate Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Deborah Kim Swan is a Ngarrindjeri mimini, with kinship affiliation to Darkinjung and Awaba Country. Deborah currently works for Transport New South Wales as a Culture & Heritage Officer. Rachael Cavanagh is a Minjungbal woman from the Bundjalung/Yugambeh Nations of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Rachael currently works as an Aboriginal Partnerships Liaison for Forestry Corporation of New South Wales and is the Principle Cultural Heritage Advisor for Currie Country Foundation. Music by Santiago Cordoba and Kaivalya. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.
In this episode of For The Wild, we are offered a palpable reminder that we cannot become accustomed to life in the Anthropocene - to do so is to fall peril to the traps of apocalyptic thinking. Instead, this week’s guest, Dr. Natasha Myers cultivates a body of thought and practice that prioritizes and fosters the intertwined relationship between plants and people, aptly referred to as the Planthroposcene. Natasha leads us to a world where magic happens through our active collaboration with plant kin. How can these connective practices provide diverse ways of knowing through a boundary-breaking experience? How might this embodiment cosmically and intuitively push us towards deeper connection and radical imagination? Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, convener of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, co-founder of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and accomplice to Toronto’s Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle. Music by Sunshine Shadow and Eliza Edens. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points
This year, the government of Japan announced plans to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. Till this day, cleanup of the 2011 Fukushima disaster continues and it is estimated that by 2022 the Fukushima site will be at capacity for storing contaminated water. As outrageous as this news is, even more so is how little coverage it received, or outcry it warranted. This week’s episode is dedicated to changing that. We talk to Dr. Helen Caldicott, who draws our attention to the realities of nuclear power reactors, proliferation and weapons, as well as the ways in which nuclearism has already wrought an unimaginable amount of havoc and trauma on our environment, culture and bodies. ♫ Music by Rupa and the April Fishes and Cat Clyde Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.
After bearing witness to the collision of two Standard Oil of California tankers in the San Francisco Bay, Dr. John Francis stopped using motorized vehicles, a commitment that lasted 22 years. Soon after he made this promise, he decided to take a vow of silence, which lasted for 17 years. In this episode of For The Wild, Dr. Francis shares how his journey came to be and the profound impact that silence and slowing down can have on us. In a world polluted by noise, how can we experiment with silence? What other forms of communication and Earthly rhythms arise when we do so? Dr. John Francis is a National Geographic Explorer, environmental educator, and a former United Nations Environment Program goodwill ambassador. Music by Rajna Swaminathan, Cooper-Moore, and Carter Lou McElroy. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.
The waters surrounding Thailand are among the most barren, overfished regions on the planet. With plundered marine stocks, vessels have begun to stay at sea longer and travel further from Thai shores, often fishing illegally in other territories. Facing a labor shortage, operators have turned to human trafficking networks and forced, bonded, and slave labour to crew their ships. Once at sea, fishermen can often go months, or even years, without setting foot on land. On this week’s episode, Shannon Service joins us to discuss her film Ghost Fleet, which documents the cycle of abuse within the Thai fishing trade and the larger systemic issues that drive such exploitation. An investigative reporter and producer, Shannon has done work for the BBC, PBS, National Public Radio, The Guardian of London, Slate and Newsweek among others. Music by 40 Million Feet. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.