Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jim Tolbert talks bio-diversity and multiculturalism

JIM TOLBERT is one of El Paso's not-so-secret weapons. An eco and neighborhood activist, Jim understands the interdependence of ecology and culture. Indeed, the interdependence between us all. With that in mind, he wrote a thoughtful commentary on Gary Nabhan's recent visit to El Chuco and the CPP book Efrain of the Sonoran Desert, A Lizard's Life among the Seri Indians. The story of this book is a collaboration between Gary and Amalia Astorga, a Seri elder.

Below is the beginning of Jim's article. Please visit his blog often. He's an important voice, especially for those of us here in El Paso. He also blogs for the Newman Park Association and a blog that carries the quirky name Conkey's Tavern, "a place to chronicle and discuss the trend toward buying local, sustainable, and organic food and that trend's impact on our culture, our politics, our environment, our communities, and our relationships with each other and our planet." Jim is a neighbor of ours in the Five Points area of El Paso (hence, Cinco Puntos Press).

So here's how his blog about Gary and Cinco Puntos starts and below that is a photo of Amalia Astorga. I've always wanted an opportunity to put her photograph here:
Biodiversity depends on multiculturalism. Preserving diverse cultures for the sake of biodiversity (and vice versa) is what Gary Nabhan is telling us. Uprooting indigenous peoples and putting them on reservations, for example, is just bad environmental policy not to mention being egregiously immoral and unjust. Respecting the integrity and the beauty of different cultures is so very important for the survival of all of us. After all, indigenous human cultures are vital, evolutionary products and crucial components of ecosystems. We uproot them--we uproot much more. For the complete entry, go here.

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