Last month author Richard Louv spoke at Columbia about “Nature Deficit Disorder, a term he coined in his book Last Child in the Woods. The term has stuck a chord because, without any real explanation, people inherently understand what the issue is, and it is personal.
Richard gave a rare talk about the environment, one that is both forward looking and inspirational. I am glad he feels that the Columbia University Landscape Design Graduate Program is an appropriate audience for this topic and proud of my profession. But there is much that needs to be done in order to realize the optimism he lays out in his presentation.
I was low on battery so didn’t get the entire talk but the bulk is here. I’m starting with the summary at the end in which he was challenged to encapsulate how he could possibly see a positive future with all the negativity and fear-mongering that neo-environmentalists so many times resort to in order to persuade people to go along with their movement. While this tact may work for the middle and older age sets who could feel a twinge of guilt and spring into action it instills a sense of foreboding and unsurpassable obstacles in the youth. Let’s stop there and take a listen…
and now the rest of the presentation starting with the intro from NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.