Originally given at San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers, as part of FUSE the presentation was streamed live to Ars Virtua in Second Life [ http://slurl.com/secondlife/Seventh%20Eye/6/77/48] and is available as a podcast. The talk was entitled “The Environmental Health Clinic: on structuring participation in the environmental movement, or more specifically, in re-imagining, refiguring and rebuilding our relationships to natural systems”â€”intro below. However the presentation in 2nd life, its second life, underscores the questions about participation–what actions are available to your avatar? does it matter who you are? or that you are an avatar in the material and bodily questions involved in environmental health?
Does anyone know what to do about global warming? I am guessing that everyone has a few ideas, no? But how does anyone one of us go about developing these ideas, trying them out, testing, developing, and learning more? And how many people are interested in doing something about climate change and other environmental issues? I donâ€™t know anyone who is not. But somehow the bombastic â€œwhat you can doâ€ guides in every green issue of a magazine do not foster a social movement; signing petitions, writing letters to political representatives doesnâ€™t make me feel like I have made a vital contribution; using less gas, less paper, less energy doesnâ€™t make me feel more effective, doesnâ€™t draw on my specific situation/expertise/constraintsâ€”it all makes me feel impatient. But I get most impatient with the certainty (and morally superior tone) with which I am ordered to change to compact fluorescents, ride a bike, recycle, use bamboo flooring (substitute in 100 other ineffectual and symbolic actions). Havenâ€™t looked into recycling the compact fluorescents and the neurotoxicant effects of the mercury released from this product; havenâ€™t had their students arrested for participation in a bike ride; nor been hit by car; or colleagues arrested and prosecuted as â€œterroristsâ€ for environmental activism; havenâ€™t they tried to use the recycled glass, or plastics and delved into the strange and complex waste industry; havenâ€™t they measured the formaldehyde and other emissions of the green materialsâ€¦.the point is there is not much certainty in complex socio-ecological systems,ally persuasive?