Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Brief, yet Enlightening Environmental Interview with My Grandparents

I gave my grandparents a call in order to see what their views about sustainability were. I also wanted to know what growing up for them was like. It was a brief conversation, but I think I got what I was looking for.

My grandmother deferred the interview to my grandfather and I first asked him what his perspective or philosophy about the environment was. He told me that he didn't believe in global warming, because he'd been reading about it, and it seemed to be improving, while at the same time more and more polar bears were becoming endangered. This was an interesting theory to say the least.

Anyway, I got some real good information out of him regarding his sense of place growing up. He said that everything was different now. "If I told you about the things we had back then, you probably wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about," he joked. He said that when he was growing up everybody's family lived on the same block and families were very close. He said his family used to hunt and fish together all of the time when he was young. Both he and my grandmother spoke of having parks in the city, which you don't find anymore. My grandmother said that my grandfather and her used to go to the park and spend the whole day there. Even though they grew up in the city, things were clearly different than they are now.

Also of note, is that my grandfather pointed out that there weren't as many cars back when he was growing up, but everything was being run by coal. Still, global warming wasn't an issue back then.

I was very pleased with the results of the interview, I sort of figured before hand that my grandfather would not put much faith into global warming claims, but he seemed to have a highly developed sense of place. It does seem odd, however, that even though he has spent so much time outdoors hunting and fishing, he doesn't seem to think that the environment is in danger. This seems to run counter to what Richard Louv, Aldo Leopold, and David Orr would say on the matter.

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