Spencer Beebe is the founder of the nonprofit Ecotrust, based in Portland, Oregon.
Spencer Beebe: "To
think that we can destroy the planet is a kind of backhanded pride.
It reflects an inflated sense of our own importance and a contempt
for the power of natural forces at work in the world. But we should
know by now that as a species we are genetically incapable of
leaving things alone. We are going to make things better, or we are
going to make things worse. More often than not, we are going to
make things worse by trying to make them better. That isn't
pessimism; it's realism.
"We have to engage in a
process that will bring about things we would not have thought of
if we hadn't begun working with individuals and groups in Willapa
Bay. It takes, among other things, a willingness to relinquish
control, a resilience in the face of surprise, a playfulness about
possibilities and a trust in natural processes. In a word, it takes
a kind of optimism." - R.M.