This piece was originally published in Home! A Bioregional Reader, edited by Van Andruss, Christopher Plant, Judith Plant, and Eleanor Wright, New Society Publishers, copyright 1990.
People already sense, in some way, that they live in geographic regions comprising natural systems, of water, air and land. Now they are becoming aware of them, and seeing if we are overstressing these systems and rhythms. At the scale of the bioregion, people can understand the flow of natural systems, whereas at the global, or national, levels, the mind boggles. The systems are so varied, the climates so different. But the bioregion is something that people do understand.
So you have the region, and that’s the right scale; and you have the sense of systems, that’s the right philosophy. If you put the two of them together, you get ecological consciousness.
Excerpted from an interview in The New Catalyst, Spring 1987.
Kirkpatrick Sale (b. 1937) was born in Ithaca, New York, attended Cornell University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper and participated in student activism, and still lives in the area. His career as a journalist began with the socialist-founded magazine New Leader and in the ensuing decades has included contributions to multiple progressive magazines and radio stations, as well as his own books on topics including history and bioregionalism.
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