Time For Activism— and to Sober Up!

Activism has become an outgrowth of my work as a Jungian psychoanalyst and as a biodynamic farmer. Perhaps it is the way that I keep my sanity! Yes, there is the inner work that is so important, both in work with the psyche and with the earth, but there is also the work with the outside world. Trauma research has shown that those who have something to do, do better in the stress of trauma than those who do nothing or feel helpless.

But action is more than surviving trauma. We are in a crisis of consciousness in our relationship to the earth, a crisis which necessitates that we meet the non-human in more humane ways. 

The following Letter to the Editor of the Napa Register is one of my advocations for Earth.


Are we the people of Napa County so drunk on our success as a legendary wine destination, that we do not see the seriousness of some of the negative consequences these successes have wrought?

Fortunately, the County is beginning a process to reconsider the issues of land use in our Ag Preserves and Ag Watersheds. In March 2015, the Board of Supervisors formed an adhoc committee of various county constituents, the Agricultural Production Advisory Committee, to look at the Winery Definition Act of 1999 and to update regulations of wineries and event centers in agricultural lands. Many, including Supervisor Luce, support a moratorium on wineries until, at least, we have a larger, updated plan in place that protects the Napa Valley from overdevelopment and environmental degradation. We now have issues in 2015 that we didn’t in 1999, as well as some of the same-old —water, vineyard inclusion into fragile hillsides (watersheds), traffic, and a growing tsunami of tourists who can wash away the very place they come to seek beauty, wine, and food.

We are in a time that the decision is being made about what master the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Department of Napa County are serving.  Are they handmaidens of wealth: wineries and vineyards, restaurants and hotels, and the economics of tax dollars — or are they also protectors of the commons, insuring the health of our watersheds, of our forests, our environment, our laborers, and certainly, our agriculture?

The mission statement for Napa County, and the Board of Supervisors, reads, “The County of Napa is dedicated to preserving agriculture and the environment and to providing leadership and services to advance the health, safety and economic well-being of the current and future generations.”

It has never been more important to let your voice be heard on these matters!  Write our Supervisors, attend BOS and Planning Commission meetings and make public comment, and support of local citizen groups insisting on “a place at the table” on these decisions. Our future depends on us acting now and we all need to be heard.