Elizabeth Sawin

Elizabeth Sawin is a mother, biologist, and systems analyst. A member of Cobb Hill Cohousing, she lives on an organic farm in Hartland, Vt. She works at the Sustainability Institute, a think-do tank founded by Donella Meadows.

Price tags don’t tell the full story

I have a young friend who, I think, will never eat another banana without thinking a great deal about its history. Going bananas. On a trip to Belize, Hannah and other home-schooled teenagers saw monkeys, …

Taking on the erosive cycle of contemporary politics

Every day I try to protect my children from problems I didn’t create and cannot solve alone. I spread cream on their skin to shield them from the ultraviolet radiation that sneaks through our thinning …

Humans are gobbling up too much of the sun’s energy

The energy of the sun, captured by plants and passed on to animals, powers everything in our world — dolphins leaping out of the ocean, geese moving across the sky, people stirring their morning oatmeal. …

Now that's a reason to be jolly

This holiday season, we’re bombing Afghanistan, and perhaps contributing to mass starvation there. We stand apart from the rest of the world on climate change, ignoring the melting ice at the North Pole and rising …

How the bear inside you could save the world

“Sobs racked the body of a middle-aged man as he cradled the head of his baby, its dust-covered body dressed only in a blue diaper, lying beside the bodies of three other children, their colorful …

Survival sometimes calls for cooperation, not competition

“Human beings will never cooperate. War and fighting are part of our very make-up. We’re competitive, violent animals.” That’s what the cynics say, and sometimes it seems as though there is plenty of evidence to …

Bush should listen to his inner dad on climate change

We were exploring an unfamiliar pond. My four-year-old daughter was out in the water, up to her knees, when I called her back to shore: “It’s so muddy I can’t see if the pond gets …

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