Thank you, Aldo

My colleague Tom Nolan says that it takes three ingredients to improve a system:  will to do it, effective ideas of what to do, and then testing and using those ideas in practice.

Our work to develop Energy Stewards aims squarely at helping people organize effective ideas for energy management and then use data and action plans to actually improve energy use.

What about will?

Will is a concept that combines inspiration and motivation.

Warren and I got our will refreshed this week when we attended the Wisconsin premier of “Green Fire:  Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic”.  We were reminded of the power of Leopold’s ideas and the way he conducted his life.   Here in southern Wisconsin, we’re never far from Leopold’s influence–his family’s famous shack on the Wisconsin River, his original design that shapes today’s University of Wisconsin Arboretum, the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Leopold Center in Baraboo.

The legacy of his ideas has wider reach.

Leopold has inspired four generations of conservationists, scientists, and citizens with his call for a land ethic, rooted in the observation that we’re all living together in one ecological community.   He called for a “thinking community” of earth stewards.

Energy Stewards tries to embody many of the ideas first articulated by Leopold in the 1930’s and 1940’s.   Stewardship skills developed to use resources wisely in the built environment can help us be better stewards of the rest of Nature.

If you don’t know about Leopold’s work, start with the Green Fire movie or read a copy of A Sand County Almanac (check your local library, I bet they have a copy.)

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