Home > What Could Possibly Go Right? Interview Series > Episode 25: Judith D. Schwartz: Tuning In To The Natural World

December 1, 2020

Judith D. Schwartz is an author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance. She takes a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems. She writes for numerous publications, including The American Prospect, The Guardian, Discover, Scientific American, and YaleE360. 

Bringing insights from her latest book, “The Reindeer Chronicles”, Judith addresses the question of What Could Possibly Go Right? including:

  • That “we are a part of nature and to keep ourselves separate from nature is really causing our own demise, as well as the demise of all that we love around us.”
  • That increased interest in home gardening is a gateway to larger engagement in the natural world and environmental restoration.
  • That mainstream news highlights when things go wrong, but “when something goes the way it’s supposed to go, it isn’t news, so we’re never paying attention to how the natural world works or how communities function when they’re going well and serving the people in them.”
  • That slowing down and staying in one place during the pandemic has encouraged us to pay attention to smaller things and gives “permission to love where I am in a very different way, as opposed to that being the backdrop and then real life happens elsewhere when I leave.”
  • That there is opportunity in the degraded landscapes throughout the world, including restoring the heartlands and rangelands of US.
  • That regenerative agriculture projects, such as by Commonland, give people reasons to stay or come back to the land. These include 4 Returns: of finance, of nature, of social capital or community well-being, and of inspiration. 
  • That a connection to nature can happen anywhere, even a permaculture lesson around a city tree by a New York City sidewalk.

Resources

  • Book: “Cows Save The Planet” – Judith D. Schwartz (2013)
  • Book: “Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World” – Judith D. Schwartz (2019)
  • Book: “The Reindeer Chronicles” – Judith D. Schwartz (2020)
  • Commonland, Netherlands – restoration projects www.commonland.com

About Judith D. Schwartz

Judith D. Schwartz is an author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance. She takes a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems. She writes for numerous publications, including The American Prospect, The Guardian, Discover, Scientific American, and YaleE360. Her latest book, “The Reindeer Chronicles”, is a global tour of earth repair, featuring stops in Norway, Spain, Hawai’i, New Mexico, and beyond. 

Judy has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.S.J. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern. She lives and works on the side of a mountain in Vermont with her husband, author Tony Eprile, and cherishes visits from their musician son, Brendan. When it snows, she cross-country skis, and when ski season is over, she’s in the garden. Three times a week she trains in Uechi-Ryu karate, and has reached the rank of shodan. Whatever she’s doing, she will stop to listen to the song of the hermit thrush.

Connect with Judith
judithdschwartz.com/about | Facebook | Twitter


Download the transcript here.