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Moral Ground 2010: 'A cruel and immoral thing to do to ourselves, our children, and our grand children'

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The Moral Ground Town Hall Meeting

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010
Time: 7 pm
Location: Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain NE
This event is free and open to the public.
The evening will include live music from local folk/rock band Big Dudee Roo, brief readings from "Moral Ground" editors Moore and Nelson, and an open discussion with the audience. A reception and book signing will follow.

Event sponsors: GRCC, GVSU, and the City of Grand Rapids.
Visit: for more information.

Find other responses to the "Moral Ground" question from local leaders here.

“The fact we are asking this question illustrates the immense disconnect modern society has created between what is perceived as natural and what is human creation."
~ Kristin Tindall, Ecology Education Coordinator, Blandford Nature Center


In light of the upcoming “Moral Ground Town Hall Meeting” event taking place at the Spectrum Theater on October 26, Rapidian reporters have taken to the streets of Grand Rapids and neighboring areas to find out whether people in our community think that we as humans have a moral and ethical obligation to preserve the earth for posterity.

The book “Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril” asks that same question of writers, academics, environmentalists, religious leaders, and politicians from around the world, ranging from Barrack Obama to Barbara Kingsolver to the Dalai Lama. The Rapidian wants to know what our neighbors in the community think of this dilemma we face.

As the Ecology Education Coordinator at Blandford Nature Center, Kristin Tindall is a Grand Rapids local who cares deeply for the environment and the peril that the planet faces. Spending even just a few minutes with her at the Nature Center, one can feel her contagiously vibrant energy and her love for the great outdoors. Kristin’s career as a naturalist began at age four, when her mother brought her to volunteer at a nature center near her home in Indiana.
It was there that she began to cultivate her “love of all things wild,” which eventually led her to attend Northland College in Wisconsin, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Education. Her life has taken her many places, but never very far from the Great Lakes. Nowadays she shares her passion for the environment and her love of the woods with others in the community in her role at the Blandford Nature Center.
When faced with the Moral Ground question, Tindall replies, “The fact we are asking this question illustrates the immense disconnect modern society has created between what is perceived as natural and what is human creation. We are a part of nature, everything around us, including the toxic chemicals and petroleum that comes from this planet. The planet will reabsorb these materials and recycle them, at least on a geologic scale. So the question is: who are we preserving the planet for?”
Tindall’s position as Ecology Education Coordinator means that she collaborates with teachers from Grand Rapids Public Schools, private institutions, and local colleges and universities to help teach children and adults the value of the environment. She wants to “share a sense of wonder with students of all ages.”
Kristin explains. “Ultimately, it is a moral imperative that we preserve the planet in as diverse and resilient condition as possible for us. Our survival depends on protecting plant diversity to ensure a food base that will weather changing climate. Our survival depends on whales pooping near the ocean surface to bring up the nitrogen that feeds the algae that feeds the fish that feeds us. Our survival depends on cattails filtering heavy chemicals out of fresh water.”
Kristin expresses displeasure with the way our culture consumes natural resources at an alarming rate without allowing time for the earth to heal itself: “When we spend down the earth's budget faster than it is replenished, we take away the planet's ability to respond at a human scale. That is a cruel and immoral thing to do to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.”

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