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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Sustainable Living

Quotations

Sunbeams

The two biggest sellers in any bookstore are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food, and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.

Andy Rooney

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

That Terrible Thoreau

As the class winds down, I go over the answers to the quiz: Thoreau moved into his ten-by-fifteen-foot cabin on July 4, Independence Day, 1845. He chose that day to make the point that political independence is just the beginning. We’re not completely free until we also throw off our inner masters: greed, laziness, ignorance.

Tribute

The End Of A Sixties Dream?

An Interview With Stephen Gaskin

We’re becoming so bland now, and I really pray that we get to see another burst of energy. When the sixties happened, it lifted me up and blew my mind and informed my consciousness in a way that was a million times heavier and more interesting than anything I’d experienced before. I think it did that for many people. And now, knowing that such a thing can happen, I can just sit here and wait for it — like “Yeah, here it comes again!”

Tribute

The Word Gets Around

An Interview With Pete Seeger From The Sun’s Archives

We know that the big job is to save the world, but where do you start? I’m convinced that if we are unable to work in our home communities, the job is not going to be done. The world is going to be saved by people who fight for their homes, whether they’re fighting for the block where they live in the city or a stretch of mountain or river. But unless they can fight within their own communities, I think they’re kidding themselves.

The Sun Interview

The Undiscovered Country

John Elder On The Wild Places Close To Home

But to find the sacred only in the wilderness would be like finding it only in a beautiful church on Easter. Unless the sacred is imbued in your day-to-day life, in your work, in the food on your table, in the attitude you take toward the health of your own community, its value is limited.

The Sun Interview

We Are Not Worth More, They Are Not Worth Less

The Odyssey Of S. Brian Willson

I think of myself as a recovering white male, recovering from my early conditioning about how to be successful. The value system I was raised with dehumanized me to the point that I followed an order to travel nine thousand miles to participate in destroying another people. It’s incredible that I could do that, and without really thinking much about it. That’s why I wrote the book — to understand how it was so easy for me to do that.

The Sun Interview

Sowing Dissent

Lunatic Farmer Joel Salatin Digs In

A farm should be aesthetically, aromatically, and sensuously appealing. It should be a place that is attractive, not repugnant, to the senses. This is food production. A farm shouldn’t be producing ugly things. It should be producing beautiful things. We’re going to eat them.

The Sun Interview

Against The Grain

Peter Coyote On Buddhism, Capitalism, And The Enduring Legacy Of The Sixties

Politicians are not leaders; they are followers. They think that, because they can plunder the public treasury, they are leading. In fact they are terrified of the people. The people are a problem for them to manage, and when they can no longer manage them, they must follow them, or oppress them.

The Sun Interview

Farmed Out

Wes Jackson On The Need To Reinvent Agriculture

We must turn our attention to the water and the soil and ask, “How do we insure that the bread we eat does not come from grains that are grown in eroding soil and that load our water with nitrogen and pesticides?” Soon people will realize that annuals are poor managers of soil nutrients and water, and that agriculture will need to turn to perennials to better manage those resources.

The Sun Interview

The Bright Green City

Alex Steffen’s Optimistic Environmentalism

I love the idea that there is a proper technique to living on this planet. For too long we’ve had this romantic notion that nature’s perfect, and humanity has fallen from grace, and there’s really no way to be a human being and not abuse nature. But if we view how we live on the planet as a matter of technique, we can see ourselves not as evil but as ignorant. These things are happening because of our poor choices, not because of our nature. We can make better choices. The future isn’t already written.