Friday, March 1, 2013

Jewell of a new Secretary

Just goes to show what a lousy publicist I am for my own books that it took fellow blogger Dave Wenning (of Wild Fidalgo) to point this out: a woman has been named Secretary of the Interior, like in my novel Kidnapping the Lorax. (Thanks, Dave!)

I was putting toothpaste on my toothbrush one recent morning when my radio informed me that President Obama had chosen the CEO of REI, Sally Jewell, as the next Interior Secretary. I stopped and stared at myself, open-mouthed, in the mirror. A hiker? A skier and snowboarder? A mountain-climber, cyclist, kayaker? Dare I think ... maybe... possibly... an environmentalist?

Imagine that...appointing a Secretary of the Interior who actually gives a good goddamn about the land. 

Someone who can recognize the land's intrinsic worth rather than just finding more room for drilling rigs; who might consider pristine forests over profit; who realizes value isn't always measured in money. 

by jessamyn
Young 'uns, if we were hunkered around a campfire on a dark night, I could tell you some true tales of horror from the old days, about a Secretary of the Interior named James G. Watt--a man who sliced and diced the lands under his care. His belief in the Rapture seemed to give him carte blanche to use up resources, since, as he famously said, "I do not know how many generations we can count on until the Lord returns." There was also the time he referred to environmentalists as "a left wing cult dedicated to bringing down the kind of government I believe in." Yet another of his quotes: "We will mine more, drill more, cut more timber."  

Compare, please, with a recent quote from Sally Jewell, after a climb near her home in Seattle: "It feels so nice to get a little mud on your feet, a little mist in your face."

Oh, what interesting conversations she could have with my character Walden around the campfire! Lacey Thurman, the Secretary of the Interior protagonist I made up, had to be to kidnapped and forced to walk in woods of the Pacific Northwest. But our new real-life Interior Secretary would appear to already know what it took Lacey the length of my novel to learn. 

It sounds like Sally Jewell has sat around plenty of campfires under starry skies. And she would be more apt to meet Walden going up a mountain, or down a river, or on the trail ... or maybe to meet you or me there.

As Timothy Egan phrased it in The New York Times, "If confirmed, Jewell would be one of the few directors of that vast department to actually share the passions of the majority of people who use the 500 million acres of public land under Interior’s control."

Imagine that.

12 comments:

  1. P.S. when I heard her bio on NPR I thought immediately of Lacey and Maggie and walden. No joke. Was just too busy with my own project that day to tell you, assuming you we're the one who nominated her. Joke.

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    1. Ha! I was too busy being agog at the appointment--the novel didn't even occur to me--but I sure appreciate your comment!

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  2. Make that WERE, damned auto-correct.

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  3. She is quite an interesting choice for Secretary of the Interior. I just read that she climbed the highest peak in Antarctica. She actually hikes! I have a glimmer of hope for our planet.

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    1. Oh yeah! She's a hiker, kayaker, skier, etc etc--all those things. I'm seeing that same glimmer...

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  4. Yes, I remember the dark days of James Watt. I'm still pinching myself we have Obama as president, but Sally Jewel as Secretary of the Interior absolutely blows me away! I heard her speak at the annual fundraiser for Mountains to Sound Greenway (self-plug...guess who designed their interpretive signs?). Sally is AMAZING! Not only is she smart and witty, she is clearly green at heart. I know there will be compromises, with Big Oil, etc, but she has a relationship with Nature, and that is so refreshing! This is really great news!

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    1. Oooooh, so glad to have a personal endorsement! I'm glad to hear of your high regard for her. Thanks, Denise!

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  6. What wonderful news! So different than the sad, tragic, and violent stories reported inl our newspapers and over the airways. Looks like fortune is turning in our favor for once. Now how do we get Ms Jewell a copy of your book?

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  7. Wow! Maybe prayers do work and dreams do come true! Let us hope.

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