David Brower


At 87, David Brower, fighter for American environmentalism, isn\'t ready to hang up his gloves and wish the Earth well. Director of the Sierra Club from 1952-1969 and founder of three internationally recognized environmental groups; Brower is still up and about, manning the frontlines of the environmental movement. A combat veteran and three-time Nobel nominee, the soft-spoken activist recently turned his attention from single-issue advocacy to broader coalitions: Last October, he announced the formation of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, a mix of Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth members with union members from the United Steelworkers of America, Teamsters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Brower is the founder and Chairman of Earth Island Institute (EII) and President of Earth Island Action Group. Brower became an environmental enthusiast since 1926 and has been in conservation battles since 1938.
Founded in 1982 by Brower, EII provides organizations support in developing projects for the conservation, preservation and restoration of the global environment. EII provides activists the freedom to develop program ideas, supported by services to help us pursue those ideas, with a minimum of bureaucracy. As an organization, its main focus is on the protection of the rainforests, marine mammals, sea turtles and indigenous lands, while promoting organic and sustainable agriculture, ecological paper alternatives and the emerging Russian environmental movement, and pursuing community-based habitat restoration, and reduction of marine pollution.
Through the many years that Brower’s been with us, he’s helped to create national parks, protect primeval forests and keeping dams out of various locations in the United States. His current project is advocating for the creation of a National Biosphere Reserve System, as well as that of a National Land Service to replace the current Bureau of Land Management and have a new mission of protecting and restoring both public and private lands in the United States; goals that are meant for achievement now and for the future.
So far, EII has launched more than 50 environmental projects such as Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers Network, and Urban Habitat. They’ve organized the most successful consumer led boycott that resulted in all tuna being dolphin safe, and brought attention towards using kenaf, wheat straw and corn for the manufacturing of paper instead of trees.
Still alive and kicking, it’s hard to believe that Brower, at the age of 87, is still out conquering the evils that are ruining the planet we’re living on. His dedication and passion towards improving our planet has earned him a Blue Planet Prize for his environmental achievements; awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan, it’s the richest environmental prize in the world. But striving for more than statues and honor, Brower continues to be a fighter for the earth’s right to live to its fullest. One of Brower’s ongoing projects is advocating for the creation of a National Biosphere Reserve System, as well as a National Land Service to replace the current Bureau of Land Management and has a new mission towards the protection and restoration of both public and private lands in the United States.
What caught my attention the most, is his answer to a question in an interview he was in a couple years back. Brower was asked his opinion on the most pressing and overriding environmental issue today. He answered: “Our addiction to growth. People are in the rather stupid habit of being addicted to endless growth without asking, ‘when do we stop?’ Simply have to get over that.” How true he is. In our growth towards technology advancement, we’ve tried to advance everything in our own lives, and our environment. Our growing population has us clear-cutting land to accommodate the masses. Resources are becoming scarce in our desperate attempt to live luxuriously, while trying to remain blind to the problems that are arising even though it’s clear as day what’s needed in the improvement of our planet. Brower is an enviromental role model to all of us. His drive towards improving our views of the world is encouraging us to take notice and realize that without the cooperation of everyone, the planet will slowly die away, leaving us bereft and out of resources only our Earth can provide. Not caring of what people think, or even what the organizations that he’s