A couple years ago, I stumbled upon a TedRadioHour podcast from NPR called Everything is Connected. Guy Raz invited a series of Ted speakers to discuss the complexities and interconnectedness of nature. The entire episode was fascinating and very moving, but the journalist George Monbiot‘s story on rewilding was particularly inspiring.
He spoke about the time when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park after a prolonged absence due to being hunted to near extinction. Their reintroduction had a profoundly positive impact on the depleted ecosystems of the park. Monbiot’s voice filled with passion and awe as he listed the series of changes that occurred when the wolves came back. There were less elk, so the grass and trees could grow back and the soil replenished. More animals returned to the rejuvenated land, and, interestingly, the wolves even changed the way the rivers behaved.
I was driving home from my community college, just months away from transferring to UC Berkeley, when I heard this podcast. Up until that point, I had no idea what my purpose was. It changed the whole trajectory of my life.
I grew up a theatre kid, my passions revolved around Shakespeare and Chekhov. My most fervent joy came from making movies, rehearsing plays and poring over texts. I was almost entirely, and selfishly, oblivious to the world outside of Hollywood.
When the podcast finished, I cried. Not out of sadness, but out of guilt for not having known the fragility of nature, and out of frustration for how little was being done to protect the planet from the hubris of mankind.
If there is anything I have taken from my upbringing in the arts, it is commitment. One must commit to the story, to the character and to the production. I committed myself then to protecting the environment by telling compelling, emotionally evocative stories like the one Monbiot told me. So, here I am, aspiring to accomplish a career as a journalist to give a voice to nature, and to tell stories that inspire others to take action in the fight against climate change.