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Diversity Is Life and Respect For Life Needs To Grow!

Rosaria Dawson Celebrity and Climate Activist


Lack of Diversity means death! Lack of diversity in the human genome leads to infertility thus we have the European and Asian "Birth Dearths" Lack of diversity in higher education leads to legacy student bodies, and graduates that gained access to higher education not based on merit or ability. Lack of diversity in the stock market means vulnerability to capital losses and lack of biodiversity means starvation of the masses!


There is one large but often forgotten section of global biodiversity that should be ignored no longer: soil biodiversity. A healthy soil depends on a vibrant range of life forms living below the ground, from bacteria and fungi to tiny insects, earthworms and moles. Together, this rich biodiversity brings immeasurable benefits to life on Earth. It plays a vital role in mitigating climate change, storing and purifying water, providing antibiotics and preventing erosion. The well-being of all plants and land-based animals depends on the complex processes that take place in soil. Biodiversity loss and climate change are two of the most pressing challenges of our time, and soil biodiversity is part of the solution to both. Yet it is under constant threat, largely from human activities that we can control. It is our responsibility, therefore, to preserve the quality of soil before it is too late, and before its resident species and their fragile habitats are lost.


With only 60 years of farmable soil left on Earth, a new documentary highlights the importance of topsoil and the thought leaders looking for sustainable solutions to its preservation. The Need To GROW, a documentary from Rob Herring and Ryan Wirick and narrated by Rosario Dawson about the fight to save the planet’s vanishing topsoil, is having its L.A. premiere October 9 at the Landmark in Westwood.


“To say that we care about the future of this planet,” Dawson, who also is an executive producer, says in the trailer,” to say that we care about the survival of our species, and not take action, is simply no longer an option.” “The Need To GROW is an underdog story that the world needs desperately right now,” said Herring. “The way the environmental heroes in this story overcome challenges is an important metaphor for how so many of us are feeling regarding ecological issues. It’s a chance for viewers to not only learn about urgent problems in our food system – but more so to embrace the astonishing potential of healthy soil as a climate solution.


When she was six, Dawson and her parents moved into an abandoned tenement in New York City’s East Village. It had no hot water or electricity. They were squatters—scrapping and salvaging and building a home out of found materials from around the city. Her mother was an activist, attending rallies and marches for progressive issues. Soon Dawson was taking up causes of her own. “My very first campaign was to save trees when I was 10 years old,” she says. “I made a bunch of posters because I wasn’t thinking about it so clearly.” Dawson recalls in a recent interview from Elle Magazine.


While Dawson is no stranger to environmental philanthropic causes (she is involved in charities including Global Cool, Conservation International, National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy, to name a few), she has gone full speed ahead in her advocacy for a more sustainable food system.


In 2018, she executive-produced and narrated The Need to Grow, a documentary based on the premise that we have only 60 years’ worth of farmable topsoil left on earth. The documentary follows three activists–an eight-year-old girl, a renegade farmer and an accomplished visionary inventor–as they fight for change in agricultural food production. The documentary calls for nothing short of a revolution and offers individuals ways to help regenerate the planet’s dying soils and support the restoration of earth’s resources.


“To say that we care about the future of this planet,” Dawson says in the movie’s trailer, “to say that we care about the survival of our species, and not take action, is simply no longer an option.”


And just last year, in 2019, she teamed up Kiss the Ground, an education and advocacy nonprofit working to reverse climate change through regenerative agricultural practices, and Green America, the nation’s leading green economy organization to encourage people from all over the United States to begin their own climate victory gardens inspired by those planted during the World Wars.


According to Kiss the Ground, by 1944, almost 20 million victory gardens produced eight million tons of food, equaling more than 40 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. at the time. By growing food at home, farm-raised food was made more readily available for the troops stationed abroad. Today’s victory-garden campaign aims to build more healthy soil while combating climate change. Using regenerative practices for gardening–no-till, no chemicals, composting–can mitigate carbon emissions and even sequester carbon into the soil while growing non-toxic, nutrient-rich foods.


“Climate Victory Gardens are a great way for the 35 percent of Americans with home or community gardens to engage on the issue of climate change. With simple techniques your garden can play a meaningful part in reversing climate change,” said Rosario Dawson. “Regenerative gardening is not about being ‘sustainable,’ it’s about rebuilding and restoring the health of our soils while we grow food. It’s a different way of thinking.”


Dawson told The Washington Post that she was considering going back to college to “learn regenerative farming and soil practices to capture carbon.”

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